Collaboration among CEI Capital Management, the Town of Grand Lake Stream, Northern Forest Center, The Lyme Timber Company LP., Downeast Lakes Land Trust, Bangor Savings Bank & US Bancorp preserves forestland, way of life
(Grand Lake Stream, Maine – May 2, 2016) The Town of Grand Lake Stream has been granted $650,000 to apply to future housing, economic development, and community facilities projects that sustain the traditional jobs and way of life for this rural community.
The grant, announced by CEI Capital Management today, is the last phase of a 2009 New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing here that protected 22,000 acres of forestland to support the outdoor recreation industry, including sporting camps and lodges and professional guiding. It is an industry that is central to the economic way of life in the Downeast Lakes Region of Maine.
As one of the community benefits incorporated into the NMTC financing, The Lyme Forest Fund (an investment fund sponsored by The Lyme Timber Company LP) donated a total of 132 acres of land to the Town for the development of light industry and housing, and the Town was able to purchase an additional 50 acres at a discount for future mixed use development. The new $650,000 grant to the Town was made possible by the successful repayment of the NMTC financing.
For the residents of Grand Lake Stream, a small community in Washington County, the newly announced grant equips them to maintain control of their destiny. “This entire project has been a big win for the Town, and the grant is an important component that will play a huge role in securing the Town’s future,” said Louis Cataldo, First Selectman of the Town of Grand Lake Stream. “The project gave us land to enable us to expand, and the grant provides the resources to make that a reality. Among other things we look forward to creating jobs for local residents, promoting residential development to attract young families to move into the town, and creating a senior citizens housing project for current and future residents.”
Cataldo added: “We are grateful to CEI Capital Management, the Northern Forest Center, Lyme Timber, and the other partners for everything they have done to make this all happen.”
The New Markets Tax Credit Financing in 2009 made possible the acquisition by The Lyme Forest Fund of the 22,000-acre West Grand Lake Forest, and included an option agreement between The Lyme Forest Fund and the Downeast Lakes Land Trust to purchase working forest conservation easements and ultimately the land itself to establish a Community Forest. CEI Capital Management used its tax credit allocation to put the financing together. The Northern Forest Center worked with the partners to facilitate development of the financing as well as helping with details relating to the new $650,000 grant. Bangor Savings Bank and U.S. Bancorp also participated as partners in the original financing.
“This project would not have happened without a collaboration with the Northern Forest Center Downeast Lakes Land Trust, and Lyme Timber who uniquely understand how the livelihood of the entire community here is connected to the forest and companion outdoor recreation industry,” said CEI Capital Management CEO Charlie Spies. “We worked with those parties to develop community benefits that the local people truly supported. The entire project complements other economic development projects in the region such as the recent expansion of St. Croix Tissue, where new direct jobs related to this forest economy beget others in the value chain.”
The acquisition of the West Grand Lake Forest by The Lyme Forest Fund protected the land against development and subdivision, which could have changed the complexion of a region that is deeply intertwined with its forest based economy. That protection was secured when working forestland conservation easements were put on the land in 2012.
The conservation easement ensures public access to the recreation area, popular for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, hiking, canoeing and other recreational activities, in perpetuity, thus sustaining jobs in the local outdoor recreation industry. At the same time, it makes certain that the lands will continue to be sustainably managed for forest products.
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust is working to complete its fundraising to enable it to purchase the West Grand Lake Forest and establish it as a Community Forest.
About CEI Capital Management
CEI Capital Management creates and preserves jobs and improves quality of life in rural, low income communities by providing access to project capital through New Markets Tax Credits. Over 10 years, CEI Capital Management has placed nearly $909.6 million of allocation in 89 different projects across the U.S. In addition to fiscal soundness, CEI Capital Management evaluates each project according to its benefit to the local community, economic gain and positive impact on the environment. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of CEI, the Maine-based nonprofit community development financial institution which was among the founders of this important federal economic development program. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ceicapitalmgmt.com or our YouTube channel for short video clips on how we use the program.
About the Northern Forest Center
The Northern Forest Center is a nonprofit organization that builds economic and community vitality while fostering sound forest stewardship across the Northern Forest of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. For more information, visit https://northernforest.org/
About The Lyme Timber Company LP
The Lyme Timber Company is a private timberland investment management organization that focuses on the acquisition and sustainable management of lands with unique conservation values. Since its founding in 1976, the Company has followed a disciplined and value oriented investment approach and has conserved over 1 million acres of timberland in the US and Canada. For more information, visit: http://www.lymetimber.com/
MEDIA CONTACT: Christen Graham 207-838-0082