A proposed federal spending plan released this week by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee includes more than $300 million worth of projects in Maine, including 21 in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

Maine’s senior senator, Republican Susan Collins, who is in line to chair the panel next year if the GOP takes control of the Senate, said she is pushing for all of them to survive the congressional budget process.

“I heard from local officials about how these projects will enhance the well-being of Mainers and improve the delivery of town services from Aroostook County to York County,” Collins said in a prepared statement. “I will continue to strongly advocate for these projects, which would deliver substantial benefits to our state and the people of Maine.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks at Acadia National Park in June. Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

But the spending bills in general lack Republican support and may have a hard time getting enacted. The House and Senate versions also differ sharply, opening another potential problem for the package that allocates almost $1.7 trillion in discretionary spending. Offering hope for the projects cited by Collins, though, is the political reality that she is a senior Republican on the powerful Senate panel.

Among the projects included in the proposed budget are a half-dozen projects identified Thursday in Lewiston and Auburn.

But another five projects in Lewiston are also in line for funding.


The plan includes $2 million to support an expansion of the B-Street Clinic’s Community Clinical Services to provide more medical, mental health and dental services.

It offers $4 million to the Lewiston Housing Authority to help construct a facility to co-locate senior housing, child care, health care and social services in partnership with St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

The measure sets aside $1.5 million for SeniorsPlus to construct a facility to house a new Meals on Wheels kitchen to serve the three-county area, as well as adding an education center for classes and support groups to use.

The Dempsey Centers for Quality Cancer Care would get $725,000 to purchase two mobile units to provide physical and emotional support for rural Mainers coping with cancer, including those with transportation and internet access problems.

St. Mary’s would get $945,000 to improve its facilities by converting three single-patient rooms into negative-pressure isolation rooms with a new air handling system.

Outside of Lewiston and Auburn, the appropriations proposal would give $598,000 to the town of Poland to improve its transfer station and $278,000 to the Poland Spring Preservation Society to install a new roof on the historic Maine State Building that once graced the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.


Sabattus would receive $2 million to consolidate two aging and undersized fire stations into one at the town office complex.

In Franklin County, the High Peaks Alliance would get $2 million to construct a 336-foot bridge connecting the Whistle Stop Trail to central Farmington. It would be owned by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

A $250,000 allocation to the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in Farmington would be used to develop a parcel and build two facilities for a youth center where internships and other opportunities would be available for young people between the ages of 14 and 24.

Oxford County is also targeted for some financial help. The measure pushed by Collins includes $1.6 million to help renovate the PACE Paramedic Station in Norway that serves 18 rural communities.

There is also $273,000 for the Bethel District Exchange and Food Pantry to renovate a facility to serve as a permanent location for the pantry.

The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel would get $725,000 to purchase equipment to study lithium and other minerals as well as to develop education programs for students from kindergarten through high school.


Regional School Unit 10 would get $500,000 to make improvements at Mountain Valley Middle School.

The plan would give the town of Norway $850,000 to renovate and expand its town office building with improvements for public safety services.

The proposal puts aside $819,000 to replace the failing Welchville Dam in Oxford with a grade control system.

And a South Paris animal shelter, which serves 14 towns, would get $100,000 for an expansion.

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