Biddeford Broadband Plan Now Complete
Casco Bay Advisors of Gardiner, with the generous financial support of the Maine Community Foundation, has presented to the City its findings regarding the state of High-speed internet (broadband) connectivity here in Biddeford. Its findings indicate that our city is relatively well-served by broadband. Whether in the form of traditional copper telephone lines (DSL), coaxial cable, or fiber optic lines, every street here has access to some form of high speed internet.
Begun in May of 2019, the report finds that some improvements could be made, however, especially regarding digital inclusion (access by low-income households). See below for the complete report, along with the presentation made here at City Hall on November 12, 2019.
FMI Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Fiber Materials Inc. recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. On hand to celebrate the occasion were Biddeford’s mayor, Alan Casavant, and Senator Susan Collins.
FMI employs more than 180 people between their two Biddeford locations, and they see that number rising to as many as 250 within the next year. FMI develops and manufactures high temperature materials and composites. Products made by FMI can be found inside industrial furnaces, at the National Air and Space Museum, and on equipment that supports missions to Mars.
Changes to Shuttlebus-Zoom Routes
Beginning on August 1st, Shuttlebus-Zoom launched enhance routes and expanded services. Per Craig Pendleton, Director of External Affairs, “Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit (BSOOB Transit) has made significant improvements to its transit service including expanded routes, improved bus stops with updated signage and new bus shelters…All local routes, as well as the Portland InterCity run, will begin and end their 75-minute routes at the Saco Transportation Center.” This centralized transfer point will increase efficiency of the service.
The Biddeford routes will include expanded service to more locations including Morin St and Rt. 1.
For further information, and to find new route maps, please visit the Shuttlebus-Zoom website at https://www.shuttlebuszoom.com/
Housing in Biddeford
City staff, housing experts, and community members have begun an analysis of the state of housing here in Biddeford. Below are links to the latest housing and demographic information:
Biddeford Will Develop Broadband Plan
With a grant made possible by the Maine Community Foundation, The City of Biddeford will develop a broadband plan for the city. This plan will be prepared by a consultant under the watch of the City's Broadband Team. It will inventory the broadband assets here in Biddeford, identifying where high speed internet lines now exist, and where expansion is needed. A second part of the plan is to promote the concept of digital inclusion, where low-to-moderate income households have better access to computers and the internet, where currently they may have only limited access.
The broadband team comprises community members, business people, and city staff. Currently it is seeking a qualified consultant to perform the work and will oversee the entire project through to its conclusion in the fall of 2019. This plan will provide a guide to Biddeford's high speed internet strengths and weaknesses, and will recommend best practices for expansion and digital inclusion.
Time and Tide: Better Coffee for Everyone
On lower Main Street, near the intersection of Main and Hill Street, Time and Tide is serving some delicious coffee. Briana Campbell and Jon Philips bring a personal touch to your favorite hot beverage. They have developed strong relationships with their suppliers of coffee beans, because the best beans make the best coffee. Briana and Jon roast their own beans for the coffee served in their shop, and will soon open a wholesale roasting operation in Pepperell Mill Campus.
Time and Tide is now open at 35 Main Street.
Federal Grant Will Help Biddeford Firm Add Jobs
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Community Economic Development Program has awarded Maine's Coastal Enterprise Incorporated (CEI) $600,000 to help Biddeford's Junora, LTD to create 30 new jobs in the city. These jobs are high-tech manufacturing positions with good wages and benefits.
Junora, located on Pomerleau Street in the Alfred Road Business Park, makes advanced metallurgical products for the global vacuum coating industry.
Read more here.
Downtown Improvement and Business Assistance Program
The City of Biddeford’s Planning and Development Department is pleased to announce the 2020 Downtown Improvement and Business Assistance Program. The purpose of this program is to enhance the exterior façade of downtown buildings, make certain eligible interior improvements and/or help building owners achieve and maintain Code compliance. Grants that are available through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program may be used only for work "that eliminates code violations that are detrimental to health and safety of potential occupants." Southern Maine Finance Authority offers loans for other types of work. This program is restricted to commercial buildings in Biddeford’s downtown core.
Click the link below for guidelines and application. Questions can be directed to Brad Favreau, Economic Development Coordinator at email@example.com or at (207) 571-1612.
Main Street Maine
Explore Biddeford and other nationally recognized historic Maine downtowns! Maine Development Foundation’s (MDF) Maine Downtown Center has announced the launch of an interactive web portal aimed at attracting visitors through one-stop shopping and compelling content.
Main Street Maine features local makers, innovative events and natural assets in Maine’s downtowns on one connected, user-friendly website. The Maine communities featured on this website have each earned a Main Street America™ Certification.
This amazing resource was made possible only with the hard work of our own Heart of Biddeford!
Discover more of Biddeford and other Main Street Maine communities here.
Part & Parcel
Part & Parcel, now open on Alfred Street, is newest addition to Biddeford’s food scene. The store offers sandwiches and other food items, but the partners Ali and Danielle are planning strategically to add more grocery and personal care items to their inventory over time. The great care that the two take is evident the moment you walk into the store. It is crisp, clean and inviting. The duo opened with the intention of forming strong community ties with both suppliers and customers, with the larger aim of making Part & Parcel essential part of downtown. We look forward to the small changes that will gradually take place there as Part & Parcel grows and, indeed, becomes an essential to Biddeford’s downtown.
Downtown WiFi - Second Hotspot Added to Main Street
Thanks to the Downtown Development Commission and New England Cancer Specialists as a sponsor, a new hotspot at 265 Main Street provides additional WiFi connection along Main Street now between Washington Street and Elm Street. While on Main Street near City Hall look for "Connect Downtown" in the WiFi settings of your mobile device. The connection is maintained for one hour before requiring the user to log on again.
This hotspot is a public / private partnership made possible through the generosity of other sponsors like Bangor Savings Bank, GWI, and Axiom Technologies. The DDC is working to add more hotspots to Main Street, so that, soon, a continuous signal will be available from Elm Street to Mechanics Park.