WINTHROP — The Town Council held a public forum Monday and voted unanimously to adopt a resolution directing Winthrop to apply for the state’s Community Resilience Partnership program.

If accepted, the town could receive funding for projects that will help it reduce carbon emissions, transition to clean energy and improve infrastructure to weather the worsening effects of the climate crisis.

The Community Resilience Partnership program was started by the Maine Climate Council to assist Maine communities by providing them up to $50,000 along with technical and planning assistance to complete projects that align with the state’s climate goals.

“I was very happy to see the public turn out, and a lot of good ideas that were put on the table,” Town Manager Anthony Wilson said Tuesday.

Winthrop fulfilled all the requirements of enrollment with assistance from Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG). The process included a self-evaluation and compiling a list of potential climate actions, which the town completed last October. After Monday’s public forum and vote, Wilson said the town now awaits KVCOG to finish up the paperwork for enrollment.

“This has been in the works for a while now,” said Wilson. “Since June of last year, we have been working to get the enrollment done.”


Several climate actions were put on the table including installing EV chargers downtown, mitigating flood damage, improving flood control infrastructure and developing open spaces to maintain greenery in the town.

The idea that received the most traction, however, was a potential collaboration between Winthrop and Monmouth to modify the Annabessacook Lake dam to better regulate water levels. If both the towns decide to collaborate, the available grant funding can rise to a joint $125,000. Both towns are planning to enroll in the program before the March 29 deadline and secure the funds that will allow them to conduct an engineering study on the dam.

“I have already spoken with the Monmouth town manager and updated him on how our forum went,” said Wilson.

Monmouth is scheduled to conduct a public forum of its own and pass a resolution at a meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

“Our enrollment has been in complete reaction to the rainstorms last year,” said Monmouth Select Board member Kent Ackley. “We received five inches of rain in 24 hours in May and over the next few days, the water levels rose to 25 inches because the dam could not release water at a fast enough rate.”

Ackley added that dam has not been modified since the mid-’90s, but it hadn’t been a problem until central Maine witnessed severe weather several times last year.


“My worry is if this weather gets worse, if five inches of rain is the new normal then the towns downstream like Manchester, Litchfield, West Gardiner, Winthrop are all at risk. There will be serious implications,” said Ackley.

Further discussions are expected between both the towns to conduct an engineering study once enrollment is finalized.

Ackley noted that Monmouth had earmarked $5,000 for dam improvements in the annual budget which can be used as seed money to apply for the grant. The current round of grants being offered by the program is exclusive to communities that have not received funding yet, making it less competitive.

“We have to get our arms around the issue. We are working on it,” said Ackley. “Hopefully this will be a first step to a more permanent solution.”

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