(AUGUSTA, ME) - Assistant Senate Republican Leader Paul T. Davis, Sr. (R-Sangerville) announced today that the 120th Legislature has appropriated $211,674 to the New Century Program. The money will be used to fund a new round of grants to assist Maine communities in preserving their cultural and educational resources.
Senator Davis is extremely pleased that the Senate Republican Caucus made this program a priority this year. Of the $211,674 appropriated by the Legislature this year, nearly sixty percent - or $126,000 - came directly from the Senate Republicans' funding priority list.
"It was very important to the Senate Republicans to allocate funding to this important cultural program," Senator Davis said. "Many of our state's rural communities have benefited greatly from this program the past few years. It only seems right that we provide funding to such a successful program that helps preserve our towns' most unique resources."
The Curtis Free Public Library in Bradford has been a beneficiary of this program in the past. The library received funding for the purchase of a computer and software to automate its card catalog. Sangerville Public Library used grant funds to pay for the indexing of people interred in Sangerville's seven cemeteries as well as for maps of these cemeteries.
The Abbott Memorial Library in Dexter received grants to be used for indexing between 10,000 to 18,000 obituaries from local newspapers spanning the years 1910-2000. Grant money was also received by the Thompson Free Library in conjunction with the Dover-Foxcroft historical society to microfilm, index and provide educational workshops about information in the Piscataquis Observer from 1986-2000.
The program was initially funded by the 119th Legislature during its First Regular Session, when a bill established the "Maine Communities in the New Century Program" to preserve, revitalize and improve some of the State's cultural resources.
The New Century Community Program is a collaborative initiative of seven state agencies providing matching grants and technical assistance. As a result of the New Century Program, the Maine Library Commission was able to fund $342,670 in grants to 40 public libraries around the state this year. The New Century Program also helps fund historical societies and museums.
For information on how to apply for a New Century Grant, contact Senator Davis at 287-1505 or the Maine State Library at 287-5600. You can also visit their website address at
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