Category Archives: Darryl Brown

Main-Land’s Darryl Brown Speaks Out at Red Tape Forum

Main-Land Development Consultants‘ President Darryl Brown spoke out this week in Farmington at a red-tape forum about the growing challenges of doing business in the state. At the forum, Brown talked about the slow speed of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s application review process, and how development investment is sometimes lost at a result. A typical project application used to be two inches thick 30 years ago he explained, but held up a 10 inch thick stack to show the volume of information current application submissions require. Feedback received at the forums by members of the transition team of governor-elect Paul LePage will be used to develop government reform proposals for the new administration to consider when it takes office next month.

Here is the Lewiston Sun Journal’s story on the forum, featuring Darryl Brown, and written by Ann Bryant:

Red Tape Forum elicits concerns about doing business in Maine
By Ann Bryant

FARMINGTON — Business owners in Franklin County had plenty of tales to tell Tuesday as the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Red Tape Workshop.

The workshop is a forum being used to develop reform suggestions as part of incoming Gov. Paul LePage’s Red Tape Removal Audit.

“The governor wants to hear,” Dan Demeritt, a LePage transition team member and spokesman, told area business managers and owners here in one of several similar meetings being held around the state.

He wants to hear about “things that impede business growth” in Maine, he said.

For the next two hours, Demeritt and several local legislators heard from several of the nearly 50 who attended the early morning session at The Granary.

From abundant regulations that vary from employee to employee to duplication of state inspectors and the need for an “attitude adjustment” for Maine employees, local businesses quoted numerous examples of why the state is often described as not being business friendly.

There are some good people working for the state, but it can be adversarial at times, Granary owner Richard Griswold said, while suggesting state inspections be done by one person with a list to check rather than a barrage of inspectors.

Clarity on rules among departments and employees was one of the biggest issues voiced by Karen Thorndike, who, with her husband, Robert, runs Thorndike excavating in Phillips. An owner should be able to call a department and remain with an employee until an answer is given, she said.

“You can get three different answers depending on who answers the phone, and helpfulness is lacking,” she said.

She went on to describe auditors who didn’t know the equipment used by the business they were auditing, and time-consuming procedures to meet requirements by differing departments.

No one disputes that Maine needs regulations, but they should be ones available to everybody, Bill Berry of Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley said.

“Not in lawyer-ease but in plain language,” he said, describing how he’s witnessed Fire Marshal Office inspectors rudely interpreting the rules in different ways. “Every state employee should go through customer service training,” he added.

Agreeing that an attitude adjustment from top to bottom is needed, Darryl Brown from Main-Land Development Consultants in Livermore Falls also voiced concerns for timeliness on Department of Environmental Protection applications that can wait six months for a decision. He offered an example of a business and potential jobs lost during the wait.

A project, 30 years ago, compiled about two inches in paperwork, he said, holding a small stack. For comparison he lifted about 10 inches of paperwork representing what’s needed now.

To read the rest of the story on the Lewiston Sun Journal’s website, click here.

MEREDA Awards Darryl Brown and Main-Land Team for Public Policy Advocacy

Darryl Brown Receiving MEREDA Award

~The owner of the Livermore Falls based Main-Land Development Consultants receives award for his company’s commitment to educating Mainers about proposed changes to development law~

PORTLAND- The Livermore Falls businessman who organized opposition to proposed drastic reforms to Maine development law has been honored for his advocacy.

Darryl Brown, president/owner of the Livermore Falls based land planning firm Main-Land Development Consultants, was given the Public Policy Award from the Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA) at the organization’s annual conference and showcase held last week in Portland.

Brown was presented the award before a crowd of 500 plus people by Raymond Cota, president of MEREDA, a Portland based organization now in its 25th year whose mission is to promote an environment for responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout Maine.

While the annual Public Policy Award is given each year to a Mainer whose efforts have had a significant impact on public policy decisions for the benefit of the real estate industry in the state, the honor celebrates the entire Main-Land team’s commitment to the cause of working for reasonable development regulation.

Last winter, Brown, who founded Main-Land in 1974 and is a former state legislator, learned of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to update the Site Location of Development Law in a way he believed would drastically decelerate development in the state.

Had the revisions been enacted as proposed, they would have limited large scale non-residential development to designated zones or districts served by public sewer systems; mandated preservation of at least 55 percent of the land area in residential developments over 30 acres; prohibited the disturbances of slopes 20 percent or greater, severely slowing projects in Maine’s mountainous regions; and given the state the authority to review proposed project contractors.

Fearing the impact these restrictions would have on attracting and retaining growth in the state, Brown and his staff rapidly rallied to
educate Mainers and their elected representatives about the effect of the proposed changes through a seven-stop series of informational forums around central and western Maine, media outreach and a statewide letters to legislators campaign.

Their efforts resulted in a turnout of more than 100 concerned citizens packing a public hearing last April when the bill arrived in Augusta as LD 1268: The Act to Update the Site Location of Development Law. As a result of testimony heard that day and in subsequent work sessions that Brown and Main-Land staffers participated in, the version of the bill eventually approved eliminated many of its most limiting laws and ensured Maine would remain open to responsible development and the jobs and revenue it brings.

“After working so hard to build this business for the past 35 years, it was a huge risk to challenge a powerful state agency but as a citizen and a small business owner, I strongly believe that in these trying economic times, we should be encouraging investment in our communities, not legislatively preventing it,” Brown explained.

“I am proud that our work at Main-Land is being honored by MEREDA, but even more so that we helped to shape a powerful piece of legislation that reflects the needs of regulators and the real people who must live by their rules. While we may not all work in Augusta, we need to work to keep our voices heard there.”

In addition to Brown’s award, other honors handed out by MEREDA at the event included the President’s Award to Mark R. Bergeron, of Sevee & Maher Engineers in Cumberland; the Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award to David H. Cook, of AlliedCook Construction Corp. in Scarborough; and the Volunteer of the Year Award to Gary D. Vogel, of Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon in Portland.

ABOUT MAIN-LAND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANTS
Main-Land Development Consultants has been providing land use planning services including surveying, soils testing, mapping, engineering, permitting and wastewater design to both public and private projects throughout western Maine and beyond since 1974. The company, now in its 35th year, is based in Livermore Falls and can be found online at www.main-landdci.com. For more information, call (207) 897- 6752.

Main-Land Names Rick Dunton IT Director

The promotion is in conjunction with the launch of the firm’s new Web site

LIVERMORE FALLS- Main-Land Development Consultants has named Rick Dunton its first ever IT Director.

Dunton, a native of Rumford who graduated from Mountain Valley High School in 2002, began his professional career at the Livermore Falls land development firm as an intern while working toward his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine at Orono.

He started working full-time at Main-Land as an engineer in training and Project Manager upon his graduation in 2006 and will continue working in these roles while taking on the added responsibilities as IT Director.

Dunton’s promotion coincides with the launch of the new www.main-landdci.com, the firm’s Web site created by Fayette designer Heather Peel, founder of Foliage Web Design.

Seeking to be a far more user-friendly interface than its predecessor, the redesigned site features a comprehensive overview of Main-Land’s many land use planning related services, as well as an online client resource center, employee biographies, a gallery of completed projects and an interactive news blog.

In addition to overseeing the Web site redesign process and maintaining the blog, Dunton will also facilitate the integration of survey data collection and management with data storage and CAD drafting. In addition, he’ll maintain company CAD standards and make sure both the firm’s technology and its employees are kept current on the latest engineering, drafting and mapping software and other technology.

“While we are a small firm in rural Maine, we believe it is critical we offer our clients the same technological resources they’d find with a larger land planning practice. The creation of this IT Director position ensures that the latest technology in our industry is being integrated into our company in a way that makes us as efficient and effective as ever, while still providing the same personal service that has been the cornerstone of Main-Land’s success over the past 35 years,” said Darryl Brown, president of Main-Land Development Consultants.

“Because Rick also works as a project manager here designing, coordinating and guiding projects through completion, he understands the practical applications of the technology and how to make sure it is used most meaningfully for our employees and our clients.”

A member of the American Society of Civic Engineers, Dunton lives with his wife, Tricia, in Buckfield.

ABOUT MAIN-LAND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANTS
Main-Land Development Consultants has been providing land use planning services including surveying, soils testing, mapping, engineering, permitting, and wastewater design to both public and private projects throughout western Maine and beyond since 1974. The company, now in its 35th year, is based in Livermore Falls and can be found online at www.main-landdci.com. For more information, call (207) 897- 6752.