Andy Cutko, BCDI Board Member
Now in its seventh year, the Bowdoinham Community Development Initiative is still a relatively young organization. BCDI is a registered non-profit with a paid Program Manager and an active, engaged, and rotating Board of local citizens. Many town residents first learned about BCDI through our innovative loan program, while others gained some exposure to us through our Village Community Conversations in 2017.
As more town residents hear of BCDI’s various activities, some ask, ‘What’s the relationship between BCDI and Bowdoinham’s municipal government?’ BCDI was founded by local citizens who recognized a need to support private sector enterprises, such as small farms and entrepreneurs, in a way that complements the Town’s important role in bolstering economic development. Our ‘Neighbors Investing in Neighbors’ loan program fills that unique niche and is a cornerstone of BCDI. As an independent organization, BCDI is also well positioned to bring together residents to discuss key issues (farmland, village development) in a variety of settings, from informal kitchen table discussions to broader public meetings. BCDI recognizes that alignment and support of Town functions, plans, and committees is vital, including the Community Development and Advisory Committee (CDAC), Town Comprehensive Plan, and Waterfront Committee. To this end, BCDI representatives meet regularly with Town staff and committee members to ensure that our efforts are complementary. While BCDI has received town funding in a few past years, BCDI currently receives no public funding; our financial support is provided by membership contributions, local businesses, and private grantors including the Sewall Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, and New England Grassroots Fund.
Above all, BCDI is here to support a healthy and thriving community, and we are always open to new ideas and creative inspiration. If you have specific questions or feedback about BCDI, we want to hear from you! Feel free to contact Ingrid, our Program Manager, or one of our Board members. We look forward to crossing paths in town.