Love the Way You Look with Medical Weight Loss from Med Matrix

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Semaglutide Weight Loss in Cumberland, ME

The average person in America lives a busy life - from work obligations and last-minute meetings to dinner prep and soccer practice, it's hard to stay healthy. That's especially true when fast - but nutritionally deficient - food options are available around every corner. Who has the time and money to source and prep healthy foods three times a day, seven days a week? It's much easier to swing by the local burger joint and put in an order that will be ready in minutes. Unfortunately, prioritizing convenience over healthy living can lead to weight gain and serious health problems like:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • ED
  • Sleep Apnea

Aside from the aesthetic hurdles that come with being overweight, like poorly fitting clothes, the health consequences are quite serious. Obesity puts your life at risk. When you let your weight go for too long, it's hard to go back. As time goes by, the risk of developing life-altering health problems increases.

If you're sick of feeling sluggish and being overweight, you're not alone. Millions of people try to shed lbs. every year to combat the negative effects of weight gain. Unfortunately, many fall for fad diets, yo-yo eating, and “programs” that prioritize quick weight loss. When relying on these methods, it's not uncommon to gain weight instead of losing it. The truth is that effective weight loss should be led by a physician and supplemented with FDA-approved medicines.

That's where semaglutide and medical weight loss plans from Med Matrix make a lot of sense. Semaglutide is a safe, doctor-prescribed GLP-1 medication that can bridge the gap between obesity and life at a healthy weight.

GLP-1 Weight Loss Cumberland, ME

Wondering weight loss plan from Med Matrix

Semaglutide weight loss in Cumberland, ME, has proven to be remarkably effective in supporting individuals who are starting their weight loss journey. When combined with a personalized, comprehensive weight loss plan from Med Matrix, semaglutide can also help keep that unwanted weight off for good.

Discover the New You with a Medical Weight Loss Plan from Med Matrix

At Med Matrix, our physicians believe in losing weight the healthy way. We are not proponents of sketchy fad diets or experimental supplements. Instead, we focus on creating custom weight loss plans that are fulfilling and easy to follow. Every semaglutide patient gets a monthly, complimentary body composition scan to make sure you're getting safe and genuine results. If we notice that you're regressing or not hitting the benchmarks needed to accomplish your goals, we adjust your plan.

Because, at the end of the day, you're not just a number at Med Matrix. You're a person who deserves their best interests considered. That's why we monitor all our patients thoroughly to ensure success in all of our programs. We're not here to sell you the new hot fad - rather, we provide valuable solutions for your personal health goals. Semaglutide is a valuable tool in weight loss; however, we will be there first to tell you when there are better options.

 Medical Weight Loss Cumberland, ME

Med Matrix Does Medical Weight Loss Right

Getting started with semaglutide weight loss is an easy 3-4-step process:

Intake Forms

Fill Out Your Intake Forms

Take a few minutes to swing by our office in South Cumberland or download your intake forms and fill them out. Once we receive them back, we'll determine if our medical weight loss program is a good fit for you.

Body Scanned

Have Your Body Scanned

The next step is to visit our weight loss clinic to undergo a body composition scan. During this scan, we'll learn more about your body and the struggles you've had with weight loss. This scan is a crucial step in developing your custom plan for medical weight loss in Cumberland, ME.

Weight-Loss-Physician.png

Meet with a Medical Weight Loss Physician

A meeting with a Med Matrix team member is up next. This meeting allows us to optimize your semaglutide weight loss plan. You can complete this meeting virtually from the comfort of your couch, or you can visit our weight loss clinic in Cumberland. Note: You can complete steps 2 and 3 during the same visit.

Weight-Loss-Program

Begin Your Medical Weight Loss Program

Once your body composition is completed and you've met with a member of our team, it's time to take the first step toward healthy living. As part of your weight loss plan, we'll monitor your progress and consult with our patient success registered nurses to ensure you're successful.

Semaglutide Explained: An Effective Tool for Safe Weight Loss

Semaglutide is an innovative medication used at Med Matrix that represents a significant advancement in the field of weight loss. Acting as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, semaglutide imitates the effects of the naturally occurring GLP-1 hormone in your body. That hormone is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and appetite.

By stimulating the GLP-1 receptors in the brain, semaglutide aids in reducing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness, resulting in decreased caloric intake. It also slows down stomach emptying and helps control blood sugar better. When you're prescribed semaglutide and you try to overeat, your body sends a signal that says, “That's enough.”

Semaglutide has proven to be a game-changer among anti-obesity medications. In a study of 2,000 obese adults, those using semaglutide alongside a diet and exercise program lost significantly more weight compared to those who only made lifestyle changes. With half of the participants losing 15% of their body weight and nearly a third losing 20%, it's clear that semaglutide is a powerful tool in the fight against obesity.

While it's important to note that the fundamentals of obesity management will always be changes to diet and exercise, having access to effective anti-obesity medications like semaglutide can be a crucial part of a comprehensive treatment plan, depending on the individual's clinical history.

 Medical Weigth Loss Practice Cumberland, ME

Semaglutide, also known as Wegovy for chronic weight management in patients without type 2 diabetes, can be used off-label as Ozempic for weight loss. It is intended for adults with obesity (BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater). It's also used for overweight adults (BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater) who also have weight-related health conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, or obstructive sleep apnea.

If you're unsure whether you qualify for semaglutide injections, contact Med Matrix today to learn more.

 Semaglutide Weight Loss Center Cumberland, ME

Semaglutide is an anti-obesity medication specifically designed to assist individuals struggling to manage and reduce their body weight as a treatment for obesity. It should only be prescribed to those who are clinically diagnosed as obese and are having difficulty losing weight through diet and exercise alone. Prior to starting treatment with semaglutide, it is crucial to inform your provider at Med Matrix about all your medical conditions, prescription drugs, supplements, and allergies to minimize the risk of potential drug interactions or severe side effects.

If you have any of the following conditions, you may not qualify for semaglutide treatment:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • High Triglycerides
  • Issues with Gallbladder
  • Family History of Pancreatitis
GLP-1 Weight Loss Cumberland, ME

Semaglutide works best when it's combined with lifestyle changes, regular exercise, and monitored medical weight loss in Cumberland, ME. When prescribed by a doctor and taken correctly, semaglutide affects your weight through two actions: appetite regulation and blood sugar management.

 Medical Weight Loss Cumberland, ME
Appetite Regulation

Semaglutide significantly affects appetite by engaging with GLP-1 receptors in the brain, specifically in your hypothalamus. By binding to these receptors, semaglutide sends signals to your brain to decrease appetite and suppress cravings. As a result, patients using semaglutide typically experience decreased hunger and increased satisfaction from smaller meals. Gone are the days of binge eating at buffets or taking extra helpings despite being full. Furthermore, semaglutide decelerates the rate at which the stomach releases its contents into the small intestine, leading to prolonged feelings of fullness after eating and ultimately reducing the desire to consume more food.

 Medical Weight Loss Clinci Cumberland, ME
Management of Blood Sugar

Semaglutide stimulates your pancreas to release insulin, a crucial hormone that transports glucose from your bloodstream into cells for energy utilization. By facilitating this process, semaglutide effectively maintains stable blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of sudden energy fluctuations that trigger high-calorie food cravings. Semaglutide also inhibits the production of glucagon, a hormone responsible for elevating your blood sugar levels. By keeping your blood sugar levels steady, semaglutide helps mitigate hunger pangs that are often caused by low blood sugar.

By now, you understand that semaglutide can be a key tool in your weight loss toolbox. But you may be wondering, “Are there any extra benefits of taking semaglutide?”

01.Improves Your Metabolic Health

Semaglutide not only aids in weight loss but also lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by enhancing the body's insulin utilization, reducing inflammation, and improving cholesterol levels.

02.Allows You to Lose Weight Safely and Gradually

You've probably seen fad diets come and go that promote quick weight loss with minimal work. Semaglutide is not one of those products. Semaglutide weight loss in Cumberland, ME, works by decreasing appetite and cravings, as well as slowing down digestion. This process helps you stick to a low-calorie diet without cheating. It also helps to reduce fat accumulation in your body, leading to safe and gradual weight loss.

03.Helps Keep Weight Off Long-Term

Semaglutide stands out from other weight loss medications because it has been proven to support sustained weight loss when used with a healthy diet and lifestyle. That's true even after treatment has ended, unlike other medications, which only work while they're in your system.

04.Minimal Side Effects

Generally speaking, the side effects associated with taking semaglutide are well tolerated. The most common side effects include nausea, headaches, and constipation. Typically, these side effects are mild and can be effectively managed through lifestyle adjustments or over-the-counter medications.

05.Easy Application, No Surgery or Pills

Semaglutide injections are taken on a once-a-week dosing schedule, making it an attractive option for people with busy schedules. Semaglutide studies also show that it can be more effective than chronic weight loss meds that require daily dosing. Unlike procedures such as gastric bypass, there is no surgery or recovery times associated with semaglutide weight loss. This makes it a popular choice for patients who don't want to go under the knife and for patients who haven't had success with other weight loss strategies.

 Medical Weigth Loss Practice Cumberland, ME

5 Easy Ways to Maximize Semaglutide Weight Loss in Cumberland, ME

If there's one type of investment you should consider, it's an investment in your health. Many patients consider semaglutide an investment in their future but wonder about the ways they can maximize that investment. Now that you know more about the nuances of semaglutide and how it works in your body, let's look at a few ways you can maximize its impact.

 Semaglutide Weight Loss Center Cumberland, ME

Enjoy Every Bite of Food

Taking the time to enjoy your food is good advice across the board, but especially when you're taking semaglutide. Remember to take your time and savor each bite. If you're prone to eating fast, try to slow down. Use this opportunity to develop mindful eating habits. Allowing your brain to register that you're consuming food helps you feel satisfied with smaller portions.

GLP-1 Weight Loss Cumberland, ME

Eat Smaller Portions More Often

To maximize the effectiveness of semaglutide, try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This approach helps to control your blood sugar levels and can minimize the risk of stomach discomfort. By eating smaller, more frequent meals, you can also benefit from a sustained feeling of fullness, all while eating less.

 Medical Weight Loss Cumberland, ME

Eat Highly Nutritious Foods

When incorporating semaglutide into your routine, it's important to focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods that are easy on the digestive system. It's best to steer clear of heavy, processed, and sugary foods. Instead, opt for wholesome options such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like eggs, nuts, and legumes to keep you feeling full and energized.

 Medical Weight Loss Clinci Cumberland, ME

Avoid Alcohol Use

While taking semaglutide, it is advisable to reduce or completely avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol intake can increase the risk of pancreatitis and lead to fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.

 Medical Weigth Loss Practice Cumberland, ME

Drink Water Throughout the Day

Staying well-hydrated is essential, particularly when taking semaglutide. It's recommended to consume a minimum of 80 ounces of water every day to minimize the risk of experiencing nausea. Using convenient free mobile apps on your smart devices can help you easily monitor and maintain your hydration levels.

 Semaglutide Weight Loss Center Cumberland, ME
Stay Active, Not Sedentary
GLP-1 Weight Loss Cumberland, ME

Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine is important for your overall health, regardless of whether you're on a medical weight loss plan. Staying active with movement and exercise not only supports your weight loss efforts but also helps keep weight off long-term. If you work in an office environment where you sit a lot, try stretching and going outside on your break. Walking is a simple yet powerful way to increase your activity levels. Plus, you can keep up with your progress by using a step counter on your smartphone or watch.

Maintain a Balanced Diet
 Medical Weight Loss Cumberland, ME

Semaglutide is known to support gradual and healthy weight loss. We're talking about one to two pounds per week. As such, it's smart to avoid rapid weight loss by fasting or other methods. Losing weight fast can raise your risk of developing gallstones. It's best to take a slow and steady approach with a well-rounded diet consisting of 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. Of course, every person is different. At Med Matrix, we'll evaluate your needs and recommend how many calories you should consume based on your body and weight loss goals.

Take the First Step Toward Healthy Living Today

At Med Matrix, we're proud and excited to provide semaglutide weight loss in Cumberland, ME. Our doctors have seen remarkable results from our medical weight loss program, and we believe you can make a transformation, too. We're passionate about helping you reach your weight loss goals because doing so helps you lead a happier, healthier life.

If you're on the fence about medical weight loss, this is your sign. Don't wait until it's too late. Now is the time to change your life for the better, and Med Matrix is here to help. Together, we can make your wellness and weight loss goals a reality. Contact our office today to learn more about semaglutide and whether you're a good candidate for medical weight loss treatment.

Request a Consultation

Latest News in Cumberland, ME

Cumberland town councilors will not seek reelection

Cumberland Town Councilors Mark Segrist, Shirley Storey-King and Ronald Copp will not seek re-election for one at-large council seat in the June 11 election.Mark Franco, Tanner Storey, and Denise Thorsson will vie for one at-large council seat next month. Franco is a lifelong Maine resident with a double-major degree from Bowdoin College in economics and government and legal studies. He and his family moved from Falmouth to Cumberland in 2017, and Franco has served on the board of the Val Halla Golf Association and as president of the...

Cumberland Town Councilors Mark Segrist, Shirley Storey-King and Ronald Copp will not seek re-election for one at-large council seat in the June 11 election.

Mark Franco, Tanner Storey, and Denise Thorsson will vie for one at-large council seat next month. Franco is a lifelong Maine resident with a double-major degree from Bowdoin College in economics and government and legal studies. He and his family moved from Falmouth to Cumberland in 2017, and Franco has served on the board of the Val Halla Golf Association and as president of the VHGA.

Storey is a fourth-generation Cumberland resident who says he is seeking election to give back to the community that has “welcomed and served” his family for nearly a century.

“I want to help Cumberland continue to grow in a sustainable and fiscally responsible manner without sacrificing the unique rural charm surrounding us,” Storey said in his Meet the Candidates bio on the town website.

Thorsson is an Air Force veteran who moved to Cumberland with her family in 2022. She is currently a Cumberland/North Yarmouth Lions Club member, and regularly attends town meetings and workshops.

Town Councilor West

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Helene DiBartolomeo and Geoffrey Michalak are competing for one Town Councilor West seat in the June election. DiBartolomeo previously served as the town finance director.

“Now that the town manager is retiring, I believe it’s important to have as many town councilors as possible who are well versed in town business,” DiBartolomeo said in her Meet the Candidates bio.

Michalak was born and raised in Cumberland, and has continued to reside in Cumberland most of his adult life. He has a degree in industrial management from the University of Southern Maine, and worked for the town of Cumberland’s Public Works and Fire departments while attending college.

Town Councilor Foreside

Andrew Magoun and George Turner are running for one Town Councilor Foreside seat next month. Magoun moved to Cumberland from Washington, D.C., in 2012, where he spent nine years as an intelligence analyst with the Department of Defense. He is a board member of the Portland Parks Conservancy.

Turner has extensive council experience, having served in Cumberland as a member of the Lands and Conservation Commission, Coastal Waters Commission and the Planning Board.

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SAD 51 School Board

Jeffery DiBartolomeo, Jesse Lamarre-Vincent, Abraham Suresh and Sean Thurston will vie for two seats on the SAD 51 School Board this June.

DiBartolomeo moved to Cumberland in 2019 with his family. He is a finance professor at USM and the father of a Greely student. In his Meet the Candidates bio, DiBartolomeo said he firmly believes that all community members and stakeholders should have a say in the direction of the school district.

Lamarre-Vincent has lived in Cumberland since 2017, and has two children in the SAD 51 district. He is a member of the town’s Lands and Conservation Commission, Sustainability Committee and chair of the Cumberland Community Orchard Subcommittee.

Suresh has been a resident of Maine for 25 years, with the last 14 in Cumberland. He works for the U.S. Postal Service and has two adult daughters who graduated from Maine schools. Suresh is passionate about volunteering, and currently volunteers for his church and for the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust.

“As an immigrant, I am very happy to have enjoyed the wonderful ‘American Dream’ that this country offers,” Suresh wrote for his Meet the Candidates bio. “I would love to continue to see that same dream enjoyed by this community’s children.”

Sean Thurston was born and raised in Cumberland and is a retired member of the Coast Guard. His daughter attends Mabel I. Wilson School. Thurston runs a small business in the local area.

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Once again, Cumberland and York counties taking brunt of major storm

Southern Maine areas still recovering from an icy late March storm are taking a pounding again today, with nearly half of all Cumberland County residents without power and some roads in York County impassable.And while the March 23 storm iced-over power lines and tree limbs, this time the danger is heavy, wet snow that is predicted to fall for several more hours.“We’re asking people to stay off the roads if possible,” said York County EMA Deputy Director Megan Arsenault. “We’re getting multiple rep...

Southern Maine areas still recovering from an icy late March storm are taking a pounding again today, with nearly half of all Cumberland County residents without power and some roads in York County impassable.

And while the March 23 storm iced-over power lines and tree limbs, this time the danger is heavy, wet snow that is predicted to fall for several more hours.

“We’re asking people to stay off the roads if possible,” said York County EMA Deputy Director Megan Arsenault. “We’re getting multiple reports from first responders that live wires are on the roads. Many roads are impassable.”

In Cumberland County, just under half of Central Maine Power customers were without power on Thursday, a number similar to the March storm, said EMA Director Michael Durkin.

He said “911 calls are in the hundreds” and urged people to stay off the roads if they can.

Durkin warned that conditions could change in a few hours.

“Five to six hours from now it could be different,” he said. “The big thing is to have folks stay home unless they have to go out.”

Durkin also recommended following local towns on social media, checking the state’s website to see if warming centers are open and calling 211 for non-emergency help.

Thursday’s powerful spring nor’easter is just the latest severe storm to knock out power to thousands across the state during an unusual and unpredictable five months.

A major rain and windstorm Dec. 18 knocked out power to more than 400,000 CMP customers and nearly 100,000 Versant Power customers. Some of them waited days to get power back as line crews responded to tree limbs and other hazards, including severe flooding of several major rivers.

Businesses in downtown Hallowell and Gardiner suffered extensive damage as did buildings in Skowhegan and Bethel, where road washouts made travel difficult for days.

Then in January, coastal towns faced nearly back-to-back storms that came at high tide, surging water into buildings and homes and destroying vital fishing wharves and docks.

The December and January storms caused so much damage that the federal government declared them disasters, unlocking millions in federal funds to help cities, towns and residents recover.

And while the Thursday spring snowstorm has knocked out power to thousands once again, it is not expected to cause severe damage.

It’s also not likely to be one for the record books — at least not in Portland, said Stephen Baron, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray.

The daily snowfall record for April 4 is 6.4 inches set in 1915, he said. So far, the city’s gotten 4 inches and temperatures are rising.

“Maybe they could get two more?” he said. “But it’s going to be hard to accumulate.”

Cumberland woman kept quiet about her talent as a kid. Now, she’s singing on ‘American Idol’

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For much of her young life, Julia Gagnon didn’t share her gift for singing because she didn’t want to stand out among her classmates in Maine. The Guatemala native says she’d been bullied and harassed for her looks and background, and that made her want to be quiet and blend in.

WHAT: Two public watch parties for Julia Gagnon of Cumberland, who’ll be appearing on ABC’s “American Idol.”

WHERE: Bicentennial Learning Commons at North Yarmouth Academy, 148 Main St., Yarmouth; The Quarry Tap Room, 122 Water St., Hallowell.

WHEN: The Yarmouth event starts at 7 p.m. Sunday. The episode is scheduled to air 8-10 p.m., but people can arrive at The Quarry Tap Room earlier.

WHAT ELSE: Gagnon plans to be at the Yarmouth event when it starts, then later sing at the Hallowell event. The show can be seen locally on Portland TV station WMTW, Channel 8, as well as on streaming services offering ABC programming.

But on Sunday night, Gagnon, 21, will be seen sharing her vocal passion and talent with the whole world on the televised singing competition “American Idol.” She’s doing it, in large part, to share a special moment and journey with her birth mother in Guatemala, Sara Ramos, who is seriously ill and fighting an infection.

“ ‘American Idol’ being such a big international thing, I know this was something she could see me do and that I could share with her,” said Gagnon, who lives in Cumberland with her adoptive parents, Meg and Jim Gagnon.

Gagnon auditioned for “American Idol” in Nashville in the fall, and her performance will appear on Sunday’s episode, airing from 8-10 p.m. on ABC. A video of her audition, showing all three celebrity judges giving her a standing ovation, has been used in online promotions for the current season of the show, but was recently taken down. For her audition, Gagnon performed a powerful version of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” and was praised by judge Lionel Richie in the video.

On Sunday’s episode, viewers will find out if Gagnon gets eliminated or gets the “golden ticket” to the next round of the show’s competition in Hollywood. During the Hollywood competitions, a field of about 150 singers will be whittled down to 24 finalists, who will be flown to Hawaii and compete against each other for the rest of the season. The current season began on Feb. 18, with several episodes showing auditions, but the final episode date has not been announced.

Courtesy of American Idol and Fremantle

Gagnon didn’t feel comfortable singing in public until she was in middle school and her class at North Yarmouth Academy was putting on a talent show. She thought it would be fun and chose to sing “Popular” from the musical “Wicked” because she had just seen it on Broadway. Her performance impressed classmates and stunned her teachers, including her chorus teacher, Nora Krainis, who had never really heard Gagnon sing because she usually lip-synched so she wouldn’t draw attention to herself.

“When she finally sang for me, I was blown away. She had this deep, ancient, mature voice. I don’t think she had any idea what she had,” Krainis said. “Once I heard her sing I wanted to create every opportunity for her to sing in concerts or in drama. But I’d check with her mom (Meg Gagnon) regularly to make sure I wasn’t pushing her into anything she didn’t want to do.”

Gagnon sang in high school concerts and musicals but then stopped singing when the pandemic hit and she entered Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. After three years there, she wanted to come home to Maine and enrolled at the University of Southern Maine, where she is a senior majoring in history and is on a pre-law track.

Her first summer back in Maine, in 2023, she heard about a competition called Central Maine Idol, which is modeled after “American Idol” and held at The Quarry Tap Room in Hallowell. Gagnon had watched a friend compete in it and realized she missed singing. So she entered and won the contest’s $10,000 prize.

Gagnon said she only sings songs she emotionally connects to. Two of the songs she sang during Central Maine Idol were “Show Yourself” from “Frozen” and “Stand Up” by English soul singer Cynthia Erivo.

“From the moment she belted out her first note, we knew we had a very special contestant with an amazing talent,” said Brian Root, of Winthrop, one of the Central Maine Idol’s producers. “Every week, Julia brought people out of their seats with standing ovations. She’s all in with every song she sings.”

Gagnon will be busy Sunday night, attending two watch parties in her honor. She’ll be at the first one, at North Yarmouth Academy, around 7 p.m. Her parents will stay there while she travels to the other party at The Quarry Tap Room, hopefully arriving about halfway through the episode. She’ll sing for the gathering as well.

“It’s so sweet, so nice of people to do this for us,” Gagnon said of the watch parties.

Gagnon said winning Central Maine Idol gave her the confidence to try out for “American Idol.” She said she had told her birth mother about the win and could sense she was proud. But Gagnon thought “American Idol” would be something her birth mother could take part in with her, by watching.

Gagnon only found her birth family when she was 18 and has kept in touch. She said it’s given her “a new appreciation for my real parents,” who adopted her and have raised her. Gagnon’s long-term plans have involved going to law school and, because of her personal history, practicing family law.

But she said her experience so far with “American Idol” has made her think about the possibility of doing something more with music. The show’s judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, have all had successful careers in music.

“It has crossed my mind, to take this opportunity and possibly do something more for myself with my music,” said Gagnon. “Yeah, I definitely have some newfound dreams.”

Cumberland Voters to Weigh In On Controversial Drowne Road Affordable Housing Proposal

On March 5, voters in the Town of Cumberland are set to weigh in on a controversial proposal to construct a 107-unit affordable housing development on the municipally-owned land located on Drowne Road.As the day of the vote draws closer, brightly colored lawn signs have begun to crop up throughout the town, vehemently advocating both for and against the affordable housing proposal.Of the 107 units slated for construction, there would be 71 one-bedroom apartments, 21 two-bedrooms, and 15 three-bedrooms. 36 of the one-bedroom uni...

On March 5, voters in the Town of Cumberland are set to weigh in on a controversial proposal to construct a 107-unit affordable housing development on the municipally-owned land located on Drowne Road.

As the day of the vote draws closer, brightly colored lawn signs have begun to crop up throughout the town, vehemently advocating both for and against the affordable housing proposal.

Of the 107 units slated for construction, there would be 71 one-bedroom apartments, 21 two-bedrooms, and 15 three-bedrooms. 36 of the one-bedroom units are to be reserved for senior citizens.

As it is currently designed, all 36 senior units would be in one building, while the remaining apartments would be split between two additional buildings.

The project also includes plans to construct an entrance and exit for the development on Tuttle Road in order to discourage the excess traffic from being funneled through the existing neighborhood.

Eligible to rent in the development would be households earning less than 60 percent of the area median incomes (AMI), which falls between $49,740 and $70,980 depending upon the size of the household.

One-bedroom units would be available for $1,332 a month, two-bedrooms for $1,597, three-bedrooms for $1,647.

If approved, the Drowne Road Project would be built on the land that currently houses two town-owned baseball fields used by Cumberland North Yarmouth Little League (CNYLL).

Should the project go forward, the team would “swap” the two Drowne Road fields for “a plot large enough to accommodate a 4-field complex at Stiles Way,” according to a public statement provided by the CNYLL.

The project is estimated to raise the town’s annual non-educational expenses by $24,248.

According to figures provided by the town, Cumberland’s per pupil expenses are $16,230. Westbrook Development Corporation — the developers responsible for the project — have suggested that as many as 36 children could ultimately end up living in the Drowne Road apartments.

Click Here to Read the Town of Cumberland’s FAQ Document for the Project

While supporters of the project have lauded it as a way to increase affordable housing and help those who work in Cumberland to afford to live there, opponents raised concerns about the impact it would have on existing taxpayers, as well as the town’s education system.

Those who already live on or near Drowne Road have also voiced worries about the possibility of increased vehicular traffic to the area as a result of the development.

The Portland Press Herald has published a series of letters from Cumberland residents expressing both support for and opposition to the 107-unit proposal.

“Some have voiced objections to the project, fearing higher taxes and more traffic, among other complaints,” wrote Richard Wolfe of Cumberland. “But almost no one has disputed the need for affordable housing. Shouldn’t housing be the priority?”

“Yes, let’s keep trying to contain taxes and provide better tax credits/assistance, but don’t let aversion to taxes torpedo a worthy cause (especially when, for years, houses got built that brought in families with schoolchildren),” Wolfe said.

“Like many residents, I initially had reservations about the proposed affordable housing project on Drowne Road,” wrote another Cumberland resident, Eleanor Wright. “Concerns about taxes, schools and traffic were swirling in my mind.”

“However, I took the initiative to address these concerns head-on,” Wright continued. “Community meeting recordings and articles in the Town Crier provided reassuring answers. Visiting the site on Drowne Road helped me visualize how the three-story buildings would seamlessly blend into the landscape.”

“Most importantly, my niece’s words made an impact. She emphasized the need for denser housing to conserve energy and resources, especially in light of climate change and recent extreme weather events,” Wright’s letter said. “As I envision a sustainable future for my grandchildren, her perspective resonated deeply.”

“[I] support new approaches encouraging the development of affordable housing in town,” wrote Rick Doane, a Cumberland resident and former member of Cumberland’s Affordable Housing Task Force. “Unfortunately, I can’t support the proposed 107-unit Drowne Road affordable housing project in its current form.”

“This project has been rushed through by the Town Council without real scrutiny or negotiation, too many unanswered questions exist and it’s simply too big for its proposed location,” Doane wrote.

“Beyond basic issues like traffic, impact on the town forest and school crowding, there are three major issues needing attention that argue against approving this project at this time,” Doane’s letter said, pointing toward “tax impacts,” “replacement Little League fields,” and “a silent ‘Phase 2.'”

“We need affordable housing in Cumberland, but this project fails too many important tests,” Doane concluded. “It deserves to be sent back to the council for genuine, public evaluation, not pushed through to check a box. An affordable housing project on Drowne Road could work, but this is not it.”

“Nearly all of the Cumberland citizens who have spoken out against the location, design and process for this project have also made clear they do not oppose the concept of providing affordable housing in Cumberland,” wrote David Niklaus, Cumberland resident and retired city administrator in Minneapolis and Boston. “This project is the wrong project in the wrong location.”

“It will bring more kids into the overcrowded Cumberland schools and will seriously disrupt peaceful and settled neighborhoods in the area that were built according to the town plan,” Niklaus wrote. “It will also provide substantial negative impact on the town budget for the library, public safety and all public services leading to tax increases.”

Affordable housing has been a topic of discussion in Maine for some time now, particularly with the release of the state’s Housing Production Needs Study this past fall, which found that approximately 84,000 more homes will be needed in the state by 2030.

Many municipal-level discussions of affordable housing have centered around a 2022 state law requiring that a number of amendments be made to local zoning ordinances in the name of improving affordable housing access.

Among the changes mandated by LD 2003An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions — were the unconditional allowance of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on residential housing lots and the implementation of an “affordable housing density bonus” that automatically multiplies the maximum allowed density for an area by 2.5 times for qualified affordable housing developments.

[RELATED: Cape Elizabeth Brings Zoning Ordinances into Compliance with State-Mandated Affordable Housing Requirements]

Six of seven members of the Cumberland Town Council voted to put final approval of the Drowne Road Project before residents as a referendum.

The question presented to voters on March 5 will read:

Shall the Town Council accept the proposal from Westbrook Development Corporation dated November 2, 2023, and subsequent site plan proposals for the development of 107 affordable housing units to be constructed on Town-owned property located off Drowne Road adjacent to Town Hall?

Cumberland’s Shane exemplifies ‘good local government and what it can be’

File photo / The ForecasterCumberland Town Manager Bill Shane will miss his day-to-day talks about the town with his staff when he retires in June.“We have some of the most talented staff here in Cumberland,” he said. “I couldn’t have been the manager I have been without the staff I have here. They’re amazing.”He’ll also find it difficult to step away from his role as founder and leader of the Cumberland Community Food Pantry, where he has volunteered alongside his wife Li...

File photo / The Forecaster

Cumberland Town Manager Bill Shane will miss his day-to-day talks about the town with his staff when he retires in June.

“We have some of the most talented staff here in Cumberland,” he said. “I couldn’t have been the manager I have been without the staff I have here. They’re amazing.”

He’ll also find it difficult to step away from his role as founder and leader of the Cumberland Community Food Pantry, where he has volunteered alongside his wife Linda Shane for 12 years.

“It’s special. That’ll be one of the hardest things to walk away from,” Shane said. “But I don’t want to be the guy who doesn’t know when to leave.”

Shane’s retirement announcement this month after 21 years on the job wasn’t a big surprise. He’d told the Town Council three years ago his new contract would be his last. The council is currently searching for Shane’s replacement.

“We are going to miss working with Bill when he takes his much-deserved retirement, but are also so very grateful to have had him at the helm for the past two decades,” Council Chair Mark Segrist said.

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“While I have only had the pleasure of working with Bill for the last few years, I can honestly say that he strengthened my view of and appreciation for good local government and what it can be,” he said.

As both an engineer and a town manager, Shane is a hands-on problem solver who also has the ability to communicate complicated problems in a friendly, light and easy-to-understand way, Segrist said.

A graduate of the University of Maine, Shane began his career as a civil engineer working for the town of Yarmouth, and transitioned into town management in 2003.

In Cumberland, Shane helped facilitate the secession of Chebeague Island, boosted the town’s commercial development by over 7% and preserved open green space and trail systems.

Shane said he’s looking forward to slowing down, spending more time with his four granddaughters, and focusing on his health during retirement.

While he plans to work at least part-time in a field like civil engineering for the next few years, Shane doesn’t know what else is next.

“I might be kicked out to the golf course every morning and my wife will say, ‘Don’t come home until 5!’” he joked.

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