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MARCH 5, 2015

Cause of morning fire that leveled Dexter Shoe building unknown

LINCOLN – The state fire marshal’s office was not immediately able to determine the cause of a Feb. 27 fire that destroyed a Lee Road building due to the extensive damage caused by the blaze. The building at 121 Lee Road, known by some as the former Dexter Shoe building and more recently as an apartment building, was reduced to a pile of rubble as a result of the fire, which displaced six people and at least one dog, according to reports. The fire was first reported to dispatchers at about 3:13 a.m. on Feb. 27, according to Lincoln Public Safety Director Dan Summers by someone who lives near the building. Lincoln Police Sgt. Glenn Graef was able to confirm the fire and helped notify those inside the building of the fire.


Mattawamkeag residents to vote on sale of Troutt school on March 14

MATTAWAMKEAG – Residents will be asked on March 14 to sell the former Dr. Carl Troutt School to a Gorham developer, who has eyes on turning the former school into a wood pellet manufacturing facility. The meeting will start at noon and take place at the municipal building. Selectmen on Monday accepted one of two proposals offered by David Kidwell, according to John Whitehouse, chairman of the town’s board of selectmen, in an email message on Tuesday. The offer is to purchase the building and most of the property surrounding it, save for one lot and the baseball field, for $50,000, Whitehouse explained. Kidwell would pay two installments – $25,000 when the deal closes and $25,000 within one year of the closing date.


Lee students spend week visiting Chinese school

LEE – Three Lee Academy students and a teacher spent part of a January week learning and exploring life in a country halfway across the world. One of the students who participated in the trip, junior Amber Wilcoxson, will return to China in July as part of a group helping teach English to young students studying at the Lishui Foreign Language Experimental School. LA seniors Mallory Maxwell and Abbie Glidden, along with teacher Sue Linscott, spent a week in Lishui, China last month, completing an exchange between LA and the Chinese school that could open some larger doors later, Linscott explained.


Howland selectmen acting properly when abstaining on bypass project

HOWLAND – A member of the town’s board of selectmen has been acting appropriately by abstaining from board discussion and votes relating to the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s bypass channel project, it was revealed Monday night. Selectman Michael Harris has also not violated the board’s ethics policy nor is there a conflict of interest in regards to his potential participation in the removal of material from the channel construction site, Chairman Glenn Brawn related to the board and audience at Monday’s meeting. The board had contacted its attorney, Andrew Hamilton, regarding the matter, which was brought up by Selectman Tom Hunter at the board’s Feb. 17 meeting.


Boards endorse letters, promise info meetings

EAST MILLINOCKET – With Selectman Mark Marston objecting, the East Millinocket Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 to send a letter to the Maine Congressional Delegation declaring the town’s interest in being included in discussions regarding legislation that may create a national park in the Katahdin region. The letter, written by Board Chairman Mark Scally, was read aloud at the Monday board meeting by Selectman Clint Linscott. It says, in part “The Board of Selectmen for the town of East Millinocket wish to impress upon you our desire to be a part of the discussion regarding the proposed National Park in Northern Maine. We understand the many concerns of our congressional delegation, and hope that we may be part of the process in providing solutions so that the potential park will not only benefit the immediate area, but that of our nation as a whole. There is no doubt as to the potential positive economic impact the park would bring but also the morale boost it would provide to the area if done correctly.”


Former council chairman Davis tabbed as Millinocket’s new town manager

MILLINOCKET—A familiar face is returning to Millinocket to serve as the community’s chief administrator after the Town Council voted 5-1 last week to hire Harold R. “John” Davis as the new town manager. With Council Chairman Richard Angotti Jr. absent and Councilor Richard Theriault opposed, town leaders approved a two-year contract for Davis at an annual salary of $55,000 during Thursday’s regular council meeting. Davis, who served seven years on the Millinocket Town Council and was its chairman when he resigned from the municipal governing board in October 2013 to accept the position of town manager in the Aroostook County community of Frenchville, will begin his new duties on April 3 when Millinocket’s current town manager, Peggy Daigle, retires from the post she has held for the past two years.


New owners committed to repopulating shopping plaza

MILLINOCKET—Slightly more than two months after purchasing the Northern Shopping Plaza, the new owners of the Katahdin Region’s largest retail center are hard at work attracting new tenants to the vacant spaces in the Central Street plaza. JLP LLC purchased the shopping center from EnviroFinance Group in a real estate transaction that was filed Dec. 26 with the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds. Peter Hoffman, a member of JLP LLC, which is a Maine limited liability company, briefly addressed the Millinocket Town Council during its meeting last week when he thanked the community for welcoming him and his business associates as the new owners of the plaza.


Millinocket agrees to reduce GNP tax bill after receiving abatement request

MILLINOCKET—The town of Millinocket has agreed to lower Great Northern Paper’s fiscal year 2015 municipal tax bill by almost $400,000 after receiving an abatement request from the company. Millinocket Town Manager Peggy Daigle said Assessor Michael Noble granted a partial abatement reducing GNP’s tax obligation for the current fiscal year to $1 million from the $1,380,653 that was originally billed. In a letter dated Feb. 19 from Noble to Robert J. Desrosiers, managing director of compliance for Cate Street Capital, which is the management company of GNP, Noble stated he was “willing to adjust the value in accordance with the agreement between the town and GNP” dated June 13, 2014 and amended June 30, 2014 and July 3, 2014. Noble stated the adjustment reduced the company’s total taxable value to $33,783,800 resulting in a total tax liability of $1 million. Daigle said Millinocket has yet to receive any tax payments from the company for the current fiscal year so GNP owes the entire $1 million adjusted tax liability plus accrued interest.