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APRIL 23, 2015

June 9 vote set for purchase of RSU 67 central office

LINCOLN – A vote on whether to take $100,000 from Regional School Unit 67’s central office has been officially set for June 9 following a unanimous board vote on April 15. A public hearing on June 2 at 6 p.m. to discuss the referendum question was also approved by the board at its April 15 meeting. One planned alternative became unavailable last week following the RSU 67 board’s vote to retain MA’s technology education program as part of the district’s proposed 2015-2016 budget. RSU 67 and its successor, School Administrative District 67, have been leasing space in a 57 Main Street building owned by David Wright, once home to a Western Auto store, for the past 10 years, paying $3,000 per month. The district is looking to purchase the 57 Main Street building using money from its capital reserve fund, which requires voter approval.

Blood drive to honor spirit of Abby Edwards set for July 13

LINCOLN – Abby Edwards has been blessed with a large network of family and friends who have helped her as she deals with cancer. A blood drive on her behalf has been scheduled for July 13 from 1-6 p.m. at Northern Penobscot Tech Region Three’s headquarters on West Broadway in Lincoln. Drive organizers are hoping for 65 units of blood to be donated at the event, with a series of enticements and prizes available. Those donating blood at the drive will receive a T-shirt, an “Abby Strong” bracelet and will have a chance to win two Boston Red Sox tickets, which also includes a chance to be honored on the field at Fenway Park as the “Blood Donor of the Game,” according to organizers. Appointments can be scheduled in advance by calling1-800-RED CROSS or at www.redcross.org, noted Jeannine Gardner, a Red Cross account manager for donor recruitment.

MA to stage “Every 15 Minutes” program next week

LINCOLN – Mattanawcook Academy students will receive a reminder of the perils of drinking and driving while distracted during the school’s “Every 15 Minutes” program, set for April 30 and May 1. The program will include several law enforcement and first responders, particularly on April 30, when a fatal mock car crash will claim the lives of two students, with two other students injured and a fifth arrested and charged in the matter. Lights and sirens will be flashing and audible for the event, according to organizers, who are asking the public to not be alarmed when vehicles respond to MA starting at about 11:15 a.m. on April 30. The program is held every two years at MA and those interested in donating can  make checks payable to Mattanawcook Academy, with Every 15 Minutes noted in the memo line. The donations can be mailed to Mattanawcook Academy, attention Every 15 Minutes, 33 Reed Drive, Lincoln, ME 04457.

Area legislators to host community forums on proposed state budget

KATAHDIN REGION—Area residents will have an opportunity to meet with state legislators Saturday to learn more about potential impacts of Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed biennial state budget. State Sen. James Dill, D-Penobscot, along with Rep. Stephen Stanley, D-Medway, and Rep. Beth Turner, R-Burlington, will take part in a forum from 10 a.m. to noon at Medway Middle School. Later that day, Dill and Stanley will host a second forum from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Charles Sanders Council Chambers at the Millinocket Municipal Building. Dill, who represents the Katahdin Region towns of East Millinocket, Medway, Millinocket and Woodville along with more than a dozen other Penobscot County communities south to Old Town, Orono and Veazie, said the forums will serve as listening sessions to hear from area residents about the Governor’s $6.5 billion biennial budget, which is currently being reviewed by the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee before a recommendation is made to the full legislature following months of public hearings, public testimony and work sessions.

East Millinocket board okays new trench policy; tables dumpsters

EAST MILLINOCKET – In an attempt to generate more revenue for the department and offset increasing operational expenses, selectmen reviewed some ideas proposed by Public Works Leadman Steve Campbell last week. One of Campbell’s ideas is to start charging residents for work needed on sewer lines. Campbell said he obtained a copy of Millinocket’s street opening permit and felt the town could work with something like that as a start. The permit basically says you, as the property owner, will pay to put the street back in the condition at which you found it, Campbell said, “if you do work on your sewer then you pay to put the road back the way it was.” The exceptions, of course, would be if the sewer work needed was on town property. Previously the town has taken on the cost of repairing sewer lines and restoring the streets. Providing a permit process would also create a fairer cost environment, Campbell said, as it is now if a homeowner has a sewer issue all taxpayers pay for it, by creating a new process the homeowner with the problem would be the one responsible.

Medway fire dept. proposes to create full-time chief

MEDWAY – Selectmen are considering a proposal from the fire department to create a full-time chief’s position. Current Chief Jon Buckingham said it is something the board and firehouse has talked about for years and given the difficulty the department is having attracting and keeping volunteers he wanted to revisit the issue. The value of having a full-time chief means that someone is available to respond to whatever kind of call comes in during the day – there’s no waiting or wondering if anyone is available and can respond. A full-time chief can also take better care of equipment maintenance, Buckingham said, do regular business checks and work with the school on fire drills and other awareness issues.

Millinocket to seek grant funding from Northern Border Regional Commission

MILLINOCKET—The town of Millinocket will seek grant funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), which was established by U.S. Congress in 2008 to address economic and community development needs in distressed portions of the Northern Forest region in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Town Manager John Davis discussed the grant program during the April 9 Millinocket Town Council meeting after talking with former Millinocket resident Mark Scarano, who now serves as the alternate federal co-chairman of the NBRC. Davis stated public entities may be eligible to receive up to $250,000 in grant funding through the NBRC. He said the grant could be another avenue for Millinocket to secure financing for much-needed economic and community development projects. According to information from the NBRC, approximately $4.5 million is available for grant awards during 2015.

Medway School Board requests special town meeting

MEDWAY – At the request of the Medway School Board, selectmen will call a special town meeting on Monday April 27. 6 p.m. at the Medway Middle School. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and vote on a new six-year tuition agreement with East Millinocket that offers a tuition cap. Selectmen noted that no one from the school department was present at the meeting to offer any information on the proposed contracts or the request for the special meeting. Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said board members were at a school budget meeting but Superintendent/Principal Dawn Pray could be reached on her cell phone if needed. Selectmen asked about the timing of the meeting and Lee said she assumed the school would want it as soon as possible as its budget is dependent on it as is East Millinocket’s.