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May 21, 2015

Increased recycling key to decreasing Lincoln transfer station budget

LINCOLN – A move toward mandatory recycling of more items are among the ways the town can save thousands of dollars on the operation of its transfer station annually, the transfer station’s director told councilors earlier this month. Transfer Station Director Tom Vachon presented the council with potential solutions to reducing costs during the council’s May 11 meeting. Vachon told the council that he explored several solutions to the station’s budget, which is $430,606 in the current budget and expected to increase next year.


Howland town budget, municipal votes set for June 23

HOWLAND – While several people, including current and former selectmen, are seeking one of three seats on the town’s board of selectmen, no one has returned nomination papers for an opening on the School Administrative District 31 board. The town’s elections, along with its budget, will be decided at the polls on June 23, with voting open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office.


Votes nearing completion on proposed 2015- 2016 Lincoln, RSU 67 budgets

LINCOLN – Work on Lincoln’s municipal budget and the Regional School Unit 67 budget are nearing completion, leading to key votes on both proposals early next month. Lincoln’s budget committee finished its review of Lincoln’s proposed budget at the last of its regular meetings on May 14 in the council chambers, taking more than three hours to review the budgets of the parks, recreation and cemetery department and the Lincoln Memorial Library. Town Manager Ron Weatherbee is proposing a $3.94 million budget for fiscal year 2016, which starts on July 1, representing a 6.9 percent increase over last year’s budget, which was trimmed by about 13 percent compared to fiscal year 2014’s budget. A revised budget, including recommendations from the budget committee, is expected to be presented to town council on May 27, with public hearings on the budget planned for June 1 and 8 during town council meetings. Voters from Lincoln, Chester and Mattawamkeag will start the two-step process of approving a proposed $12 million school budget on June 2. The RSU 67 board was set to formally approve the proposed budget on Wednesday night, while also setting the district budget meeting on June 2. One week later, the budget that ultimately results from the June 2 meeting will be sent to voters on June 9 in a day-long referendum vote.


Transfer station, bypass material top Howland special town meeting agenda

HOWLAND – Town residents will have their say on plans regarding the location of  the town’s transfer station and what will happen with piles of material dredged as part of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s fish bypass project during a special town meeting next week. The special town meeting is scheduled for May 26 at 7 p.m at the town office. The first town articles on the town warrant will ask voters if they wish to move the transfer station, currently located near the PRRT site, to a spot on Lagoon Lane near the town’s wastewater treatment plant.


Councilor Mueller exits meeting after colleague seeks to read LePage letter

MILLINOCKET—For the second time in three weeks, an attempt by a Millinocket town councilor to read a letter authored by Gov. Paul LePage opposing a national park in the region sparked a bit of controversy during a council meeting when a member of the municipal governing board exited the session prior to adjournment after a fellow councilor was granted permission to publicly read portions of the document from the state’s chief executive. Councilor Anita Mueller excused herself and exited Thursday’s Millinocket Town Council meeting approximately five minutes before it adjourned when Chairman Richard Angotti Jr. ruled against her point of order seeking to stop Councilor Jimmy Busque from reading two paragraphs of LePage’s letter written last month opposing a national park north of the community.


East town meeting pushed to June 22; Special town meeting May 26

EAST MILLINOCKET – The East Millinocket Selectmen held a special town meeting Thursday to address two town meeting concerns. After initially setting the annual town meeting for June 9 followed by the school budget validation referendum vote and non-binding national park/recreation area support vote two days later on June 11, selectmen received notice from the school that its budget would not be ready in time for that meeting and it needed to be rescheduled.


Millinocket School Department facing $400k revenue loss in upcoming budget year

MILLINOCKET—Millinocket Superintendent of Schools Frank Boynton delivered a gloomy picture of the district’s finances in the coming budget year when he told members of the Millinocket Town Council that the department is facing a projected revenue loss of $400,000 during fiscal year 2016. Boynton said the outlook is “pretty bad” and “not good news” when speaking to councilors during their meeting Thursday. He outlined a series of circumstances, including a projected loss of $314,000 in state education aid, that leave the department facing a probable revenue reduction of several hundred thousand dollars as it assembles its budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. “I want you to know we’re coming in with $400,000 less in funding than last year unless something changes,” said Boynton.


Mock disaster delivers real-life lessons for students

MILLINOCKET—There was an accident last week in the parking lot of Stearns Junior-Senior High School that saw one student lose his life while another teen was hauled away in handcuffs as an alleged intoxicated driver that caused the fatal crash. Later in the day there was a funeral as family, friends, classmates and teachers said goodbye to the youngster whose life was tragically cut short in the accident that served as a prime example of possible consequences of poor choices made by teens. But the events of the day were anything but an unspeakable tragedy in the school and community; rather they were designed to send a powerful message to juniors and seniors from Stearns and Schenck High School about the impact of choices and the life-changing consequences any decision can have.