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Response for natural gas certification class promising, pipeline materials arrive
LINCOLN – Initial reaction for a potential class offering natural gas certification at NPT Region III has been positive, according to school officials. An initial meeting on the potential class held on Feb. 26 at the Lincoln-based technical and career school, drawing about 25 people, according to Region III Director Hawkes. The workshop was held to gauge interest for a propane and natural gas certification in delivery, servicing and installation of pipeline, dovetailing with the start of work by Bangor Gas to install natural gas pipeline in town. • Pieces of pipe to be installed in a spur of the pipeline heading into LPT arrived on Feb. 26 and is currently stored at S&S Transportation in Chester. In April, Bangor Gas will start work installing piping from a part of the former pipeline that once sent jet fuel from Searsport to Loring Air Force Base in Limestone to the mill, part of a multiyear project to bring natural gas to Lincoln.
Howland selectmen ask to meet with selectmen from SAD 31 towns
HOWLAND — Town selectmen are extending an invitation to other elected officials among School Administrative District 31 towns to meet. Resident Mike Sereyko proposed the meeting among SAD 31 selectmen during the audience recognition portion of Monday's selectmen meeting. Sereyko suggested telling SAD 31 officials to cut their budget by 10 percent for the coming year. Selectmen Joey Dunn felt that the meeting could also serve other purposes saying it wouldn't hurt to have a meeting with other towns to clear the air on some things.
Public hearing, work session scheduled on GNP electricity bill; measure viewed
AUGUSTA — Legislation aimed at allowed Great Northern Paper to receive revenue from the sale of electricity while paper production is halted at the company will be the subject of a public hearing this week in Augusta.The Maine Legislature's EUT Committee was slated to hold a public hearing Wednesday (presstime) at the State House on LD 1792. The EUT Committee is also scheduled to hold a work session on the bill, which has been submitted as an emergency legislation, Friday at 10 a.m. and if approved with an ought to pass designation it could proceed to the full legislature as soon as next week. The bill aims to amend the section of Maine law that was enacted in 2001 that restricts the ability of GNP to receive revenue from the sale of electricity by Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners when paper production at either of the Katahdin Region's paper mills is reduced or halted. LD 1792 would amend the law to require Brookfield to transfer to GNP certain windfall revenue received from the sale of electricity available due to the cessation or reduction of papermaking that is sold to other purchasers or into the wholesale electric market.
Councilors vent frustrations on school department finances
MILLINOCKET — Frustration. It was a common concern voiced by members of the Millinocket Town Council during their meeting last week amidst ongoing problems related to the school department's current fiscal year budget. Councilors opened Thursday's meeting by voting 7-0 on a pair of orders related to the fiscal year 2014 school spending pact. The first order authorized school budget cost center transfers among eight of the 11 cost centers within the $6.3 million budget but the council's approval was conditioned upon the school department further reducing its budget by $127,642 because of revenue shortfalls. The second order approved the school department's international program special revenue budget for fiscal year 2014 in the amount of $353277, including expenditures of $127,642 and transfers of excess revenues of $225,635 into the operating budget.
Selectmen review school costs, surplus for tax relief
MEDWAY — While considering budgets and giving department heads the advice of keeping things status quo, the Medway Board of Selectmen asked Town Treasurer Myra Jewers to get information regarding possible contingencies. Last year the school board received $32,000 in unanticipated revenues from the state and used it to offset municipal budget increases to keep the mill rate from increasing. Last year selectmen said any further cuts on the municipal side would result in changes and potential losses of services to residents. Nothing has changed this budget cycle and selectmen agreed they needed to meet with school officials to see what more can be done to give taxpayers relief.