TRC will be broadcasting the Fishing Derby Prize Drawing LIVE on YouTube!
The Prize Drawing starts about 7 pm on Sunday, check our website and Facebook for the link a little beforehand!
TRC is proud to announce our newest live webcam - Trafton's Falls!
This webcam is a live stream on YouTube, with sound! The view shows the Sebec River and West Main Street in Milo.
Staff, Piscataquis Observer • February 11, 2019
Observer file photo/Jeannette Hughes
Stuart Hedstrom • February 11, 2019
MILO — Nearly a year after residents of the four SAD 41 communities voted down a referendum on an approximate $2.3 million funding package for a heating system upgrade, converting from steam to hot water, and energy efficiency project at the Penquis Valley School, a revised project will be brought forward for a vote at the polls on Thursday, March 14 with an information meeting the week before at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6.
“We are making another run at the energy efficiency upgrades at this complex,” Superintendent Michael Wright said during a Feb. 6 school board meeting at Penquis Valley. “We would look to have an informational meeting, which is required by law, on March 6 and the referendum on March 14.”
“If you remember the last time, Atkinson really voted it down but it passed two to one in the other towns so I would hope it passes this time around,” he said.
In May 2018 a $2.3 million project was voted down via a count of 161 to 111 across the four district communities. Residents of Brownville, LaGrange, and Milo passed the question 106 to 42, but in Atkinson the referendum was turned down 114 to 5.
Atkinson is scheduled to deorganize and join the Piscataquis County Unorganized Territory (UT) as of July 1. Had the project been approved last year then the community would have been responsible for 10.4 percent of the upgrade debt moving forward. As part of the UT, Atkinson students will head west to RSU 68/Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft.
In December the SAD 41 directors approved an amendment to the withdrawal agreement with Atkinson in which the town would not be liable for new debt approved prior to June 30, 2019 in exchange for an agreement by Atkinson that its selectmen will strongly recommend to the community’s voters to support approval of the new debt by district voters. Wright said the attorneys for the district and Atkinson would draft paperwork to be signed to formally have this stipulation in place prior to next month’s referendum.
“We have a commitment from Atkinson that they would not contest the referendum,” Wright said.
Bob Marcotte, lead energy engineer on the project for Honeywell which has serviced SAD 41 facilities for multiple decades, provided an overview of the energy infrastructure upgrade by saying “The main driven of this project is your existing steam heating system.”
“When a heating system is 40-50 years old, that’s the time piping experiences leaks,” he said with the original 50-plus -year-old infrastructure still in place at Penquis Valley. “Given the age of the system it’s far exceeded the age of its service life.”
“The upgrade of the heating system will be to change from steam to hot water,” Marcotte said. “All of this work will result in a decrease in your energy use,” and he said this would reduce the annual energy and operating costs as...Read More
Stuart Hedstrom • February 5, 2019
DOVER-FOXCROFT — Piscataquis County officials are making preparations for Atkinson to join the Unorganized Territory (UT) on July 1 — the community voted 187-19 (nearly 91 percent) at the November referendum to deorganize.
During a Feb. 5 meeting of the county commissioners, County Manager Tom Lizotte said the final Atkinson annual town meeting before deorganization would be held on the evening of Monday, Feb. 11. “I don’t anticipate any issues,” Lizotte said.
The town meeting warrant includes items on the sale of the town hall and 12-acre salt/sand pile lot as well as voting on the closure of a bridge and remainder of the McCorrison Road over Alder Stream, which is weight restricted and has been closed to all but recreational traffic during the winter.
“I will have to go over there and make sure they have closed the McCorrison Road, and we will have to do a final inspection to make sure the roads are in good enough shape for the county to take over and Atkinson has been doing a good job,” Lizotte said about inspections to follow the town meeting.
“I don’t see any major issues that they are going to have to jump over,” the county manager said.
In other business, Lizotte presented the commissioners with 2019 state valuation figures for Piscataquis County, the region’s 19 communities, and the UT. The county municipality valuation is $1.75 billion and the UT’s is $870,350,000.
The combined figure of $2,620,350,000 is an increase of $148,900,000 from 2018, or about three times more compared to previous yearly increases Lizotte said. He said the higher valuation can be attributed to the wind power project in Kingsbury Plantation.
“Kingsbury, which is our smallest community with 26 people, is now our fourth highest valued community,” Lizotte said. He said the plantation’s 2019 valuation of $114,350,000 is up by $88,750,000.
“They will be right behind Dover-Foxcroft, Greenville, and Guilford,” the county manager said with these respective totals being $310,550,000, $291,750,000, and $119,600,000.
Lizotte said the 2019 Piscataquis County UT valuation is up by nearly $26 million from the year before to $870,350,000.
“We will assess the county taxes based on these valuations for 2020,” he said.
Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Tom Capraro said he met with an engineer from Dirigo Engineering to discuss revised plans for an agency storage garage for vehicles and equipment on the county’s East Main Street campus.
“I went to the engineer and we decided to take the second floor off and put it on the back of the building,” Capraro said. He said this adjustment would change the structure dimensions from 54 by 26 feet to 54 by 38 feet.
Capraro said this should reduce the building cost by $80,000 to $90,000.
“The only thing is I need to go...Read More
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