Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society Meeting

Submitted by Seth Barden on July 17, 2019 - 2:40pm

BJHS Alumni Scholarship Applications Due

Submitted by Susan Worcester on July 15, 2019 - 6:36am

July 31st is the deadline for submitting applications for the Brownville Junction High School Alumni Association Scholarships. These scholarships are open to students whose grandparents/great-grandparents are members in good standing in the BJHS Alumni Association. The application forms (one for graduating high school seniors and one for current college students) can be found here on the TRC site. Check the Organizations: Alumni section and look for Scholarship Applications.

Penquis Valley facility upgrade underway

Submitted by Seth Barden on July 14, 2019 - 4:15pm

Stuart Hedstrom • July 11, 2019

MILO — With students away on summer vacation, the Penquis Valley School is a construction site with hallway ceiling tiles down and stacked on the floor as part of the work to make way for an upgrade to the heating system.

“We’re ripping and tearing as you can see walking in, it’s a good crew,” Director of Building and Grounds Donnie Richards said during a July 10 school board meeting.

Earlier this year SAD 41 voters overwhelmingly approved a $2.4 million funding package to upgrade the school heating system. The vote was 152-25 with the referendum approved in each district community: 7-1 in Atkinson, 55-9 in Brownville, 19-5 in LaGrange and 71-10 in Milo.

The Penquis Valley project has three objectives. The first is to update the steam heating system infrastructure that is beyond its useful life, to improve reliability, comfort, indoor air quality and safety. The other objectives are to reduce annual energy and operating costs and reduce future building repair costs.

The gross projected project cost is $2,414,923, with a little more than $2.1 million for the steam to hot water system conversion, another $190,000 is for LED lighting upgrades and an additional is for $34,700 for building weatherization improvements.

The project is being financed under a 20-year bond through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. The estimated annual bond cost, fixed for two decades starting with the 2020-21 fiscal year, is $177,694 but there would be various measures in place to reduce the costs.

SAD 41 would have a little more than $19,000 in existing budget savings for energy usage and another $40,000 in operating budget capital contributions. The Honeywell service contract would be reduced by $25,000, the maintenance budget could decrease by $2,500 and for the first year there would be a one-time Efficiency Maine rebate of $29,195.

The first year $61,953 cost is part of the 2019-20 academic year budget. SAD 41’s estimated total net cost, after the various savings measures such as reduced energy expenditures and a reduction in the Honeywell contract, over 20 years would be $744,143. The annual portion of the $744,143 to be paid by the district would vary year by year.

The loan and contract with Honeywell were both executed in late March. Construction began in early June with substantial completion set to be done by late September and the project sign off is Nov. 29.

“The elevator is on schedule,” Richards said about another building project. “That should be done on schedule before school starts at the end of August.”

The directors also formally approved the poll numbers for the 2019-20 SAD 41 budget of approximately $9.6 million from the June 27 referendum, signing a pair of documents to enact the spending plan.

“One of the things on your agenda tonight is to approve the computation and...

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Free Computer Class: Social Media

Submitted by Annette Banker on July 10, 2019 - 6:31pm

Sebec Independence Day canoe race results

Submitted by Seth Barden on July 5, 2019 - 2:38pm

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • July 5, 2019

SEBEC VILLAGE — Twenty two boats showed up to paddle in the annual Sebec Fourth of July canoe race this year. Results are as follows:

K-1, Eight Mile Racing, Male 1. Dan Baumert, 1 hour, 41 minutes and 12 seconds;

C-2, Eight Mile Racing 1. Chip Loring and Mark Ranco, 1:41:45 and 2. Clayton Cole and Linda Basilicato, 1:49:12;

C-1, Eight Mile Racing, Youth Male 1. Apemesim Galipeau, 1:41:09;

C-1, Eight Mile Racing, Male Adult 1. Richard Gause, 1:50:31;

K-1, Eight Mile Racing, Female 1. Amy DiFrancesco, 2:06:10;

K-1, Four Mile, Female 1. Barbara Hunt, 1:05:07

Two Mile Family Canoe 1. John Lattanzi, John Lattanzi Jr., Tegan Haggerty, 30:56; 2. Paul Lattanzi, Zachary Lattanzi, Stephen Lattanzi, William Lattanzi, 36:47; and 3. Ryan Proctor, Easton Haggerty, Tanner Haggerty, Darron Haggerty, incomplete time;

K-1, Two Mile, Male 1. Steve Mazerolle, 34:40;

C-1, Two Mile, Senior Male 1. Bob Miller, 38:15;

K-1, Two Mile, Youth Male 1. Russell LaMarre, 31:02;

K-1, Two Mile, Female 1. Audrey Carter, 35:48 and 2. Karen Lattanzi, 42:47;

K-1, Two Mile, Jr./Sr. 1. Lindsey Bushway, 56:13;

K-1, Two Mile Senior Female 1. Sandy Fessenden, 56:16;

C-2, Two Mile, Male Adult 1. Brian Mailhot, Shawn Durfee, 32:39;

C-2, Two Mile, Adult Mixed 1. Jill Hastings, Stephen Hastings, 40:52;

K-1, Two Mile, Adult Male 1. Mark Ruby, 26:12;

K-1, Two Mile, Youth Female 1. Pearl Lattanzi, 33:41;

C-1, Two Mile, Youth Under 10 1. Brody Arcaro, 1:20:45.

$9.6M SAD 41 budget approved

Submitted by Seth Barden on July 5, 2019 - 2:37pm

Stuart Hedstrom • July 2, 2019

MILO — SAD 41 residents in Brownville, LaGrange and Milo approved a $9,639,532 budget for 2019-20 during the June 27 referendum by a combined total of 152-37. In Brownville the numbers were 35 in favor with 15 opposed, 16-5 in LaGrange and 101-17 in Milo.

Citizens also opted to continue with the annual district budget meeting/referendum process for three more years by a count of 139-50 (34-15 in Brownville, 18-3 in LaGrange and 87-32 in Milo). Per state statute this question is on the ballot every three years, otherwise there would only be the district budget meeting to approve the yearly district finances.

The total budget for 2019-20 represents a near $562,700 increase from the current year’s figure of $9,077,841. SAD 41 will be receiving a little more than $5,877,800 in Essentials Programs & Services (EPS) funds from the state, a near $147,000 increase.

In order to get the $5.8 million-plus the three SAD 41 towns are required by the state to raise a combined $1,347,156. This EPS local required amount is $238,469 less than the $1,585,625 for 2018-19.

“If you look at that initially, it looks great,” Superintendent Michael Wright said during last month’s district budget meeting at the Penquis Valley School. He said in order to make up the near $240,000 difference in EPS local required funds between 2019-20 and 2018-19, more monies would have to come from the towns.

Wright said the amount of local additional monies being asked for — beyond the approximate $1.3 million in EPS local required monies — would be increasing by $243,373 to $976,468.

The three district communities will each see an increase in the respective shares of the budget. The total local amount (local required, local additional and other expenses such as adult education and career and technical education) of $2,379,277 is up by $60,557 (2.61 percent).

Brownville’s $769,207 share is $110,582 more (16.79 percent) than in 2018-19. LaGrange is seeing a $58,500 (15.57 percent) increase to $434,324. For Milo a $1,175,746 amount represents a $142,853 (13.83 percent) increase from 2018-19.

The superintendent said the district will lose Atkinson because the town deorganized and as of July 1 is part of the Piscataquis County Unorganized Territory. He said under the town’s withdrawal agreement from SAD 41 Atkinson made a $275,000 payment to the district.

The $275,000 is a little more than the approximate $251,4000 the community paid for its share of the 2018-19 school budget. The payment is listed under undesignated fund balance in the 2019-20 spending plan, a line that had no money in it for the previous fiscal year.

Milo man arrested on arson charge

Submitted by Seth Barden on July 5, 2019 - 2:36pm

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • July 2, 2019

MILO — Fire marshals arrested a Milo man Monday, July 1 and charged him with arson after he threw his wife’s belongings on the front lawn, poured gas on the items and set them on fire.

Jeffrey Stevens, 39, was arrested by an investigator from the Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire took place at the family’s 14 Spring Street home. There was minor damage to the residence but clothing and personal items thrown in the pile were destroyed by the fire.

Stevens was charged with arson and was taken to the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft. He is awaiting a court appearance.

Sebec Village 4th of July Parade

Submitted by Seth Barden on July 4, 2019 - 9:06pm