October 20, 2009 - TRC - By Dr. Kenneth B. Woodbury, Jr. Community Development Specialist
Funding was provided through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program
The grant was submitted on behalf of Milo by the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council.
According to Dr. Kenneth B. Woodbury, Jr., Community Development Specialist for the PCEDC, the grant will allow the Town of Milo to complete its purchase of the properties destroyed by the fire, to construct a facility that would create new jobs in the community, and develop a marketing plan for the downtown.
The new building on the fire site would be constructed according to the developer’s specifications within the limits of the grant.
Thomas Kittredge, Executive Director of the PCEDC, will be calling on the Milo Business Association to offer advice as to what Milo would like on the site and what should be avoided.
The purpose of the grant is to rebuild the downtown while offering employment opportunities that add to the labor pool in Milo and does not directly complete with existing businesses.
The public will be invited to offer their suggestions at a future public forum.
A Request for Proposals will be issued to attract possible developers. Construction can begin as soon as a suitable project has been identified and approved by the Board of Selectmen.
Milo already has received a Riverfront Bond grant of $221,000 for new parks along the Sebec River, a $150,000 CDBG Business Enterprise grant for a new Main Street streetscape and façade grants for downtown businesses, a $340,000 “Safe Streets” project for the upper block of Main Street and an $80,000 CDBG Historic Preservation project for the Milo Historical Society. These projects are in various stages of planning and bid preparation with construction expected in the late winter and early spring of 2010.
NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.