Media Archive

Milo eyes new ladder truck

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Wednesday, May 03, 2006

By Stuart Hedstrom
Staff Writer

MILO - Town selectmen discussed replacing a town fire truck - a 1953 ladder truck that soon will be too old to pass inspection - at a bi-monthly meeting on April 27. The truck, which is used to fight chimney fires is the only one of its kind still in operation in the northeastern United States, said Town Manager Jane Jones.

Jones said a new ladder truck would cost approximately $750,000, while a more preferable used vehicle would cost $140,000. The town is looking for a shorter model that will fit in the narrow dimension of the town fire station, and Jones said a model from the 1980s would suit this criteria.

Milo had a potential replacement truck in Rockland, but Jones said the cost for that vehicle would be too high for the amount of work needed to refurbish it. Selectmen agreed to continue the search for a replacement fire truck.

In other business, selectmen discussed a plan for a grant to build a boat launch and a snowmobile bridge spanning the Piscataquis River that would be located behind the DOT garage. Jones said land for the launch and bridge, a total of 48 of acres owned by the state, would be partially funded by Land for Maine Futures - a state program that sets aside land with exceptional recreational value for permanent protection.

The town would pay $1,000 for the boat launch and bridge, and the town snowmobile club would pay $1,500 and also assume liability for the bridge as required in the grant application. Jones said the boat launch and bridge would be critical to maintaining access for tourism.

Selectmen also heard a proposal by the town of Orneville to join the Penquis Solid Waste Corp. That corporation currently serves the towns of Milo, Brownville and Lake View Plantation, and its transfer station is located on the Lake View Road in Milo.

Both Milo and Orneville stand to make economic savings should Orneville become a member. For Milo, it could mean a 7 percent reduction in its annual $70,000 costs. But Milo selectmen had concerns about Orneville's fuel costs to transport waste, as well as whether trash could be secured to prevent it littering the roadside during transport., They agreed to keep the proposal in mind for the future.

Sheila Grant of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council met with selectmen to discuss her role in improving tourism infrastructure, which she defined as anything that will improve the ability to attract visitors.

Grant said she could help Milo with its grant application for improvements on Elm Street, which would involve installing a new sewer system and then fixing the deteriorated street and sidewalks, by helping to coordinate the process and suggesting language to be included in the actual application.

Selectmen welcomed Grant, and Jones emphasizing the prioritization of Elm Street before any new ideas of tourism infrastructure. "It puts all other downtown plans on hold," said Jones.

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NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.