Media Archive

Town celebration, industrial park on Brownville agenda

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 47, November 24, 2004

By Mike Welldon
Staff Writer

BROWNVILLE - Selectmen met last Thursday at the town hall and discussed matters ranging from the Brownville Days Committee to the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park.

The Days committee was formed nearly a month ago and is charged with planning the annual town celebration. A tentative date for the festival is the third week of August, but that is subject to change.

"The purpose is to bring the town together and have a good time," said chairman of the selectmen's board Dennis Green.

The committee's bylaws were passed and approved by the selectmen.

The recreation commission's bylaws were also approved ensuring the continuation of the commission's recreational activities. "Great to have bylaws finally signed, and we look forward to working together in the future," Wilson said.

"We're very pleased. We wanted to make sure the bylaws worked for us, and we found a way to keep the funds inside the commission and still be under town control," Lynn Keams, member of the recreation commission said. The commission is in the midst of planning fund-raising activities for the upcoming year.

Selectmen also appointed three new members to the 2004-05 budget committee.

Mike Washbum, Donna Jones and Bev Jameson were all appointed to one-year terms on the panel. The budget committee is reponsible for studying the town manager's budget and working with selectmen to implement any proposed changes to fiscal year expenditures. The town still needs two appointments to the committee to get the full five members required.

Since the defeat of the county-wide economic development bond, Brownville citizens have becomewary of going forth with the Eastern Pisacatquis Industrial Park. Citizens at the meeting felt that when they voted to give selectmen approval to go forth with the plan at last October's special town meeting, development of the park was contingent upon passage of the bond. "1 think there's going to be a lot of people up in arms about this," said Lorraine Fitzpatrick.

However, at the town meeting last October, Brownville citizens did vote in favor of allowing the selectmen to go forward with the project as long as no major changes were being made. "If we were going to spend one dime, we'd have to come back to the voters," said Wilson.

If concerned citizens wish to vote again on the issue, they can gather signatures on a petition requesting another vote. To send the issue back to town meeting, 58 signatures would be needed, or 10 percent of those who participated in the last gubernatorial election.

The defeat of the bond represents a $135,000 gap in funds, but town manager Sophia Wilson is looking at other avenues of financial revenue to offset the bond's defeat, without raising taxes.

Wilson travelled to Wiscasset to the meet with the CEI (Coastal Enterprises Incorporated) to discuss ways to possibly finance the project. "They seemed very willing to work with us. They're looking to partner within the community, and we are defmetely deserving. They have not had a high profile relationship in this community," Wilson said.

Town officials recognize the need for economic development within the area. "We need the park, how ever we get it here. We need to keep people here," Green said.

Tom Belvin, who used to be on the comprehensive plan committee is pleased that at least the town owns the land where a future industrial park would be located. "There is very little marketable land in the area, and none in Brownville. The only available land is what we're looking at. It's an asset to the town to own the land," he said.

Discussion will continue at the next selectmen's meeting slated for Thursday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

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