Media Archive

Piscataquis voters to mull $1M bond

Article from Bangor Daily News, Saturday, October 30, 2004

By Diana Bowley
of the NEWS Staff

DOVER-FOXCROFT - An extra ballot will be handed Tuesday to Piscataquis County residents seeking their support for county financing of four projects. The ballot will ask residents if they want Piscataquis County commissioners to issue general obligation bonds, or notes, in the county's name for a principal amount not to exceed $952,000 for economic development purposes.

Despite three public hearings held on the proposed bond, some local town officials have expressed concern that residents may be confused about whether they will pay additional taxes for the bond, which they will.

The Legislature gave the Piscataquis County commissioners the unique right to borrow for economic development projects if the projects are approved in a countywide referendum vote.

"The county commissioners' job is to put this question before the voters," Commissioner Tom Lizotte said Friday. "This is not the only answer to economic development, but we feel it is one possible option that should be considered and we think it has a good chance of success."

If the ballot is approved, it is expected that bonds will be issued to fund the following:

$400,000 to install a water main to Pleasant River Lumber Co. in Dover-Foxcroft.

$271,000 for the purchase or development of land for the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park in Milo.

$131,000 for expansion of Greenville Industrial Park.

$150,000 for completion of the Composites Incubator building in the Greenville Industrial Park.

For the referendum to be valid, the total number of votes cast for and against the bond question must be equal to 50 percent of the total number of votes cast in the county for all gubernatorial candidates in the most recent election.

To pass, this bond will need 3,553 people to register at the polls and 1,778 people to approve the question.

All county residents, including those in unorganized territories, are being asked to help pay for the projects through county taxes over a 10-year period, Lizotte said.

Based on 2004 valuations, the average Piscataquis County homeowner will pay an additional $5.82 a year for 10 years in municipal taxes, he said.

If the referendum is approved, all towns will see the following increases in the county tax the first year of the bond, using 2004 valuations: $46,820 for unorganized territories; $3,605 Abbot; $1,347 Atkinson; $3,072 Beaver Cove; $3,053 Bowerbank; $3,156 Brownville, $15,817 Dover-Foxcroft; $13,526 Greenville; $9,211 Guilford; $641 Kingsbury Plantation; $3,436 Lake View Plantation; $1,052 Medford; $5,489 Milo; $3,572 Monson; $2,656 Parkman; $4,778 Sangerville; $3,199 Sebec; $1,379 Shirley; $1,160 Wellington, and $2,459 Willimantic.

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