Media Archive

Industiral park up to Brownville voters

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 42, October 20, 2004

By Fran Emmons
Special to the Observer

BROWNVILLE Will Brownville become a permanent partner with Milo in the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park ? That is the question before voters in a special town meeting scheduled for Monday, Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the Brownville Jct. Alumni Building. The warrant for that meeting was approved at the Board of Selectmen's regular meeting Oct. 14.

The town has been a part of the park's development since its inception, participating in grant applications, matching and site searches. A parcel in Milo, off Rte. 11 north of town, known as the Dorman Farm, was identified for the park and Milo officials closed on the property Oct. 15.

If Brownville residents approve what is termed an Interlocal Agreement, the town would share ownership with Milo, picking up half of the park's purchase price of $271,000. A development corporation would be formed, and its board would be made up of three Brownville representatives, three Milo representatives, and one County Commissioner, whose constituents do not fall in either community.

While the financial commitment for the park may seem hefty, the debt will be removed from towns in November if the economic development bond issue is passed, Brownville Town Manager Sophie Wilson explained. Funds within the bond package are earmarked for the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park, for purchase and/or development.

The Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park is in a Pine Tree Zone, areas identified by the Governor's office that can offer locating businesses special tax incentives.

Under the Interlocal Agreement, even though the park site is within Milo town limits, Brownville will have a 50 percent share in taxes assessed on any valuation that exceeds $250,000, Wilson said, adding that half of that 50 percent share of taxes must be plowed back into the development corporation. "This is the culmination of two years' work,"

Wilson said, "and the selectmen strongly recommend" voters approve the agreement.

The Board of Selectmen also went on record against the Palesky Initiative, a move to limit property taxes to one percent of assessed valuation that will go before voters as Question No. 1 on the November ballot. "The 1 percent tax cap would be devastating," Wilson said. If the proposal were to pass, Brownville would decrease its
spending potential by $76,000 just meeting its financial obligations on legal assessments and
binding contracts,

Wilson explained, even before funding municipal services like plowing roads and public safety.

Cemetery flowers and decorations were accidentally removed by caretakers two weeks prior to the close of the cemetery, Wilson noted as part of her town manager's report. If people wish to recover any material, they may do so by calling at the town office during regular business hours.

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