Media Archive

Milo residents vote to buy farm for industrial park

Article from Bangor Daily News, Thursday, September 09, 2004

By Diana Bowley
of the NEWS Staff

MILO - Milo residents showed their determination Tuesday to create their own solutions to improve their region's poor economic climate.
During a special town meeting this week, about 35 residents voted to purchase the 155-acre Dorman Farm with the intent to convert some of the property into an industrial park. Selectmen now will borrow up to $271,000 through general obligation bonds or notes to finance the purchase.

"Extraordinary," was Milo Town Manager Jane Jones' reaction Wednesday to the vote. "Milo has now, in my opinion, turned the corner after having suffered blow after blow." She said the land purchase allows residents to take charge of their region's destiny.

The project is a joint venture between Milo and Brownville. Brownville residents have voted on two earlier occasions to support this joint economic development venture. The two communities first started the process by receiving a Community Development Block Grant to evaluate where a park would be best suited. The Dorman property was the first choice.

It is expected that Brownville residents will vote soon on an interlocal agreement that assesses the town 50 percent of the costs and 50 percent of any revenues the $1.1 million park project may bring.

Jones said Wednesday that both communities are seeking federal and state grants to help fund the park. In addition, Piscataquis County residents will vote on a county bond issue in November that would provide the project $271,000 repay the towns for either the purchase price or for development. Most town officials throughout the county support the bond issues for job creation.

A couple of inquiries from businesses already have been made about the proposed Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park, Jones said.

While the town's mill rate is the highest in the county, which is viewed as a detriment to businesses looking to relocate, Jones said the town is fully prepared to match incentives with other communities to lessen the impact of the high mill rate. The property is pre-designated as Pine Tree Zone so businesses also would have the benefits from this program, she said.

In other action at the special town meeting, residents voted to expend up to $12,000 to purchase a home and lot at 39 Clinton St. for use as the Penquis Animal Welfare Sanctuary. Supporters of PAWS have pledged to repay the town for the purchase.

Approval also was given to appropriate $8,850 to fund the second phase of the comprehensive plan. Jones anticipates that a similar amount will be needed from voters at the 2005 annual town meeting. She expects the final plan will be ready for adoption by residents at the 2006 town meeting.

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