Media Archive

Milo voters to consider potato farm purchase

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 35, September 01, 2004

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

Special town meeting next Tuesday is first step toward industrial park development

MILO Voters will consider whether to borrow money to secure the purchase of a former potato farm for the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park at a special town meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Milo Town Hall.

According to Milo Town Manager Jane Jones, the purchase-option agreement on the 155-acre property on Route 11 expires Sept. 30. In order to secure the purchase at the agreed-upon price with property owner Brent Dorman of Stetson, voters must authorize the borrowing of $271,000 at Tuesday's meeting. If approved, the purchase will go through and allow the further development of the parcel for an industrial park.

The town will be reimbursed for its expenditure if the county approves an $952,000 economic development bond referendum vote Nov. 2.

Jones said the town of Milo is partnering with Brownville on the development, but that attorneys advised that only one town secure the purchase.

"We need to secure the deed to the property; it's much cleaner and more straight-forward" when one town acts as the borrower, Jones said. "If Brownville will continue with their desire to own 50 percent of the park, as a co-partner, through an interlocal agreement, we can then work out the details."

Both communities already set aside $25,000 a piece at their annual town meetings last March to levy more than $800,000 in anticipated federal and state grants. The entire project is expected to cost $1.1 million.

Also at Tuesday's special town meeting, residents will consider appropriating up to $12,000 to purchase the building at 39 Clinton St., known as the Preble property. The property is currently being used to house the Penquis Animal Welfare Sanctuary, or PAWS. Jones said the purchase option expires on the property in mid-October and the non-profit has been fundraising to purchase the building, but is short of its goal."The group and the selectmen don't want to lose the facility," Jones said. 'The town will hold the title and PAWS will pay the town. We want to secure the building for them. They have a very active fund-raising campaign right now. This just takes the pressure off." .

Voters also will consider whether to authorize the transfer of $8,850 from the general fund to the comprehensive plan account to fund phase II of the town's contract with Penobscot Valley Council of Governments (PVCOG) to assist in the completion of the town's comprehensive plan. Funding for the third phase will be requested at the March 2005 annual town meeting. The total cost, Jones said, is expected to be approximately $22,000. The town manager said the goal is to complete the comprehensive plan in time for the March 2006 annual town meeting.

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