Media Archive

County bond initiative to go to Nov. 2 vote

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 27, July 07, 2004

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

DOVER-FOXCROFT Piscataquis County commissioners gave unanimous approval Tuesday to the slate of economic development projects to put before voters for bonding.

The county bond initiative, now up for a Nov. 2 vote at the county level, requests the authority to borrow $952,000 to assist in funding four economic development projects in three communities.

The projects include:

The purchase and development of 45 acres to expand the Greenville Industrial Park ( $131,000) ;

The completion of the composite incubator building in Greenville ( $ 150,000) ;

The water line extension in Dover-Foxcroft related to Pleasant River Lumber Co. expansion ($ 400,000) and

The purchase and/or development of a 155 acre parcel on Route 11 in Milo for the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park in Milo/Brownville ($271,000).

The bond represents 21 percent of the entire costs ($4.416 million) to complete the four projects. The remainder of the costs will be born through federal and state resources.

Three public hearings on the county bond initiative will be held this fall, sponsored by the county commissioners, in each of the commissioners' districts. The commissioners said the hearings will provide the opportunity to "sell" the bond package to all county citizens, some of whom may question how the investment may better their lives.

Commissioner Chairman Eben Dewitt remarked that citizens in smaller towns already have questioned the need for the bond initiative. "A lot of people have been asking, 'What's in this for us?'" he said.

John Simko, Greenville's town manager, said that the projects will benefit all citizens in the region through the expansion of the tax base. Additionally, he said, county job growth translates into additional wages, which will then be "poured back into the community" fueling the local economy.

One project has been dropped from the list — the reconstruction of the intersection on Depot Street adjacent the Greenville and Moosehead industrial parks. The elimination of that project means a reduction of $75,000 from the entire bond package.

County Commissioner Tom Lizotte noted that bringing the total request below $1 million is a plus, as it might be more attractive to county voters.

In order for the county bond initiative to pass in the Nov. 2 election, 3,553 people need to register at the polls and 1,778 must vote in favor of the bond. If it does not pass with enough votes, the entire proposal fails.

"This is unchartered waters we're sailing on," said Lizotte. " I look forward to it. I see no downside, and the potential upside is very, very big."

Dewitt stressed the need for regional support of the bond package. "It's either Piscataquis County goes, down the tubes, or we invest in our future," he said.

Jane Jones, Milo's town manager, agreed, saying support for the initiative represents "Piscataquis for Piscataquis."

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