Media Archive

Brownville to pursue industrial park with neighboring Milo

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 166, No. 11, March 17, 2004

By Jessica Lee
Staff Writer

BROWNVILLE Voters approved a $659,516 municipal budget, elected new town officials and agreed to set aside money to invest in a new industrial park with the town of Milo at Monday's annual town meeting.

Approximately 50 people attended the annual meeting at the Brownville Junction Alumni Hall, passing the majority of recommendations from the budget committee, including hikes in reserve accounts and funding for social service agencies.

While the majority of the budget was unchallenged, voters did side with the budget committee as opposed to the selectmen on a few articles. The budget committee's recommendation to fund the highway equipment reserve at $15,850 was supported, as opposed to the selectmen's more modest $5,000 appropriation. That reserve will go to fund the purchase of or repairs to highway equipment, according to Town Manager, Sophie Wilson.

Voters split down the middle the request to fund the administrative capital reserve to be used toward future purchases of computers, photocopiers and a fireproof safe. Selectmen recommended $3,500 while the budget committee recommended $5,000. Voters in the end approved $4,200 for that purpose.

The budget as approved also includes funding for social service agencies, an area that has gone unfunded for two budget cycles. Voters agreed with the budget committee's recommendation to contribute $800 total split in equal $200 amounts among the Eastern Agency on Aging, Pine Tree Hospice, Penquis CAP and Womancare.

Residents agreed to appropriate $80,000 from surplus to reduce the 2004 tax commitment.

Voters agreed that taxes be due Sept. 15, with any late payments subject to 6.75 percent interest per year.

Voters also agreed to authorize the board of selectmen to appropriate $25,000 from the surplus to leverage $1.1 million in federal, state and private funding for economic development purposes related to the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park." The funds would not be released until there is final approval to the full project at yet another town meeting. And, on a similar economic development note, residents agreed to join the Penquis Pine Tree Development Zone program. The warrant article requested permission to place the 198-acre Rail Junction lot (adjacent to Route 11 and Railroad Ave. in Brownville Junction) within the zone, and asks residents to authorize the Piscataquis Properties Corp. to direct the marketing and administrative activities for the town.

In election news, voters named Walter D. Durant with 27 votes to a three-year term on the Brownville Board of Selectmen, filling the vacancy left with the retirement of Bob Hamlin. Hamlin was honored recently for serving 18 years on the board at a surprise party; in addition, the town dedicated the 2003 Annual Town Report to Hamlin.

Louis Ritter was a write-in candidate for the open three-year term on the SAD 41 Board of Directors.

Linda M. Coburn, Allana Washburn, Gerald MacLean and Louis Ritter all were named to serve three years on the budget committee. Several write-in candidates for the open two-year terms on that board will be asked whether they would like to serve,prior to any final determination on who fills those slots.

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