Dover-Foxcroft leaders eye river bond funds

Posted Sept. 09, 2008, at 10:15 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Local officials are looking into a grant that could provide funds to expand the tennis court and create a boat launch on riverfront property.

Dover-Foxcroft selectmen gave Town Manager Jack Clukey authorization Monday to submit a letter of intent to seek the funds and to continue to explore projects that could be undertaken with approval and support from Foxcroft Academy on riverfront property the academy owns.

Such projects could be funded under the 2008 Riverfront Community Development Bond Program administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development, according to Clukey. The program is designed to encourage and help communities revitalize their riverfronts and to promote river-oriented community development, Clukey said. Letters of intent for the grant program must be submitted by Sept. 26. The grants of up to $750,000 require a 2-to-1 local-state match.

Clukey believes the local match could be the funds invested by the academy into its new dormitory construction, so no local funds would be needed.

FA owns tennis courts that are used by the public and owns land that borders the Piscataquis River across from the campus that would be ideal for a boat launch, according to Clukey. He said FA has expressed an interest in working with the town on the matter.

“What a great idea, it could be a wonderful thing,” Dr. Ray Webb, head of school at Foxcroft Academy, told selectmen Monday of the suggestions. He said the academy has no plans, either short- or long-term, to expand the tennis courts, but would consider the possibility under such a grant. He said the courts are widely used by the students and the public.

Clukey pointed out that the town’s tennis courts located behind the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church are underused, and when the former Moosehead Manufacturing Co. building is redeveloped nearby, that area could be converted into parking.

As for a public boat launch, Webb said, the academy would have to make sure it would not be at risk for any mishaps that might occur on the school property.

The funding will be decided by a panel comprising the commissioners of the Department of Economic and Community Development and Department of Conservation, the director of the State Planning Office, and four members of the public who will evaluate the proposals.

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