Katahdin towns to consider warming centers

Posted Dec. 09, 2008, at 10:21 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:10 a.m.

MILLINOCKET, Maine — If the Town Council approves the idea, the town will help sponsor a warming center for residents at the Stearns Assisted Living Center starting Jan. 5, officials said Monday.

Frank Clukey, recreation director for East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket, will present a plan to the council on Thursday to use a room at the center as a place where residents can stay from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so as to reduce their home heating bills during that time.

“To do what we need to have done, there is already an existing staff there that can put together meals and it’s a place that people can get to easily,” Town Manager Eugene Conlogue said Monday.

The Millinocket satellite of the Eastern Area Agency on Aging’s Meals for ME program uses space at Stearns, located at 80 Maine Ave., for its own programs, making it a neat fit, Clukey said.

Cost estimates for the warming center were not available, but Clukey expected to have them ready Thursday.

The council set aside $10,000 in October for possible warming center funding and council Chairman Wallace Paul said the council is interested in the idea.

East Millinocket already has approved using the basement kitchen and dining area in its town office as a warming center. Residents meet there from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays to stay warm and to socialize, Clukey said. Dozens of people attend.

Medway, meanwhile, is poised to contribute funding so that its residents can participate at either site.

Clukey was told by the three towns’ governments to investigate available grants, estimating costs and ensuring that other community relief efforts do not overlap.

“It’s a good idea,” said Jodi Nelson, assistant Katahdin recreational director, “but I am not sure what participation we will get for it.”

Any church or social service agency looking to assist East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket in holding the warming centers is asked to call Clukey or Nelson at 746-3553.

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