June 23, 2018
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Katahdin towns to weigh recreation contract

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

They don’t get together on every issue, but the three Katahdin region towns seem to agree that combining recreation departments is a good idea.

The boards of selectmen for East Millinocket and Medway will hold a joint meeting at 5 p.m. Monday in East Millinocket’s town office to discuss renewing the three-year contract that combines recreation efforts among those two towns and Millinocket, Medway Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said Tuesday.

“We haven’t noticed anything detrimental. Things are going along pretty well,” Mark Scally, East Millinocket’s board chairman, said Tuesday. “Millinocket is the key. As long as they are happy, we will probably go along with it. They were the ones talking about making big changes.”

Millinocket’s Town Council voted 5-2 on Thursday to renew the three-year deal effective July 1. Under it, Millinocket would pay East Millinocket $41,437, $42,623 and $43,957 in successive years as its portion of the combined effort, the agreement states.

Facilities, programs and staff are shared among the three towns, with residents paying small fees for some programs and services. East Millinocket funds the recreation department’s director, Frank Clukey, and some services.

Millinocket Town Councilors David Cyr and John Raymond opposed the renewal. Clukey has done fine work, Cyr said, but Millinocket, as the largest Katahdin town, should have its own free-standing department. It should not have to send Millinocket residents out of town for services, he added. Raymond agreed.

Millinocket Town Manager Eugene Conlogue said that combining the towns’ efforts has produced only slight savings, but it has brought more and better programming since the arrangement started about five years ago.

“We have very solid management,” he said Tuesday.

The towns also share a school superintendent, many school administrative functions and some academic and sports programming. East Millinocket also provides ambulance and police services for Medway.

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