EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Millinocket politics is full of variables, but if there’s one constant, Millinocket Town Council Chairman Scott Gonya says, it’s this: At almost every council meeting, Brian St. John is behind the camera for KAT-TV.
It was that reliability that motivated the Katahdin Area Recovery and Expansion committee to vote unanimously during a meeting Wednesday at the East Millinocket town office to give the Katahdin Area Television station manager a $4,522.90 grant. The grant will help him bolster his video production and Web design and development company, Intrepid Creations.
The KARE grant will help St. John, a KAT volunteer, buy upgraded video equipment, including high-definition video cameras, for his company, town Administrative Assistant Shirley Tapley said. St. John will invest $2,667 of his own funds.
“It is one of those deals,” Gonya said Thursday, “where you might say to yourself: How much economic development can we really expect to get out of this?”
But committee members were impressed with St. John’s business plan and his previous work for the town of Millinocket. That includes developing the look and content for the town Web site, millinocket.org, a site design that Gonya called “excellent.”
“He did our Web site and he has done excellent work,” Gonya said. “I know he will do a good job. He is just a very reliable person.”
Mark Scally, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, agreed.
“I think it’s a good idea. You can see the quality of his work in the things he has done,” Scally said.
One idea that St. John will pursue, Gonya said, is shooting video for overseas service personnel of their families here in Maine.
“That was a big plus for me,” Gonya said. “This is where a lot of these service people come from, and anything we can do to help them I am all for.”
Based in Millinocket, Intrepid Creations offers advanced development for businesses and organizations that require a customized Web site, according to the company Web site, intrepidcreations.com.
The company also offers to create promotional videos, documentaries and virtual tours of businesses and other establishments, the site states.
The grant money will come from $75,000 that Brookfield Renewable Power Inc. pays Millinocket annually as compensation for the Brookfield-owned mill’s shutdown.
Consisting of leaders from East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket, the KARE committee was formed last year to help administer the $75,000. The money is intended to help economic development in the Katahdin region.
St. John could not be reached for comment on Thursday.