MILO, Maine — Because of some confusion among residents at an earlier special town meeting dealing with the purchase of a downtown parcel, town officials are taking the matter back to voters.
A special town meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5, in the town hall to see whether residents will approve the purchase of the former Milo True Value property owned by John and Barbara Crossman at a price not to exceed $48,200. The money to make the purchase comes from a federal grant.
Since last month’s town meeting when residents rejected the then-$48,250 purchase, the town now has the opportunity to purchase a second parcel owned by George Saviolis at a price not to exceed $10,000. Both the Crossman and Saviolis properties were left vacant after an arson fire in September 2008 destroyed five buildings and damaged another.
Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan said some residents apparently were confused at the earlier special town meeting and thought the purchases would come from property taxes. He said the town received a $500,000 federal grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development for the purchase of the properties, and for the redevelopment and marketing of the downtown lots. The purchase would require no local funds, he said.
The town has purchased all of the downtown lots that were left from the fire except the two properties owned by Crossman and Saviolis. The Crossmans dropped their asking price by $50 since the earlier town meeting, according to Gahagan.
Gahagan called it important for the town to acquire the remaining two parcels. “I think it’s important to be able to market that area going forward if the townspeople want to do that,” he said.
Before the town meeting, a public baked bean supper will be served, headed up by Val Robertson of the local Kiwanis Club. Robertson, who said residents can “blow hot air out of both ends” at the town meeting, hinted that a special guest would be in attendance. She asked that the guest’s name not be publicly released, but noted the guest’s attendance likely would bring attention to the town.
The Kiwanis is being assisted at the supper by the Key and Builders clubs at Penquis Valley High School. Admission is by donation and will benefit the Kitchen Project.