LINCOLN, Maine — Loretta Severson wants to help the Lincoln Lakes region, but she particularly wants to serve children with developmental disorders, she said Friday.
The doctor of psychology received permission to open her generalized practice at 62 West Broadway late last month and already has found nine clients and hopes to serve as many as 30, she said. Hers is one of several businesses the planning board issued permits to late last month, officials said.
“My practice is fairly generalized,” Severson said, “but because of my training I have a lot of experience dealing with children who have social or developmental disabilities and working with families.”
The board during its Oct. 23 meeting also approved another business, Stevens Consulting Services, leasing space from the town in the Ballard Hill Community Center for $4,320 a year, Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Davis said.
Golden Jade, a Chinese restaurant, was also permitted to open at the former Movie Gallery spot on West Broadway. Remodeling work for that business is expected to begin within a few weeks, Davis said Friday.
Severson’s practice is the second to open in Lincoln since Sept. 1. Dirigo Counseling Clinic LLC opened at 356 West Broadway in mid-September as an expansion of two other clinics in Bangor and Ellsworth.
Like Alan Algee, the owner and operator of Dirigo, Severson said she sees Lincoln as a great area that can use her skills, particularly counseling in marriage and substance abuse.
A former counselor at Northeast Occupational Exchange, Severson said she “fell in love with the town” when she first arrived, having been raised in Waldoboro. She returned to Maine and relocated in Lincoln when she finished her education, she said.
She also has developed, she said, a good working relationship with area school social workers and hears from them that the area has a need for more aid to students with social and developmental disabilities.
Severson hopes to start developing counseling groups that would work with such students on communication, conflict resolution, improving family dynamics and in understanding sexual boundaries, she said.
Lincoln is generally held to be the health care and retail hub of the Lincoln Lakes region. Besides NOE, it is home to Penobscot Valley Hospital, Health Access Network, Rehab Works, a Veterans Affairs clinic, and several dentists and ophthalmologists. The region consists of about 20 towns surrounding Lincoln, which is near exit 227 of Interstate 95 about an hour north of Bangor.
If all goes well, Severson said, she hopes eventually to have five full-time employees. Severson said she accepts most forms of health insurance, including MaineCare, and she will take sliding-scale payments for those who don’t have insurance.
As these businesses have opened, one business, Movie America at 42 Main St., moved out of town last week. It was unclear whether Movie America was closing or relocating to another location. The store had operated at the Bangor Mall on Stillwater Avenue from 2006 to mid- to late 2008, when it moved to Main Street.
Its owner, Alan Dill, declined to comment on his plans.