Greenville to welcome snowmobile races

Posted Feb. 17, 2011, at 11:50 p.m.

GREENVILLE,  Maine — A proposal aired Wednesday to ramp up tourism during a particularly slow month received approval from Greenville selectmen.

The Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club was given the OK to secure a permit from the Department of Conservation to serve once again as host for the United States Cross Country Snowmobile Racing Association races March 19-20 on Moosehead Lake.

“We’re trying to build events to create an entire weekend to get people to come to town, stay in town for the weekend, and because of the timing in March, this is the time when this town is dead,” Tom McCormick of the Moosehead Riders told selectmen Wednesday.

Such an event will help the local economy, he noted.

McCormick said the cross-country races would be held on the lake this year unlike last year’s event, which involved trails through the forest. Bumps and jumps will be built onto the ice to reflect the conditions one would find on the forested trails, he said.

Safety precautions are taken seriously, McCormick said, and the USCC has a $2 million liability policy that covers the town, landowners involved in the race, participants and those working the race, should an accident occur. Spectators are kept well away from the course, but within viewing distance, he said.

This year’s event will feature the 2.2-mile cross-country race on Saturday, but also will include a radar run on Sunday organized by Moosehead Motorsports.

“That would give us a second event … to keep people in town overnight for hotels and motels to try to fill them up,” McCormick said. Next year, the club is looking to add drag races to the weekend’s events.

Selectmen heard another proposal Wednesday that would help improve the town’s infrastructure. Dan Daigle of the Moosehead Sanitary District said the district was looking to expand its service area to Mayhew Manor. Seventeen questionnaires were sent to residents on the road seeking comment on the proposal, and nine supported it, he said.

Of the remainder, four residents were not in favor and two never replied, Daigle stated.

If the project moves ahead, Woody Bartley of Aqua Maine said the water district would be interested in partnering with the sewer district to install a water main on the road. Residents now are not serviced by town water on that road, he said.

Such a partnership has worked in the past, Bartley said. Several years ago, the district needed a filter plant, but didn’t have the funds so the town obtained a grant, had the plant constructed and then turned it over to the water company to maintain and operate, he said.

The water main extension would improve the system, which has one main trunk on Pritham Avenue, and offshoots from that onto mostly dead-end roads, according to Bartley.

The extension would help with water quality, keep the water moving to increase flow for firefighting purposes, and during malfunction emergencies, it would give the district a way to isolate problems without affecting the entire system.

Chris Bussell of the public works department supported both efforts. He said Mayhew Manor, one of the worst roads in the town, could be improved during the work.

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