DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A project on each end of the downtown will benefit from a $400,000 grant through the Communities for Maine’s Future bond program, which was approved by Maine voters last year.
“This represents a significant impetus to restore the former Moosehead Manufacturing property in downtown Dover-Foxcroft as well as to renovate the community meeting space on the second floor of Central Hall,” Dr. Kenneth Woodbury of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, who wrote the grant proposal, said Thursday.
Half of the grant will help to restore the second floor of the former municipal building because it has a long history of extensive community use, Woodbury said. This latest grant will provide The Friends of Central Hall funds to replace the roof, ceiling and walls; to install new wiring; and to insulate the building.
The nonprofit organization previously received a $105,600 Community Development Block Grant to remove lead paint and asbestos in the building. To remove the asbestos, workers have to remove the historic tin ceiling, and that can’t be reused because it has lead paint on it, Woodbury said.
Woodbury said Central Hall, which is being eyed for an adult day care center on the first floor, is one of the downtown anchors.
On the other end of downtown, $200,000 will be used to build a quarter-mile Olde Mill River Walk from the the hydro dam along the Piscataquis River to Moosehead Lane and then to West Main Street. There will be a bicycle rack installed at the top of Moosehead Lane so bicyclists can come and lock their bicycles to walk the trail. The funds will provide picnic benches and a covered gazebo, as well as six exercise stations that the Piscataquis Regional YMCA has agreed to pick out for installation on the trail, according to Woodbury. The trail will be wheelchair-accessible. Ground work is expected to begin on the project in the spring.
The trail project is a community effort with help from the YMCA, the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Senior Network Program, Woodbury said.
The local match for the river walk is being provided by Jonathan Arnold of the Arnold Development Group, project manager for the rehabilitation of the mill. Arnold wants to convert the former Moosehead Manufacturing plant into a green business energy incubator and data center.
Woodbury submitted a $1,508,200 grant proposal earlier this week to help with the renovation and rebuilding of the plant. The grant will require a similar local match, most of which would be provided by the Arnold group.