DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Dover-Foxcroft selectmen accepted two $200,000 grants Monday from the Communities for Maine’s Future Program to improve the downtown area.
One grant is for the rehabilitation of Central Hall and the other is for the development of a pedestrian walk along the Piscataquis River.
Ken Woodbury of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council explained the purpose of the grants Monday during a public hearing. He said the $200,000 for Central Hall will be used for roofing work and improvements to the second floor, including new wiring. The other $200,000 will be invested in a trail for outdoor recreation. Community organizations will help design the quarter-mile trail behind the former Moosehead Manufacturing Co. plant.
Resident Richard Dyer said town officials assured residents last year that no town funds would be invested in Central Hall, yet town funds appear to be involved in the grants.
Woodbury replied that most of the local match for the trail will be in-kind services and the local match for the Central Hall grant is the building itself, since it was donated. Other funds the town has held for the hall also will be applied, he said.
“We’re spending money on these grants for Central Hall and the boardwalk, and we’ve got roads and ditching and bridges in this town that need immediate attention and nothing is being done,” Dyer said.
Woodbury agreed with Dyer, but said the grant funds could not be used for other purposes. “The infrastructure in Maine in crumbling — we have a real infrastructure problem in Maine,” he said. “We have to make sure how taxes are spent and how they are allocated in Congress so that Maine is not last on the list all the time.”
On another matter, Town Manager Jack Clukey advised the board that the town had received a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection for repair work at the Sebec Lake Beach and at Greeley’s Landing. To do the work later this month — which includes reclaiming sand at the beach, repairs to the pilings of the footbridge and moving stones at the end of the public dock — the water level has to be lower than normal, he said.
Bids for the upgrade to the aeration system at the Wastewater Treatment Plant are due Oct. 12, Clukey noted. He said the wastewater committee will review the bids and will have a recommendation for the board on Oct. 24.