MILO, Maine — Until this year, Dickie Martin could only dream of improvements to the Milo Recreation Department because the town, like other Piscataquis County communities, had a high unemployment rate at a time when there were fewer revenues yet higher fixed costs.
Paul Bradeen, a Milo budget committee member, had heard Martin, Milo’s recreation director, outline his needs last year to town officials, but he knew the town could ill afford any extra costs. He also recognized that the improvements were important, so Bradeen decided to raise the funds. He contacted the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Milo Farmers Union, and some local businesses and raised all but $2,500 of the $71,000 goal. He still is working to raise the remaining funds.
“I’ve lived here all my life. I love the town but it does need some help,” Bradeen said this week. “I like to see things looking good. If you’re downtrodden, then you are going to be that way.” He said the recreation field, which is used by all SAD 41 schools, is one of the first things people see coming from Bangor.
The funds have allowed for the construction of a concession stand that is more than double the size of the old one. The building also is equipped with handicapped-accessible restrooms, and has room for storage. The interior will be finished by volunteers. Other projects completed with the funds include the resurfacing of the tennis courts, the installation of new dugouts and field improvements.
Martin couldn’t be happier. When he was first hired for the job a couple of years ago, Martin said one of his dreams was to build a better concession stand. He said the volunteers that worked there were always bumping into one another and storage was an issue.
The recreation field gets continual use, according to Martin. In addition to the programs offered by the Recreation Department, all of the SAD 41 sports teams use the field.
“It’s just beyond my dreams,” Martin said Friday. “It’s just overwhelming how generous people have been. Everyone is going to benefit from it.”