April 24, 2018
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Supporters reach halfway fundraising mark to buy land for Portage senior housing project

By Kathy McCarty, Presque Isle Star-Herald

PORTAGE LAKE, Maine — The Portage Lake Housing Corp. has received a $2,500 donation to reach the halfway mark of its fundraising drive. The funds will be used to buy land on which to develop a senior housing facility in town.

“Ask most any resident of Portage Lake why they chose this particular community in which to live, work and retire, and you’ll hear a wide range of responses. The common thread, however, is a quality of life and a shared concern for fellow residents — a sense of community that embraces every citizen,” said Jennifer Curran, secretary/treasurer of the Portage Lake Housing Corp.

Curran said the community is working to create a senior housing complex for residents who no longer can financially or physically manage to maintain their homes but who want to remain in Portage Lake.

“Seeing a need, a number of area residents created the Portage Lake Housing Corporation in April of 2007. The PLHC is an independent, charitable organization focused on developing and constructing housing for senior citizens,” Curran said.

Fundraising efforts to purchase land began last year.

“In May 2011, the PLHC announced plans to develop safe and decent retiree housing for our low-income seniors, which has come to be known as Mountain Valley Manor,” said Raymond Cyr, PLHC president.

In documents issued by the corporation, Cyr said the first step in developing the project is to buy land for the facility, at a cost of $35,000.

“That’s where Katahdin Trust Company has stepped in, making a $2,500 donation which helps the organization reach its halfway mark in fundraising,” said Cyr. “The contribution has been blended with the donations of individuals, companies and fundraising events we’ve held as the PLHC moves closer to the land purchase.”

“This donation is in keeping with our mission of service beyond the walls of our bank,” said Jon Prescott, bank president and CEO. “In our role as a true community bank, we are at work daily to enhance the quality of life we share, in all the markets we touch. It is our privilege to be a tangible part of the PLHC’s efforts to construct senior housing.”

The process of finding the right parcel and designing the layout have already begun.

“To date, selection and a preliminary facility design have been completed and cost estimates have been gathered. The complex will be built on property located next to the town office on School Street. The PLHC has invested hundreds of hours of volunteer time planning and working toward the housing project, and a grant writer has been hired to explore government funding options,” said Curran.

Donations are tax-deductible and all donors will be honored with a name-bearing plaque unveiled at the grand opening of Mount Valley Manor, said Curran.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the project may do so by sending a contribution to: PLHC, P.O. Box 255, Portage Lake 04768.

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