Greenville applies for grant to improve ATV, snowmobile access

Posted Nov. 14, 2012, at 3:02 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — Selectmen voted 4-0 on Nov. 6 to apply for separate grants that would improve all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile access to Moosehead Lake and the downtown section. The town is applying for a recreational trail grant through the state Department of Conservation, Forestry and Agriculture for federal funds to construct a snowmobile trail around the lake.

The second grant would fund a separate ATV trail linking the interconnecting trails system, or ITS, into the downtown area. The town is applying for both grants with the assistance of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council. The board heard a presentation about the two applications from PCEDC Community Development Director Ken Woodbury, who believes the projects would create economic development in the region.

He described the grant for developing a connecting trail around Moosehead Lake as the “missing link” for attracting more economic activity during the winter. He also said the enhanced ATV trails would also provide a similar boom during the summer months.

“Both of these projects would improve economic activity around the lake and Greenville. These trails will bring business to Greenville which will fill the town’s restaurants, shops and motels,” Woodbury said.

Woodbury plans on submitting both applications before Dec. 14. If the applications are approved, the town would need to allow for trails to run across Varney, Drew and East roads. The project would also need approval from Plum Creek to construct along the company-owned property and improve sight lines along a bridge.

In other action, the selectmen discussed the possibility of having a joint meeting with the school committee about the future of the vacant Nickerson School Building. The school committee stopped using the building last December. The board wants to bring up the possibility of holding a spring referendum to decide whether to demolish the building or find another use for it. The board is hoping to settle it with either a ballot question during the town election in March or an article at the town meeting.

The board has also approved a request by a Preo Street resident to remove some dangerous trees near his home. There are about a dozen large trees that endanger Michael Rayne’s home on 15 Preo St. The trees are all old and large.

The town has agreed to remove between four and six of the most dangerous trees.

“There is nothing budgeted to have these trees removed,” said Town Manager Gary Lamb. “We think insurance will cover removing several trees in the worst condition. We plan on using our public works department to remove the debris and defray part of the cost.”

The selectmen will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, about allowing more ATV traffic along the public ways. The next selectmen’s meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in the municipal building.

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