DEXTER, Maine — Dexter and Parkman residents will gather on Thursday to make their voices heard to town leaders about the possibility of an east-west corridor development in their towns.
Dexter will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Town Hall, 10 Hall St. Parkman will hold its public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday in the library at the Parkman town office on Route 150.
The proposed corridor includes a 220-mile toll highway connecting Calais to Coburn Gore, creating an east-west route from New Brunswick to Quebec. Cianbro Corp. President and CEO Peter Vigue, who has been a leading voice in favor of the route, previously has said the highway would avoid town centers and pass between Dover-Foxcroft and Dexter. He also has said that eminent domain will not be used in acquiring land for the project.
The neighboring towns are the latest ones in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties to take up the issue.
Two Piscataquis County towns have placed moratoriums on the project.
Monson is in its second 180-day moratorium on east-west corridor development. In March, Sangerville voters placed a 180-day moratorium on any projects.
The Penobscot County towns of Garland and Charleston also are considering similar measures.
Charleston voters will meet for a special town meeting at 10:30 a.m. June 22 at the town office, where they will vote by ballot.
Garland residents had a public hearing on a moratorium on June 1 and will be able to vote on the moratorium at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the Garland Grange Hall.
“ We’re looking at ways to deal with this developmental pressure,” said Linda Tisdale, one of the organizers of Concerned Citizens of Dexter, a group that helped push for the public hearing. “This gives us an opportunity for dialogue and to look at what we have in place already in the permitting process. The pressure of the east-west corridor is enormous and the way it will impact our communities has the potential to be huge.”
Tisdale said a Town Council meeting last month was well attended.
“There were so many people at the meeting that it was standing-room only,” she said.
The six-month moratorium will allow the town to “develop and implement the necessary amendments to zoning and land use ordinances and regulations to accommodate these development pressures,” according to Parkman’s draft ordinance, which includes private paved highways and/or pipelines that might soon be built within the town.
Dexter’s ordinance also includes high-tension transmission lines.