April 06, 2020
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Trailhead funds in sight

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A grant application that seeks money for the purchase of 2 acres in Moosehead Junction Township for a recreational trailhead scored high at the state level and is being reviewed at the federal level.

Kenneth Woodbury Jr., a community development specialist for the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, told the Piscataquis County commissioners Tuesday they should learn late this summer whether the $45,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant is funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Last year, the commissioners signed a $64,000 sales and purchase agreement on 2 acres on Depot Street in Greenville considered ideal for a trailhead for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. A total of $1,000 from the county budget was placed as a retainer on the property.

If the $45,000 is awarded, it will be added to a $23,885 grant secured from the state Department of Conservation. Woodbury said the money also would pay for clearing the property and for signs.

If the grant falls through, the purchase will not be made and the $1,000 retainer will be returned to the county coffers.

In another matter, Woodbury announced the Milo Historical Society received a $64,000 federal Community Development Block Grant for work to the former Free Baptist Church museum. The funds, along with $160,000 from the historical society, will be used to repair the slate roof on the steeple, replace the front steps, install a ramp for the handicapped, renovate the front porch and paint the building’s exterior.

Both Woodbury and Thomas Kittredge, the council’s executive director, have been aggressive in their efforts to secure funding for several projects throughout the county.

Kittredge said a special projects earmark of $475,000 for sewer extension in Milo was included in the 2009 omnibus spending bill that passed both the Senate and House and has been signed by the president.

Milo received a $197,300 Riverfront Community Development Bond to build two new parks along the Sebec River, to purchase some property for redevelopment and to create a Safe Streets Project that would revise the downtown parking and sidewalks for pedestrian traffic. The town also received a $280,000 commitment from the Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Department of Transportation toward the $350,000 projected cost of the parking and sidewalk improvements.

Woodbury said the Greenville School received a $9,966 grant that will allow it to develop a 0.6-mile nature trail that will include 10 fitness stations, plant and tree identification and directional signs.

Several other grant requests for federal earmarks have been submitted on behalf of other communities. They would fund a solid waste recycling center in Brownville, a sewer line extension in Milo, restoration of a bridge in Willimantic, addition of a children’s wing at Shaw Public Library in Greenville, upgrades to Dover-Foxcroft’s sewer system, rehabilitation of the Greenville Junction wharf, construction of a Natural Resource Education and Visitor Center in Greenville, and water main replacement in Dover-Foxcroft.

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