MILLINOCKET, Maine — The Town Council will meet next week to discuss whether to support applying for a state grant that would fund Phase II of the Katahdin region’s first multiuse recreational trail network, Town Manager Eugene Conlogue said.
“This will be a follow-up to a grant that we have already received,” Conlogue said Friday.
State officials charged with creating and coordinating state all-terrain vehicle networks in June approved a grant request funding 70 percent of the $19,750 construction of Phase I of a 35-mile multipurpose trail that will run from the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club just outside town to the Seboeis Lake region.
Construction began last month on Phase I, a 13-mile section of trail from the snowmobile club over a recreation trail bridge at the Penobscot River to South Twin Lake.
The section the council will discuss at its meeting Thursday would, if funded, be Phase II, continuing from South Twin to the Seboeis Lake region, where it will connect to trail networks that run throughout southern Maine, Conlogue said.
The council vote is something of a no-brainer: Town Councilor John Raymond, former Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce President Brian Wiley and resident Paul Sannicandro have been working for three years as volunteers to create the multiuse trail for ATV riders, bicyclists, bird-watchers, campers, hikers, snowmobilers and others.
Council support for the project has been constant.
Town leaders, business owners and recreation enthusiasts from East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket have long believed that organized ATV use in the Katahdin region created by the trail network would inject millions of dollars into the regional economy during spring, summer and fall, much the way snowmobiling does during winter.
The only new wrinkle in this grant application is that it will be formally applied for by the snowmobile club, as state regulations prohibit municipalities from receiving two such grants. The council will decide whether to support the club’s application and to offer technical support, Conlogue said.