May 27, 2020
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Millinocket council honors trail helpers

MILLINOCKET — Brian Wiley is among several people or businesses honored for roles in building the Katahdin region’s first multiuse recreational bridge.

The Town Council issued several accolades by way of council resolves to key players in the construction of the bridge over the Penobscot River and its multiuse recreational trail, including:

ä MJM Construction Inc. The Central Street firm and owner Rob McNally did an excellent job building the bridge, councilors said.

“Rob added a lot of good ideas to the bridge from the beginning design to the finish of it,” Councilor John Raymond said. “It is good to see whenever we can use local people, and he used a lot of locals.”

ä Pelletier Brothers Inc. The logging and road construction firm, which is chronicled in the Discovery Channel’s “American Loggers,” donated about $50,000 in work to the building of a 13-mile trail leading from the Northern Timber Cruisers clubhouse to the bridge.

Pelletier built a new connecting trail into downtown at no charge. The company also took about $8,000 in damage to one of its machines without billing the town.

“We paid them less than half of what they donated in kind,” Town Manager Eugene Conlogue said. “That’s a tremendous donation to this town.”

ä Katahdin Forest Management. KFM and its president, Marcia McKeague, are, like Wiley, trailblazers: the first landowners to donate land for ATV use, a 13-mile trail that councilors hope will spur other such donations among landowners.

“This [project] is a huge piece of the [region’s economic] puzzle coming together here and I cannot thank Marcia enough,” Conlogue said. “Without her, none of this would have occurred.”

ä The Katahdin Area Recovery and Expansion Committee of East Millinocket, Medway and town officials, who allocated $75,000 to construction of the bridge out of an annual economic revitalization fund created as part of the Katahdin Avenue paper mill’s closure.

“This is a symbol of what can happen when communities work together for the common good,” Councilor Michael Madore said. “This is a set project that is going to be beneficial to the Katahdin region as a whole.”

Councilors and town businesspeople believe that the multiuse bridge and its trails eventually will spur an influx of hundreds of thousands of tourist and recreational dollars into the Katahdin region, particularly when, if all goes well, ATVs begin riding the trails in 1½ years.

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