PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Band of Micmacs on Thursday were awarded a substantial loan from the federal government to construct a community building.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency has invested $815,700 in grants and loans for projects in rural Maine communities, including $545,000 for the Micmacs as part of a community facilities direct loan, State Director Virginia Manuel announced Thursday.
The community building to be constructed for the Micmacs will be used for a number of educational, youth, elder, health and wellness and cultural programs, according to the written statement from Manuel and USDA Rural Development.
Tribal officials did not respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
The Dexter Utility District also received a total of $225,000 — a $130,000 water and waste direct loan and a $95,000 water and waste grant — to make upgrades to its water distribution system. Antiquated and undersized water mains will be replaced to improve the flow and reliability of the system, according to the the release.
Also receiving funding:
— The Limestone Water and Sewer District was awarded a $24,000 grant to analyze a water storage and distribution system to determine needed upgrades for the future. The district currently serves about 275 households and 32 businesses and public facilities.
— The Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum in Littleton also was awarded $11,200 through a community facility grant to construct an addition to the museum’s display facility. The museum’s storage and display facility is now overcrowded with so many artifacts the viewing and display of items is hindered. The funding will be used to construct an addition to that area.
— Danforth Water District also received a $10,000 grant to analyze its water storage and distribution system to determine needed upgrades.
“This funding will invest in vital community infrastructure, helping the Aroostook Band of Micmacs build a community center that will serve many functions key to the health and well-being of their community, and the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum will continue to provide education about farming and the land,” Manuel said. “In addition, funds will help the communities of Dexter, Limestone, and Danforth to be sustainable through planning for future water system needs.”