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Milo officials looking at funding opportunities for cleaning up Derby Shops

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MILO — The evening before a public hearing on the process — please see related story — Milo selectmen discussed the process for securing funding sources to clean up the town-owned 97-acre Derby Shops commercial railroad property on B&A Avenue during a Sept. 5 meeting.

Town Manager Damien Pickel said the public hearing for the ensuing evening is part of the process to apply for brownfields grants for the cleanup. “It’s to discuss what the cleanup plan is going to be and how we are going to acquire the funds to make the Derby Shops suitable for economic development,” he said.

Pickel said more funding opportunities, such as through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and monies awarded to the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, would be available if the Derby Shops property was subdivided into several smaller parcels. “The survey has not been officially done yet,” he said, so the plan to convert the 97 acres into three or four lots has not gone before the planning board.

“We need to start focusing on the planning board, we are down to just three members,” Pickel said. He said three members is needed for a quorum and the group should have a full contingent of five members. The town manager asked the selectmen to be thinking of prospective planning board members.

The planning board currently is comprised of Chair Donald Baker, Michael Clark and Richard Mullins.

“We are going to need a quorum for this subdivision,” Pickel said, as the plan to subdivide the Derby Shops will need to be approved by the planning board before cleanup funding can be applied for.

In other business, the selectmen approved a change in town office hours which now will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Previously the office was open from 7:30 to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and then 7:30 to 2 p.m. on Friday during the summer with winter hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week.

“We would like to see something more consistent year-round,” Town Clerk Betty Gormley said. “We are definitely more busy in the morning than after 4.”

Selectman Peter Hamlin said the new schedule can be tried and changed if needed. “People that work in Bangor can make it at 7 o’clock,” he said.

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