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Dover-Foxcroft land use ordinance being prepared for November election

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — With the land use ordinance committee continuing its work to update the document to be voted on by the public later in the year on the November ballot, a summary of the group’s efforts was reviewed by the selectmen during a Jan. 8 meeting.

“The land use ordinance committee has been doing a lot of work since this summer and plans to continue working well into the summer for a fall vote,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said. He said the group has prepared an executive summary of its progress with a narrative, table of land uses and proposed maps.

Clukey said the table and map “identifies each of the land use areas within the town and a table that tells you what’s permitted.” He added, “I think that gives everybody a sense where things are.”

The town manager also said the land use ordinance will address concerns related to corridors and mega projects. Clukey said the committee does wish to get feedback on its work as the group moves into the final phase.

“A big thank you to the people doing the work, it’s a lot of work,” Select Vice Chair Cindy Freeman Cyr said.

“I can’t say enough about our consultant Gwen (Hilton),” Clukey said. “We’re going to have a good product when we’re done.”

In other business, Select Person Jane Conroy said she wanted to thank both the fire and police departments for responses to a Bangor Road fire the previous Thursday and a missing resident over the weekend. “So kudos to them,” Conroy said.

A garage and greenhouse were destroyed by the blaze, which happened during the start of a snowstorm with heavy winds, but the fire department worked to save the home.

Clukey said he was told it was a textbook response by the fire department, which had assistance from other area departments, that saved the home. He said the police department also blocked off traffic to allow firefighters to work in the difficult conditions.

“The fire, we were out there for four hours,” Police Chief Ryan Reardon said. He said by blocking traffic the fire departments could park on the steep hill and get water to the site without the added difficulty of other vehicles coming through.

Reardon also said a Larrabee Farm Road resident — with “a recent history of losing his way” per a department Facebook post — was found safe the day after a search began and police have made contact with his family.

The chief said the department’s Facebook post on Saturday seeking assistance in finding the man has since been viewed over 110,000 times. “The response from the community was phenomenal,” Reardon said.

In his report, Clukey said the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council has received its countywide broadband assessment report and Executive Director Chris Winstead is scheduled to present this to the county commissioners at their next meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan, 16 at the Peaks House at the county campus.

Winstead is also going to present the assessment to individual towns in the weeks to come to discuss specific needs and opportunities for each community. Winstead is scheduled to be at the next selectmen’s meeting in Dover-Foxcroft at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22 at the Morton Avenue Municipal Building.
The Jan. 22 meeting is also scheduled to include Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey and RSU 68 Superintendent Stacy Shorey both being present to provide the selectmen with an update on school happenings and answer any questions.

“If the weather’s been good for anything, it’s been good for ice,” Clukey said. He said the surface is in place at the town ice rink at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds and people have braved the cold to skate.

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