Atkinson on pace to join the Unorganized Territory

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Plans for Atkinson to join the Unorganized Territory (UT) on July 1 — the community voted 187-19 (nearly 91 percent) at the November referendum to deorganize — are still on track.

“I attended the annual Atkinson town meeting on Feb. 11,” County Manager Tom Lizotte said during the Feb. 19 meeting of the Piscataquis County Commissioners. “They did what they had to do in order to comply with the state’s deorganization plan.”

Lizotte said items approved by Atkinson citizens the week prior were authorizing the selectmen to sell the town hall and 12-acre salt/sand pile lot as well as approving the closure of a bridge and remainder of the McCorrison Road over Alder Stream. The overpass is weight restricted and has been closed to all but recreational traffic during the winter.

“I think sometime in May we will go out to Atkinson to look at their roads,” Lizotte told the commissioners. He said the county officials will conduct a final inspection to make sure the roads are in good enough shape for the county to take over and Atkinson, and all along the community has been doing a job maintaining its travelways.

In other business, Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Debra Hamlin said the Friday before prior eight rail cars on an Eastern Maine Railways train left the tracks in a wooded area about 10 miles east of Brownville Junction — no one was injured in the derailment.

Hamlin said the rail cars were carrying liquid asphalt, but none of the frozen substance spilled. She said a steamcar is needed on scene and this was scheduled to arrive from either Quebec or Boston later in the week.

“So now it’s kind of at a standstill so they can unload that spill,” Hamlin said.

The commissioners also opened four bids for a large format copier/scanner for the registry of deeds. Each document was then given to Register of Deeds Linda Smith for her to review and make a recommendation on for the next commissioners’ meeting set for Tuesday, March 5.

“That way we’re not making a decision on apples and oranges because there’s a lot to review,” Commissioners Chair James White said, as each firm has varying prices for equipment, toner, service contracts, etc.

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