Special meeting set for June 3

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    MILO — On Monday, June 3 residents will consider several matters — a few of which pertain to the business park — during a special town meeting. The selectmen gave their approval to the warrant for the special town meeting, which will begin with a public hearing at 6 p.m., during a May 21 session.

    One warrant item concerns a proposed 2.07-acre lot purchase at the business park on Park Street, formerly known as the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park, by the Three Rivers Kiwanis to be the site of a club building. The 30- by 120-foot structure would be used by the Three Rivers Kiwanis for the organization’s functions, such as the annual auction, regular meetings and other events,
    The purchase price would be $1 as the cost would be predicated on the Three Rivers Kiwanis obtaining 501(c)3 status within a year of the sale. The club would work with Ron Desmarais on securing building supplies and contractors, with the project cost estimated at $100,000.
    “If the board is agreeable to doing this there would need to be an article on the June 3 town meeting warrant,” Town Manager David Maynard said.
    “It’s an excellent project, I applaud everyone who has worked together, and it will serve the community well,” Maynard said. He explained that members of the Three Rives Kiwanis have volunteered many hours toward many town endeavors which “far exceeds the value of the land people are thinking about.”
    “I would like to thank the board for consideration of our proposed project,” said Nancy Harrigan of the Three Rivers Kiwanis, who had presented a letter of intent for the purchase to the selectmen.
    Another purchase and sales agreement for the business park will be included on the town meeting warrant, with Ron and Amy Desmarais of Eastern Maine Shooting Supplies looking to purchase a lot. Their plans for an over 3.5-acre parcel of property are to establish three machine shop businesses at the site once renovations are completed over the ensuing six months.
    The Milo Fire Department is looking to establish a fire safety training center at the business park, and an article on June 3 will ask for approval of a $1 purchase for this center. The article will also ask that a grant application to the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation seeking $50,000 for the fire safety training center be approved.
    Maynard said he is working on access and related concerns with the business park, and another article on the warrant will help provide for a turning lane off Route 11. Residents will be asked to give a narrow strip of land to the Maine Department of Transportation in exchange for the agency constructing the travel way into the park. “We give away a little bit of land and they assume the price of the turning  lane,” he said.
    The town meeting will also include an article asking to approve a CDBG grant application by the Milo Taxi Service seeking $60,000 in funding to expand the business. A required grant public hearing will begin the evening of June 3 at 6 p.m.
    In other business, Maynard said the planning board gave its approval to the new subdivision for the business park. “This gives proper road access and gives the smaller lots in front for the types of requests made,” he said, as the one and two acre parcels “make sure there is the means to accommodate the smaller start-up industries.”
    The subdivision enables for several larger, in the 100,000 square foot range, lots in the back of the park, which can be used for manufacturing. Maynard said businesses can start on the smaller lots and then, as they grow, move to the larger parcels.
    Maynard said approval was granted at the annual town meeting in March for the purchase of a grader, but with a proposed transaction exceeding $10,000 the selectmen need to vote on any sale. He said the town’s current grader has a number of problems which could prevent work from being on done on roads later in the year. Public Works Supervisor Glenn Ricker said the grader has a leak in a transmission converter and had trouble going up the West Main Street hill, in addition to a list of other issues he presented to the budget committee earlier in the year.
    An extensive search of graders found a 1998 Champion model in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which Maynard said has been used almost exclusively for road construction projects. He said the Canadian grader has about 15,000 hours of use, but the replaced motor has less than half the total for “what we consider moderate use.”
    The price would be $69,900, after trading in the current Milo grader, which includes the $8,000 delivery fee from central Canada near the Minnesota border to eastern Maine. “The fair market value for this grader appears to be about $85,000,” Maynard said. “There is no warranty, which is normal for a grader this age.”
    Maynard said the anticipated delivery date is May 31, and the Milo will have a 3-day trial period to run and test the grader with the right of refusal if the vehicle does not perform as expected. “If it works great, if it doesn’t it goes right back,” he said, as the selectmen motioned the town manager to proceed with the purchase.
    The grader would be used for road work, such as on the Pleasant River Road. “Those of you who use the road know right now it is a pothole mess,” Maynard said, as the ditches have accumulated soil and water runs underneath the pavement as the asphalt cracks.
    “In June we are going to try to get the shoulder and ditch work done that’s messing up the pavement,” Maynard said, as future improvements include installing several culverts and resurfacing. He mentioned for the road and some other travel ways in Milo “drag patching” will be done to help preserve surface areas for longer periods of time.
    The selectmen gave their approval to certifying one or two female correctional officers at the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft to conduct on-call searches and possible transportation of women who have been arrested by the Milo Police Department.
    Police Chief Damien Pickel said recently the department “made a couple of female arrests and we have no female officers.” He explained legal concerns can potentially arise with the search of women by male officers, which could be alleviated by females conducting the searches. “There are females at the jail who work in the system and know the procedures,” Pickel said, mentioning at the present time there are three female residents with bail conditions who can require searches.
    He said certain arrests, such as OUI and domestic violence, require arrestees to be taken to jail by the Milo officer. “I don’t like leaving the town uncovered, when one of our guys takes someone to jail I come out,” he said, saying an on-call female officer would be able to transport the arrested women to Dover-Foxcroft and be at the jail for the processing.
    “I would rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it,” Pickel said, saying there would be money in the police budget to fund the on-call female officers.

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