Sale of business lots approved

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    MILO — The evening after residents gave their approval via a special town meeting, the Board of Selectmen authorized Town Manager David Maynard to execute the sale of a pair of lots at the Eastern Piscataquis Business Park during a June 4 meeting. One lot will be sold to Ron and Amy Desmarais and the other to the Three Rivers Kiwanis Club.

    The Desmarais’ $60,000 purchase will be for their business Eastern Maine Shooting Supplies to expand on an approximate 3.5-acre parcel of the park to establish three machine shop businesses at the site once renovations are completed over the next six months.
    At the special town meeting, those in attendance agreed to a $1 purchase price, predicated on the Three Rivers Kiwanis obtaining 501(c)3 status within the next year, for a 2.07-acre business park lot to be the site of a club building. The Three Rivers Kiwanis would construct a 30- by 120-foot building to be used for functions such as the annual auction, regular meetings and other events. Kiwanis officials are planning to work with Desmarais on securing building supplies and contractors, with the estimated project cost to be $100,000.
    Several other articles at the town meeting concerning the park were approved, and each was formally OKed by the selectmen 24 hours later to enable Maynard to take the next steps. A narrow strip of land at the edge of the business park will be donated to the Maine Department of Transportation for a Route 11 right of way, and in return the state agency will construct a turning lane to enter the park access road.
    Another $1 sale for a lot was given the go ahead, for the Milo Fire Department to use the parcel as a fire safety training center. The fire department will also submit a grant application to the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation for $50,000 to build the training facility
    Also approved at the town meeting was a $60,000 Community Development Block Grant application for Mike Anderson to help expand his Milo Taxi Service business, as well as using $4,000 from surplus to pay a portion of the cost of demolition and property clean-up for a town-owned derelict property on Clinton Street.
    One article failed to pass, which asked that public works department labor and equipment be used as an in-kind match for the construction of the proposed Sebec River carry off boat launch facility. The boat launch facility would have included a 1,600-foot roadway, parking area, path to the river and launch ramp. Maynard said he would notify the state that the town meeting vote failed and ask that the project be released. The boat launch will now be put on the list of state projects for 2014.
    Last month the selectmen gave their approval to using about $8,300 in grant monies to conduct a core study of the Eastern Piscataquis Business Park soil. Maynard said he has received a preliminary report from SW Cole Engineering, which shot pipe into over a dozen holes at the park, each about 10 feet deep, and then analyzed the soil.
    “The back field does have a clay barrier below the surface that varies beneath the field,” Maynard said, using this part of the park may not suitable for large manufacturing businesses, which could need a large load carrying capability, but should be all right for smaller businesses. He mentioned lumber mills and businesses using large rolls of paper as examples of establishments that would have “very heavy loading on small areas of the floor” which the back area of the park may not support.
    “The four lots in the front along Route 11 do have a water problem,” Maynard said, as the road acts as a dam and there is no clay barrier beneath the surface. “The rest of the park, as you get away from those four lots, has good foundations for large and small manufacturing buildings.”
    The selectmen approved spending about $950 for septic testing at seven lots across the Eastern Piscataquis Business Park, including the parcel sold to the Three Rivers Kiwanis. Maynard said SW Cole will conduct the septic testing as well. “They do a very good job, there are very good results for the cost,” he said.
    “We did receive our final copy of the audit today,” Maynard said, as the town fund balance of approximately $513,000 matches with the preliminary figure.
    He said the town paid $8,600 in relation to paperwork filing with the USDA for grant programs. A letter signed by himself and the Select Chair Wilma Stanchfield will be included to acknowledge this even though the grant went through a third party and explains how measures will be put in place for the future. “Just some minor changes in the way we do billing and tracking,” Maynard said, as the letter is “simply stating that we understand the rules.”
    “This is not uncommon when there is a change in management,” Maynard said, as in 2012 Milo had two town managers and as well as an interim. “As a result we did have a third party act on our behalf,” he added, saying having just the one minor problem with the audit speaks well to the overall way the town is run.
    Maynard said Town Treasurer Robin Larson, Town Clerk Betty Gormley and the rest of the office staff all did a good job in helping to keep Milo’s finances on track.
    “Our new, very good condition grader arrived yesterday,” Maynard said as last month the selectmen voted to proceed with a conditional purchase of a 1998 Champion model from Thunder Bay, Ontario to replace the town’s current machine. “Today we spent much of the day out on the River Road and the difference is night and day between it and the old grader.”
    Under the $69,900 purchase agreement, Milo has a 3-day trial period to run and test the grader with the right of refusal if the vehicle does not perform as expected.

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