Snowmobile trail near Essex St. to continue

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer
    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Last season was the first in use for a section of snowmobile trail on town-owned property and other parcels near the intersection of the Landfill Road and Essex Street. Permission for the travel route was

granted with the Board of Selectmen scheduled to review the new trail after the end of the snowmobile season.
    “It has been used for one season. Each year the snowmobile club needs to acquire permission from all the landowners along the way,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said during a June 17 meeting. He explained by obtaining permission from landowners club officials would learn of any complaints not already brought to their attention. Clukey said no complaints related to the trail, such as snowmobilers going off the marked route, had been brought to the police department.
    The board voted to allow for the snowmobile trail to continue for the 2013-14 season. Select Vice Chair Cindy Freeman Cyr, who lives next to a pair of parcels where the trail goes through, opted to abstain from the decision.
    In other business, town officials met with resident and HAD 4 Board of Directors member George Barton who discussed the relationship between Mayo Regional Hospital and the Piscataquis Public Health Council (PPHC). Barton said the hospital houses the PPHC on its West Main Street campus and provides in-kind support, such as utilities, while also acting as a lead agent for the PPHC grant programs.
    “The issue for the hospital is because the hospital is a critical access hospital, we are compensated on a percentage basis for the services we deliver,” Barton said, about reimbursements such as Medicare and Medicaid which can result in PPHC grants being considered as income for the hospital. He said this figure results in Mayo Regional Hospital receiving about $40,000-$50,000 less per year than it would otherwise.
    “In the past that has been a very reasonable cost to maintain such a worthy organization,” Barton said, saying other critical access hospitals have ended relationships with public health councils under similar circumstances. “We have been exploring finding another agency in the community, we want to keep the valuable organization here,” he said.
    One possibility is for Katahdin Shared Services, which is a partnership between hospitals in Lincoln and Millinocket, to become the lead agent for the PPHC. A proposal has been made for the PPHC to join Katahdin Shared Services, and Barton said a decision could be made in several weeks.
    “We have approached several other agencies that would be willing to become lead agents,” Barton said about some alternatives to Katahdin Shared Services. “We are at the point where we are losing money on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “We can afford the in-kind costs, we just can’t afford the beyond the in-kind costs.”
    “For the foreseeable future they would continue to be housed at Mayo,” Barton said.
    In his town manager’s report, Clukey provided updates on several happenings in town. “The first annual Piscataquis Heritage Hot Air Balloon Festival was very successful as a first-year event,” he said, as over 4,000 people attended the inaugural event at the airport. “We didn’t get in all the liftoffs in but we did get in three morning liftoffs.” Clukey said that through a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, next year’s festival will be held at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds.
    Clukey said a ribbon cutting is being planned for the early evening on Tuesday, July 16 at the new Vaughn Street Park. He asked that the selectmen be thinking about names for the facility, and said the recreation committee was scheduled to conduct a walk through to discuss future plans for amenities at the park.
    The preliminary state valuation for Dover-Foxcroft in 2014 is $292,350,000, which Clukey reported is nearly $5 million less than the total for 2013.
    The June 17 meeting was the first since the municipal election the week before, as Jane Conroy and Gail D’Agostino were both reelected to three-year terms. Benjamin Chabot was elected to a one-year term, filling a vacancy left when Jim Annis resigned to join the Piscataquis County Commissioners at the beginning of the year. The selectmen elected Elwood Edgerly to another stint at board chair and Freeman Cyr will continue as vice chair.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.