Letters to the Editor

Milo town politics and the ATCO Inn

To the Editor:
    This letter is being written so citizens will know what has happened to the property on 21 West Main Street, the old ATCO Inn, located on the Sebec River, and near the dam in Milo.

    The building was sold five years ago. The owner, Myron Long, extended a good deed to the buyer by asking nothing down, and monthly payments. Four years and 10 months later the buyer moved out without notice.
    Long found that the building had been trashed and the town of Milo had a tax lien on it. The building is next to worthless, however the town has it valued at $83,000 and the over 200 feet of land on the Sebec River at $21.000, on the current tax bill.
    While trying to work with the town, Long was told by Town Manager David Maynard to attend a Milo Select Board meeting and bring a check for the back taxes. Long did.
    Long told the board that the property, with river frontage, was part of his retirement income. One Select Board member, stated that Long “wasn’t the only man of his age to lose part of his retirement.” This comment was unprofessional, uncaring, and uncalled for at a public board meeting.
    Members of the Milo Board stated that they were willing to give Long a quitclaim deed for the property if he would agree to “greatly upgrade the building, or tear it down in a year.” Long really didn’t have time to wrap his mind around the request except to say that the request could not be met in a year. He thought, two years, maybe.
    After leaving the meeting, with check in hand, Long had time to think over the request. He went to the Town Hall where the clerk took the tax check and issued a receipt.
    Long went to a lawyer in Bangor to help sort out his legal rights. He had paid the taxes, and had a receipt. A letter from his lawyer irritated the Milo Board. Digging in, the board came up with, “we haven’t received payment until we cash the check.”
    Milo was only willing to grant Long a quitclaim deed if he “provides a legally binding letter of commitment, satisfactory to Milo Town Attorney Erik Stumpfel, to remove the existing derelict structure within no more than two years from the date of agreement.”
    The Town of Milo was forcing Long into debt for improvements, or cost of tearing the building down, with a time limit. This doesn’t sound like fair governing, in a free country.
    Town Manager Maynard had taken a tour of the building with Long but none of the other board members had any idea of the conditions left behind. Piles of rubble left in every room on both floors, animal feces from a dog and cat were in the corner of the old lobby. A pen on the lower level, with access to outdoors allowed for chickens. The lobby had two/three posts removed because the buyer didn’t think they were needed.
    Another board member would like to see the building restored/remodeled. The old hotel is 90 years old. In the past, Long replaced wiring, updated the plumbing, and installed three furnaces. However, the building needed a new roof, windows, insulation, and a long list of updates when it was sold five years ago.
    Two years? Let’s be reasonable.
    At the Sept. 16 Milo Select Board meeting, the property was not discussed. Upon adjournment, a letter (see below) from Long was handed out to members of the board.
    The keys have been turned over to the town, the citizens of Milo will bear the burden of a piece of property off the tax rolls, plus the cost of all the above. Unfortunately, with this outcome everyone loses.
Linda Belisle
To the Milo Select Board:
    After three months of dealing, with the Milo Select Board, I have made a business decision that makes sense. Owning the property at 21 West Main Street would not be in my best interest.
    I trust that the town will follow all the demands they required of me within the two-year time span set.
    Thank you for lifting the burden of: finding insurance, cleaning out the building, the cost of tearing down the “derelict structure,” paying years of property taxes, trying to find a buyer, and wasting time dreaming about a new redevelopment project for Milo.

Myron Long


East West utility corridor proceeds

To the Editor:
    As voting day approaches, it is time to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable for the condition of our state. Maine is the last frontier, with clean air and water, expanses of undeveloped wilderness and prime farmland.
    As corporations continue their assault on the nation’s resources Maine has been spared. But change is in the wind. Maine is ripe for the picking, promising vast wealth for those who will dig, dredge, drill, and pave for massive profits.
    It is no wonder that TD Bank, JD Irving and the Bank of America, to name a few, are supporters of these projects.
    As the population of the world demands more of everything, investors will deliver with no thought of the consequences.
    As the western half of the nation struggles to meet water demands to grow crops, who has plenty? … Maine.
    As the more populated New England states thirst for more energy, who is the conduit? … Maine. As Europe and Asia increase demand for oil, minerals, natural gas, biomass and water, where will it be transported through and exported from? … Maine.
    Open pit mining, dredging of harbors and fragile fishing grounds, leveling hills, filling valleys, mining gravel, deforestation, leveling hills, filling valleys, mining gravel, deforestation, spraying of herbicides, cutting off streams, crossing rivers, backfilling bogs, evicting wildlife, poisoning water supplies and creating massive landfills; is this our children’s future?
    What we value about living here and others come to enjoy because they no longer have it, will disappear.
    Where will sportsmen go for the best trout fishing in the Northeast? Where will urban dwellers go to escape congestion and sprawl?
    What will birdwatchers, hikers, kayakers, and white water rafters experience in this denuded landscape?
    The proposed East West utility corridor is on the forefront of this massive assault. As the project moves forward, which Cianbro assures us it is, let us remember that the U.S. and Maine constitutions ensure the rights of our communities to put in place a Bill of Rights ordinance to protect whatever we hold dear.
    All candidates running for office must make a clear statement of their position on this issue. It will be valuable to know there is support on the state and federal level to maintain a sustainable and healthy economy. Write, call or email to let them know you are paying attention.
    As a private project, eminent domain over landowners can only be carried out with the aid of government and the courts.  Mr. (Peter) Vigue deemed us, “the hollow middle” at the time of his proposal.
    Perhaps he was preparing us, as that is surely what we will become when the corridor stands as a barrier between communities and as a link to gutting our state for export to the world.

Lisa Laser
Dover Foxcroft


Art & Peace group at YMCA

To the Editor:
    I am currently a graduate student at the University of New England School of Social Work. In order to obtain my diploma, I am required to fulfill a research project. I would like to study how art affects children with autism. My goal is to build strong relationships between kids with autism and their parents or caregivers. A caregiver could be a worker, sibling or a friend.
    I am planning on doing this through a six-week Art and Peace group which will be held at the YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft.
    The art projects will be: writing and performing a skit, cooking and creating a menu, going on a nature walk and making homes for wildlife, building a feelings diorama, designing a peace corner for yourself and making a mask.
    I hope you will come!

Alex McDade

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.