Police & Fire

Greenville shines during eclipse

GREENVILLE — On Monday, April 8 tens of thousands of people from near and far came to Greenville to view the mid-afternoon total solar eclipse. The town and various county agencies spent months preparing for the influx of visitors for the first such celestial event in Maine’s skies since 1963, and in Greenville everything went very well as Town Manager Mike Roy told the select board during an April 17 meeting.

“We had a whole bunch of people in town and a whole bunch of people passing through, everybody knew that just by looking out their window,” Roy said, as Greenville’s crowd totaled around 30,000 on April 8. ”It was a very, very busy day for town businesses, I think it was a bonus for them for after the winter that we had as being not so good.”

The Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency set up a command center in Greenville at the new public safety building for the agency, Greenville police and fire departments, Northern Light CA Dean Hospital, Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Warden Service, and Maine Forest Service. Elsewhere police and fire departments across the region were at the ready for the influx of visitors.

“The command center set up at the public safety building was a success,” Roy said.

Bangor Daily News photo/Troy R. Bennett
SKY VIEWERS — Eclipse watchers view the celestial phenomenon along Greenville’s waterfront on April 8. An estimated 30,000 people viewed the eclipse in Greenville and town officials have said everything went very well.

“Our police department did a fantastic job with patrolling and set up staging in different areas of town so they can report or get to a call if they needed to quickly without battling the traffic so I think that was very well done,” he said. “The fire department was manned all weekend.”

“We didn’t have any major issues that I know of,” Roy said. “I think the people who visited town were very respectful.”

The town manager said early the next morning he drove around and saw full trash cans. There was more refuse than would fit in, but the excess garbage was piled orderly around the base of the cans for pickup.

“I didn’t hear anything negative, I heard lots of compliments about how the employees handled it,” Roy said. “I thought that was a win for us.” 

Among the best viewing spaces in the country were Piscataquis County and other parts of Maine to the north, and Roy said Greenville was covered not only by local and state news but national outlets as well.

“We hosted 83 aircraft and that was a mixture of airplanes, jets, and helicopters,” the town manager said.

He said he was working at the Greenville Municipal Airport on April 8 and spoke with each pilot to welcome them to town. Roy said aircraft flew in from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina and most of the pilots and passengers were first-time visitors to town.

The day had 33 fuel sale transactions at the airport, with 1,655 gallons being sold for nearly $11,500.

“I have never seen so much traffic in all my life even through a fly-in or anything,” Selectperson Burt Whitman said, mentioning September’s annual International Seaplane Fly-In. 

Whitman said in all his conversations everyone concurred with Roy about how respectful the eclipse viewers were.

Select Chair Geno Murray said the eclipse provided a cabin fever reliever and “it was just nice to see people out, the weather was perfect.”

Murray said he visited the incident command center. “It was impressive, they had a handle on it so kudos to all parties involved,” he said, mentioning thank you notes have been sent to all agencies involved.

In other business, Town Clerk Tammy Firman said the previous Friday was the deadline for submitting nomination papers for this year’s municipal election.

“We had two openings for the select board and three for the school board, and three on the sanitary district (board of directors),” Firman said. “We have two people running for selectmen, three for school board, and three for sanitary district. We had several people take out nomination papers who did not return them.”

She said two select candidates are both incumbents, Whitman and Bonita DuBien whose terms expire in 2024. Firman said one school board member is seeking reelection and all three names on the ballot for the sanitary district are incumbents.

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