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July 17, 2014

Ron Weatherbee to serve as Lincoln interim town manager

LINCOLN – For the next week at least, town councilors have decided to stick with one of the town’s department heads to serve as temporary town manager. Ron Weatherbee, head of the town’s cemetery, parks and recreation department, was named interim town manager on Monday. Councilors Monday night decided not to hire a temporary replacement for Bill Lawrence, whose last day as Lincoln town manager was July 11. The matter will likely be addressed again when the council next meets on July 21 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers, located at 63 Main Street. Councilors could also decide a strategy to find Lawrence’s permanent replacement.


Request to reinstate firefighting position not supported by Lincoln Town Council

LINCOLN – A request to reinstate a firefighter laid off earlier this month as part of the town’s fiscal year 2015 budget did not receive council support Monday night. After a presentation by a representative of the union asking for a seventh full-time firefighter to be reinstated, a motion to start the reconsideration process was not seconded, leaving the department with six full time firefighters at the moment. As part of the 2014-2015 budget approved by the town council last month, one full-time firefighter was laid off, leaving six full-time firefighters to provide 24-hour coverage. As a result of the layoff, there are about 16 shifts per month where only one firefighter is on duty.


First Wind appeals Bowers Mountain permit denial to Maine Supreme Court

A Massachusetts company is appealing a denial of a permit to build wind turbines in Carroll Plantation and Kossuth Township to the state’s highest court. According to reports, First Wind has appealed the June decision of the Board of Environmental Protection to the Maine Supreme Court, which will hear the case at a yet to be determined date. First Wind sought to build 16 wind turbines on Bowers Mountain and Dill Hill in the two communities, but the plan was rejected by Patricia Aho, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, last year, citing the negative effect of the turbines, which would stretch 460 feet into the air at its highest point, would have on those looking to enjoy the area. The BEP affirmed the denial by a 4-1 vote at its June 5 meeting in Augusta, though First Wind had asked the board to remand the case back for more deliberations after offering to remove four of the proposed 16 turbines from the project.


LPT reduction driving factor in proposed Lincoln Water District rate hike

LINCOLN – Even with several belt-tightening measures, a 15 percent rate increase for Lincoln Water District’s customers could not be avoided, district officials said at a July 10 public hearing. The rate increase, the district’s first in about four years, is being driven from a significant decrease in revenue from Lincoln Paper and Tissue, water district officials said at the hearing, attended by two Howland officials and a newspaper reporter


Millinocket town leaders adopt reduced municipal, school budgets

MILLINOCKET—Town councilors gave their approval to municipal and school budgets for fiscal year 2015 that represent decreases from last year’s spending pacts. The Millinocket Town Council held its second public hearing on the proposed budgets during Thursday afternoon’s meeting, when town leaders also voted on a series of orders related to the municipal and school budgets for the new fiscal year that commenced on July 1. Councilors voted unanimously in favor of four orders related to the fiscal year 2015 municipal budget, which calls for total expenditures of slightly more than $5.8 million and net revenues of approximately $2.5 million.


Millinocket waiting for two missed installments in GNP tax payment plan

MILLINOCKET—For the second week in a row, the town of Millinocket has failed to receive a scheduled payment from Koster Industries for the outstanding personal property taxes owed to the municipality by GNP West. Millinocket Town Manager Peggy Daigle confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the town has to receive the second and third installments of the nearly $1.2 million payment plan that was approved by members of the Millinocket Town Council on July 3. That same day Millinocket was wired the initial payment of $225,000, but the municipality has yet to be paid the second installment of $340,000 that was due July 9 nor the third installment of $360,000 that was payable on Monday.


East Mill SummerFest features weekend of fun

EAST MILLINOCKET—A “rousing success." That is how one of the co-organizers of East Millinocket’s 2014 SummerFest celebration characterized last weekend’s activities that brought hundreds of people to the community for the annual summertime bash that included a wide array of activities for children, adults and entire families. “It went off without a hitch. It couldn’t have turned out any better,” said Kim Marston, who along with Kelly Willigar organizes the volunteer-run community event. “I think it was a rousing success.” Marston said the four-day celebration, which ran from Thursday through Sunday, offered something for all ages. There was live entertainment throughout the event with about a dozen live musical acts and other performances. SummerFest had a bevy of free activities for children, including a frog jumping contest and coin scramble, while families enjoyed Friday night’s fireworks display and public suppers. There was also a street dance, golf tournament, road race and Thursday’s town-wide yard sale, which kicked off the weekend’s slate of events.


Medway men arrested after late night disturbance at East Millinocket bar

EAST MILLINOCKET—A pair of Medway men were arrested early Sunday morning after they refused to comply with orders from police officers after an incident at an East Millinocket bar. James Jones, 31, was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct while Douglas Deloge, 43, was arrested on a charge of criminal trespass, according to Chief Cameron McDunnah of the East Millinocket Police Department. He said both men were released from custody following their arrest with a summons to appear Sept. 3 in Millinocket District Court.