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June 25, 2015

Howland voters opt for experience, new blood for elected positions, approved town, SAD 31 budgets

HOWLAND – Voters here opted for a mixture of experience and new blood on the board of selectmen, elected a new member to the School Administrative District 31 board and approved, rejected the SAD 31 school budget during daylong voting on Tuesday. Also, most of the budget warrant articles passed, according to clerk Kim Soucier, with voters rejecting articles asking to set aside money for three reserve accounts.

Lincoln firefighters planning water rescue training, respond to Chester fire

LINCOLN – With Homecoming now less than one month away, Lincoln firefighters are set to host a water rescue training session next month. The water rescue training will take place on July 11, starting with classroom instruction at the Lincoln Public Safety Building on Adams Street at 8 a.m., according to firefighters. Following classroom training, various water rescue techniques will be demonstrated at the boat landing off Lake Street, according to fire officials. Members of the public are welcome to attend the demonstration and ask questions, according to fire officials. Lincoln firefighters were also recently called to a fire in Chester which damaged the crane portion of a truck. According to a report, Lincoln firefighters were called to Robin Crawford and Son Co. on Access Road in Chester at 1:53 p.m. on June 20, according to reports. The fire broke out in the engine compartment of the crane, which was located on the back of the truck, according to firefighters. According to a report, an employee was working on the truck when the fire started.

Offer made for tax acquired mobile home park

LINCOLN – Town officials are working with an Ellsworth-area business to purchase the Orchard Park trailer park on Grindel Street, according to Town Manager Ron Weatherbee. ‘It’s close,” Weatherbee said on Tuesday.  The company looking to purchase the park for about $35,000 has experience in the industry, Weatherbee and Treasurer Melissa Quintela noted on Tuesday. “This is a serious business,” Quintela explained. Payment is expected soon, the pair noted on Tuesday, and park tenants have been notified of the pending sale, Weatherbee added. The prospective buyer has also been provided with the list of tenants, the town manager added. Should the $35,000 offer be accepted, it would repay the approximately $31,000 in overdue property taxes, sewer and water payments not made by the park’s former owner, Warren Brasslett of Greenbush.

Enfield to bump up values for in town, lake lots to meet sales figures

ENFIELD – Selectmen followed the recommendation of their assessor’s agent to increase the amount land along Cold Stream Pond is valued as a way to bring those values into line with recent sales. As approved at Monday’s meeting, the charge for a base lot in town is $11,000 and $50 for a front of footage on the lake, which should help the town get closer to having land valued at near market value for tax assessment purposes. Town Manager Theresa Thurlow explained that there have been sales of property on Cold Stream Pond fetching $300,000 to $400,000 of late, far more than the assessed value of the properties. “They were way undervalued,” she said. After talking with Gerry Thurlow, the town’s assessor’s agent, Thurlow passed on the suggested valuation changes as a way to gradually reach a state-approved 100 percent valuation ratio.

Councilors to consider $5.06 million municipal budget

MILLINOCKET—After weeks of workshop sessions and deliberations, the Millinocket Town Council will hold its first public hearing Thursday on the proposed municipal budget for fiscal year 2016. The spending pact to be considered by town councilors calls for total municipal expenditures, including the Penobscot County tax assessment, of slightly more than $5.06 million for the coming fiscal year that begins Wednesday and runs through June 30, 2016. That represents a spending decrease of nearly $1 million from the fiscal year 2015 budget. The public hearing on the proposed budget will take place during Thursday’s regular council meeting slated for 4:30 p.m. in Charles Sanders Council Chambers on the top floor of the Millinocket Municipal Building. Councilors will hold the second public hearing and adoption vote during the July 9 meeting.

Clerical error leads to town meeting and vote change in East Millinocket

EAST MILLINOCKET – After noticing a clerical error on the posted town meeting warrant last Thursday (June 18), Administrative Assistant Angela Cote called a special meeting of the board of selectmen to review and approve a new town meeting warrant June 19. Because of the need for a new warrant the town meeting that was originally set for June 22 will now be held June 25 and the school budget validation referendum vote and non-binding vote on favoring a national park and national recreation area East of Baxter State Park will now be held June 29. Because of the confusion and the error Cote said the town will accept any absentee ballots on the national park/national recreation area on June 25.

Medway residents say no to national park in nonbinding referendum

MEDWAY—Medway residents weighed in on the national park debate during Tuesday’s municipal election with more than 71 percent of the 354 people who went to the polls opposing efforts to create a 150,000-acre national park and national recreation area on land east of Baxter State Park. In a nonbinding referendum, Medway residents voted 252 to 102 against the proposal put forth by Lucas St. Clair and Roxanne Quimby to create a 75,000-acre national park and adjoining 75,000-acre national recreation area. The ballot question asked residents, “Should the town of Medway support the national park/national recreation area east of Baxter as proposed.” With 354 votes cast during the election held at the Medway Fire Department, nearly 36 percent of the community’s 987 registered voters participated in the nonbinding referendum with a steady stream of residents heading to the polls throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Fugitive arrested onwarrant when found residing in East Millinocket

EAST MILLINOCKET—A 36-year old Alabama man wanted for five years on a warrant out of that state for a probation violation was arrested last week in East Millinocket after police found him residing at a Maple Street residence. Chief Cameron McDunnah of the East Millinocket Police Department said Maurice Walker was arrested Thursday on the warrant that stemmed back to 2010 issued from Houston County in Alabama. After he was taken into custody, Walker was transported to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor, where he remained behind bars as of earlier this week awaiting extradition to Alabama.

Speeding vehicle leads police to alleged drunk driver in Medway

MEDWAY—A 26-year old Medway man was arrested last week for operating under the influence after police stopped his vehicle for speeding on the Pattagumpus Road in Medway.  Christopher Mitchell was found to have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.13 following the incident that took place around 7:20 p.m. June 15, according to Chief Cameron McDunnah of the East Millinocket Police Department. Mitchell was released on bail at the East Millinocket police station following his arrest and issued a summons to appear Aug. 5 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the charge of operating under the influence.