Lincoln mil rate set to increase

LINCOLN – The town’s mil rate will increase, but not as much as originally thought, according to information provided at Monday’s Lincoln Town Council meeting. Ruth Birtz, the town’s economic development administrator, informed councilors that the town’s fiscal year 2024 mil rate will likely land at $25.72 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That rate would represent a 16.9% increase over the current rate of $22 per $1,000 of property value. Birtz noted that the $25.72 rate would result in a $500 yearly increase in the tax bill for a property valued at $140,000, or an additional $43 per month.

Enfield taps Batchelder as full-time town manager

ENFIELD – Officials kicked off Monday night's select board meeting by announcing they had hired a full-time town manger: Gina Batchelder. Select person Doug Theriault was the first to share the news, saying the board offered the position to Batchelder, and were excited to see her accept.

Mattawamkeag residents seek noise ordinance

MATTAWAMKEAG – A group of residents asked selectmen earlier this month to draft a noise ordinance to help them deal with a problematic neighbor. For their part, selectmen offered to contact an attorney for legal guidance on the matter. During the board’s Aug. 7 meeting, several residents expressed frustration with a local landowner who has been shooting an unspecified gun at varying times throughout the day, including just after midnight, noted Tim Cooper, who also heads the town’s public works department.

Main Street Project sees tentative date; Lincoln, Enfield to see RR crossing closures

LINCOLN – A tentative date has been set for the Main Street renovation project, which will see the repaving of asphalt and repair of downtown sidewalks. According to a statement by public works director Dennis Bullen on Tuesday afternoon, the official in charge of the rejuvenation of the state-owned roadway has set a tentative start date of Aug. 28.

RSU 67 school projects updated

LINCOLN – As is often the case, the summer months were busy ones, Regional School Unit 67 Facilities Director Andrew Edwards said earlier this month. He updated the board on the progress of several district projects undertaken during the summer months.

Newly created Lincoln firefighter positions draw 14 applicants

LINCOLN – The Lincoln Fire Department could soon fill two newly-created positions, Captain Ken Goslin noted on Tuesday. A total of 14 people applied for the two positions, Goslin said on Tuesday, with six candidates undergoing testing. Some of the candidates also already have required training.

County mulls hiring fire district support staff

BURLINGTON - Local efforts to stand up a fire district have caught the attention of Penobscot County Commissioners. During their Aug. 8 meeting, county commissioner Andre Cushing not only recognized efforts of officials in the Howland area to regionalize service, but suggested hiring a contract employee to lend a hand.

Howland Fire Department increase outreach efforts with BP drive

HOWLAND – The fire department held a blood pressure drive last Saturday, part of their efforts to increase community outreach. According to Howland/Burlington Fire and Ambulance Department chief Josh McNally, firefighter Morgan Gunnell was responsible for Saturday's blood pressure drive. Gunnell is currently undergoing education to become a full-fledged paramedic, which McNally said requires fulfilling community service hours as a portion of its curriculum.

Tax acquired property purchaser provides update on progress to town leaders

MILLINOCKET—Nearly seven months after being awarded the bid to purchase a tax acquired property in the New Development, its new owner provided an update last week to town leaders on the progress made thus far renovating the house. Jonathan Bator addressed the Millinocket Town Council during the two-minute public comment portion of its meeting Thursday. Back in January, the council voted to accept a $14,000 bid from Bator and his wife, Malorrie, for the tax acquired property at 369 Massachusetts Ave. Following considerable, and sometimes contentious, discussion and debate, a majority of the council accepted the bid from the Bators opting to give a local family an opportunity to purchase their first home while rejecting seven higher bids.  

Pedestrian injured when struck by vehicle

MEDWAY—A pedestrian sustained what were described as serious injuries when he was struck by a vehicle while walking on Medway Road in Medway earlier this week. The 40-year old man from Bradford was transported by ambulance to Millinocket Regional Hospital before being transferred to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor due to the nature of his injuries sustained in the incident that took place around 9:45 p.m. Sunday, according to information provided by the East Millinocket Police Department.

Medway unable to recoup missing money; progress made on back audits

MEDWAY - Medway selectmen got word from their attorney that the town won’t be able to recoup any of the “missing” money, about $45,000, from the 2019-2020 town audit. The opinion said that because the forensic audit investigation yielded no definitive cause of the financial discrepancy, that there is no person to blame. Without a person to file a claim on, there is no chance of winning and no chance of recovering any of the money. “Without a name of an employee who committed wrongdoing there’s no chance of submitting a claim and winning, it’s a non-starter,” Board Chairman Jim Stanley said.

Millinocket man indicted on multiple drug-related charges

MILLINOCKET/BANGOR—A 51-year old Millinocket man was indicted recently on several drug-related charges stemming from the execution of a search warrant this spring at a local residence that culminated a several months’ long police investigation into suspected trafficking of illegal drugs. Wayne Cote was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury on one count of unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs, three counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, and one count of violation of condition of release, according to information provided by the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office.

Miscommunication leads to compactor install delay

MEDWAY - In what appears to be a miscommunication with the company doing the compactor install, the new compactor wasn’t ready for installation on Aug. 9 as planned, instead it could be up to 10 days later. In the meantime the town will continue to use the open top containers for trash disposal until the install is complete. 

Alleged theft of returnables results in indictment against Millinocket man

MILLINOCKET/BANGOR—A 20-year old man from Millinocket was the subject of a two-count grand jury indictment in connection with an incident earlier this year when he was accused of stealing returnables from the garage of a residence. Dylan Hayes was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury on one count each of burglary and theft by unauthorized taking, according to information provided by the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office.

Council approves license for hot dog cart to operate at Veterans’ Memorial Park

MILLINOCKET—The Millinocket Town Council gave its approval last week for a victualer’s license for a local resident to operate a hot dog cart at Veterans’ Memorial Park. The council voted 7-0 in favor of an amended order granting the license to Steve Morrow for Steve’s Hot Dog Cart to operate in one of three suggested locations at the park in downtown Millinocket. The approval is pursuant to the installation of a electric meter and utility pole at the location to be paid for by Morrow.

Prospective council field grows, Bragdon won’t seek re-election

MILLINOCKET—The field of prospective candidates seeking election this year to the Millinocket Town Council has grown to four with two incumbents and two challengers taking out nomination papers while the third incumbent recently announced he does not plan to seek re-election. As of Tuesday afternoon, Councilors Jane Danforth and Louis Pelletier along with challengers Gail Mackin and Jennifer McKinney had each taken out nomination papers to run for the three three-year seats up for election in November. None of the four had yet to return their signed nomination papers.

Millinocket supports Knights’ effort to restore cemetery monument

MILLINOCKET—An ongoing effort by the local Knights of Columbus to restore the monument at the Millinocket cemetery received financial assistance from the town in the form of a $1,500 donation. The Town Council voted 6-0-1 at its meeting last week to expend the money from the municipality’s unassigned fund balance toward the donation. Councilor Matthew Bragdon, who is a member of the Knights of Columbus, abstained from the vote.

Medway Middle School cafetorium building project hits snag

MEDWAY - Medway School Board members learned there will be more decisions to make on the proposed cafetorium building as the project moves forward - like how to move forward. Board Chairman Greg Stanley said the board learned from the state fire marshal’s office that the new building can’t connect to the school unless the school has a working sprinkler system, which it does not. The board was originally led to believe that a firewall could be installed between the two buildings and they could be connected but he has since learned the wall would have to remain solid - not cutting out for doors or windows - which means it can’t be connected.

Much accomplished during Federico’s first week

MEDWAY - One week on the job and Medway Recreation Director Theresa Federico had numerous updates to report to the board of selectmen.  With her main focus on the Medway Rec Area, Grant said things are moving along well and she’s appreciated all the help she’s received from volunteers and Public Works Director Greg Hale and employee Mark Stanley.

Medway begins planning for 150th

MEDWAY - You only turn 150 once and local citizens have started planning a celebration to commemorate Medway’s Sesquicentennial. Kristi Powers, Medway’s tax collector, is coordinating a planning committee and all are welcome. Celebrating 150 years is a huge undertaking and she said the committee is looking for all the help and ideas people have to offer.

Penobscot County grant supports radio upgrades for EMPD, EMFD

EAST MILLINOCKET/BANGOR—A grant from Penobscot County will fund radio infrastructure upgrades for the system used by the East Millinocket Fire Department and East Millinocket Police Department. The Town of East Millinocket received a $45,000 grant from the county’s share of American Rescue Plan Act funding to support the infrastructure enhancements for the radio system.

MMS approves stipend positions, head cook and coach

MEDWAY - The Medway School Board was busy approving more stipend positions needed for the smooth running of school.