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Alyce Maragus

Millinocket Council Meeting of 4/24/08
By Alyce Maragus
Apr 25, 2008 - 7:14:51 PM

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This past Thursday (4/24), I attended a council meeting in Millinocket and came away heartsick.

Why? you might ask. If you truly love our little town, read this article and see for yourself whether or not it makes you sad when you hear what is planned for our town.

Our council has pretty well agreed to partake in what is being called a Rural Development Community Initiative project to be sponsored by Penquis. I don't believe that the councilors who have our best interest in mind and there are at least three and sometimes four, understood how serious this decision was and just what ramifications it could have in the future. I also realize that it probably doesn't mean much to many of you Millinocket residents.  We do have buildings that might need to be torn down, but please read on.

First let me quote from an E-mail addressed to our town manager from Michael Bush, Housing Developer for the project. Mr. Bush says "the purpose of the RCDI grant is to provide a program of technical assistance" (whatever that is supposed to mean). Bush goes on to say "we are focusing on housing issues and have identified areas with a large number of mobile homes (many of which are older) and older homes".

The worm being dangled is that there will be no cost to the town, but rather "Penquis, working in cooperation with EMDC and other non-profits will provide all matching funds for the project." How nice! It won't even cost us anything to destroy our town.

Is it any wonder that it all sounds good so far? I believe a quick look at Millinocket's Comprehensive Plan might clarify the purpose of this study.

On page 12 of our very own Plan it states, "There are specific homes in the Millinocket area that it is not feasible, or desirable, to rehabilitate. By 2015, there is likely to be at least 812 vacant housing units in the area. These will be older homes, older rental units, abandoned or vacant units, homes on leased land, older mobile homes or lower quality homes located on very smalll lots".

And here are quotes from Pages 22, 23, and 24 of our Plan.

"The Millinocket Area as a whole needs to employ a comprehensive housing reduction and investment strategy. The most distressed neighborhoods in Millinocket appear to be the InTown, Across the Tracks, Pines and the Little Italy/Medway road areas".

I fervantly hope you don't live in any of these areas as it looks as though you might be some the first to be forced out.

And going on, listed under Goals and Strategies - Goal #2 says, "Alleviate glutted housing market by reducing housing stock." That means there either are, or will be, too many houses so we must get rid of them.

Again, I sure hope it isn't your house they intend to reduce.

Another section is entitled "Policies and Implementation Strategies". It contains the following statements "The town will appoint {not ELECT} a Housing Committee whose mission will be to evaluate housing alternatives. An on going program (a housing reduction program) will be developed.

Remember this "Millinocket Comprehensive Plan" was forwarded to Augusta sometime in 2002. Were any of you people aware of these future plans. Have any of you had or taken the opportunity to read through it before it was sent to the state to be filed on record?

I believe that everything I have told you so far fits in very nicely with the changes LURC intends to make in its own Comprehensive Plan. They are aiming to increase their control of the area by strengthening their ability to over-regulate. I urge everyone to attend the LURC hearing to be held this Tuesday 4/29/08 at 6:00pm at Sterns Auditorium.

Now, maybe none of you out there see the danger that lies ahead of us. I have oft times been labelled as "negative" and a "kook" but Jim Talbott of WSYY has conducted interviews with two very astute gentlemen, Henry Joy, State Representative and also Roger Ek.

Both of these men have been highly involved on the state level and they have reinforced the fact that there is indeed a program out there being supported by the preservaiton groups. That plan is called "Rural Cleansing".

What is means, plain and simply, is that it is the preservationists goal to take back the rural areas and return them to nature.

In case you don't understand all this gobbledy-gook what it also means is that they want you out of here.

Will it happen tomorrow? NO! But be assured it is now on a forward march in rural Maine and unfortunatelly our town is one of the targets.




Editor's Note: At the time that the Comprehensive Plan was approved, MAGIC enjoyed full control of the town council. In fact, I was told by a member of the comprehensive plan committee that after they had completed the proposed plan, it was given to Bruce McLean, who was not a member of the council at that time, to be drawn up, and that it came back much different than had been agreed upon.
We knew then that it was only a matter of time before the magically twisted comprehensive plan would rise up and bite us.

Any member of the Millinocket Town Council willing to put such decisions in the hands of green groups posing as non-profit economic development agencies (such as EMDC and whoever they call up on for assistance, quite possibly MAGIC) should be recalled. Of course, that won't happen. -- Ken Anderson

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