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Alyce Maragus

The $75,000.00 Question
By Alyce Maragus
Nov 8, 2008 - 7:33:14 PM

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What in the world is all the hoopla over Millinocket's receiving $75,000.00 from Brookfield Power due to our mill closure. One would think Millinocket had won the Power Ball, Megabucks and Irish Sweepstakes, especially with Kathy Lee of Medway suggesting that we even share it with Patten, Sherman and Woodville.

Let's take a look at the charter changes from the original GNP charter but now given to Great Lakes Hydro (Brookfield Power)and relating to the "huge" windfall.

"If there is a Paper Mill Closing the owner of the Hydropower Facilities shall pay an annual amount of $75,000.00 to the econcomic development body serving the Katahdin Region as identified by the Dept. of Economic and Community Development for each Paper Mill Closing."

O.K. now let's examine what that means.

  1. It is the Millinocket Mill that has been closed.
  2. Millinocket has already paid over a quarter of a million dollars to the previous economic development entity with no results except more debt.
  3. Millinocket chose to transfer a TIF from Inexcon to Katahdin Paper in the hopes of keeping all of the people from various areas working. This generous gesture has cost Millinocket taxpayers over $9 million in tax revenue to date.
  4. Millinocket is the only community in the Katahdin Area to officially declare itself an economic development entity (along with any needed assistance from the Economic Development Council out of Bangor) . Neither of the two other towns have done so.
  5. Millinocket is located in the Katahdin Region, at least the last I knew.

When all is said and done and the above facts are taken into consideration, just what allows East Millinocket or Medway to think that they are entitled to any portion of this funding that will eventually be used in such a way that it will benefit the entire area.

Let's take a step further and determine where this hoopla began and who it was that generated it. There is only one answer to that question. Bruce McLean. It is he who appeared at an East Millinocket selectman's meeting and informed them that they should get part of this huge "windfall", and later reenforced this sentiment at a Millinocket council meeting. Although MAGIC is basically defunct, McLean continues to try to resurrect the dead horse. None of the three towns in the Katahdin Region are supporting MAGIC financially.

At the Joint Official's Meeting held on October 29th, Dave Dickey of Medway made the following statement," It's not that we didn't fund MAGIC. MAGIC didn't request any funding". Mr. Dickey, please review the beginning of your statement -- "It's not that we didn't fund MAGIC" Perhaps you think that we are all stupid, but the fact remains that Medway DID NOT fund MAGIC, therefore it is not supporting that organization financially. You may try to skew the facts, but the facts don't lie.

And now back to McLean. He has now created a wedge between all of the communities, and has made it even more difficult for them to find a middle ground that they can all agree upon. Added to this, he has created an atmosphere of discontent, dissension and distrust between all three towns, all the while supposedly working as a Millinocket councilor, who should have Millinocket's best interests in mind first and the region second.

To me, it doesn't look as though that is the case. And now Millinocket intends to give him a proclamation expounding his hard work "to improve the operations of Millinocket muncipal government and the economy of the area."

Give me a break! Due to his position as Executive Director of MAGIC, he has been unable to create any worthwhile employment for the people of the area and instead has left both Millinocket and East Millinocket with large debts, and this in an effort to help his friends and associates. For this he deserves accolades?

I don't think so!

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