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Kathy Gagnon

Condo Deal Not a Good Deal for Millinocket
By Kathy Gagnon
Jun 30, 2006 - 2:03:00 PM

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In developer Bob Benjaminís opinion, "There are not a lot of very nice homes on the market in Millinocket," and according to him, there are "no available homes on large lots."

KVHC officials claim there is a lack of upscale housing in the area and it is impeding their efforts to recruit medical staff to the area. Their solution for this, a four building, 16-unit development on 2.5 acres.

Presenting the plan with Bob Benjamin was area realtor, Dan Corcoran who is married to local, Jean McLean, mother of MAGICís Executive Director and Town Councilor, Bruce Mclean. Mr. Corcoran stated that he didnít see this development taking away any value from the properties in the surrounding area. This I find hard to believe since it will completely and forever change this neighborhood which has enjoyed the benefit of not having homes or development behind them since they were built. Some have bought homes in the area because of this.

Mr. Benjamin was not pleased to be pressed as to the potential asking price for one of his units and begrudgingly gave the figure of $200,000.00 per unit. Maybe Mr. Corcoran could explain how this is not going to affect the value of homes in the area. Demands for a vote and assurances that the project will proceed, one way or another, were plentiful at the meeting from the presenters. Answers to questions were not.

The land for the proposed development has not been available for purchase to others who have made requests in the past. One woman at the meeting told the planning board that the minister of the Nazarene Church had tried to buy the land at one time, and was denied the option.

This is not surprising since Mr. Benjamin is an associate of Councilor Matthew Polstein, who is the lone person allowed to purchase land at Hammond Ridge where many local residents own camps that have been in their families for generations, yet none have been allowed to purchase the land their camps are on.

As for large lots, I donít think 16 families on 2.5 acres will provide a large lot for any of the residents in the development.

Telling attending residents that there would not be a vote that night, then doing so after residents left was improper and should not have happened. Once again, Millinocket residents and taxpayers voices were overlooked and overruled.

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