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Sally Bouchard

The New Reality
By Sally Bouchard
Apr 4, 2007 - 3:11:57 PM

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BILL LD 1683 HP (1181)

This bill will be going to the Appropriations Committee for a grant of $125,000 dollars to pay for start up cost for a Culture Center in Millinocket.

When it was brought up before the Millinocket Town Council, it was stated that the money was needed to pay for a loan from the Bangor Savings Bank; a loan that is past due and is for over $122,000 dollars.

This loan was taken out in May of 2005 for the amount of $119,550.48. With accrued interest: of $2,959.22 the full amount owed is $122,509.22.

If the grant is voted on to give this money to the culture center and they pay off their loan to the bank, that will not leave much for any start up costs. Will your elected officials be fooled and vote to give the taxpayers' money to pay back a private loan to the bank?

Four members of the Millinocket town council voted for a resolve in support of giving this money to the culture center. Two of them are not from Millinocket, nor will they be citizens of Millinocket in the near future.

The other two were brought up in Millinocket, and both of them are friends of Guilds Hollowell, the man who stands to gain from having the state pay off his mortgage. One of them helped to bring in Brim Ness, a fiasco that resulted in $240,000 of our money gone, no jobs and the town taxpayers may have to pay back some or all of this grant money.

If any of the four who voted for the resolve had talked to the public, they could have found out that water in the basement has always been a problem in that building. I talked to people who worked in that building in the fifties, and even then, every spring there was water, and problems with mold; yet some of our town officials do not care. Instead of acting in the interests of the town, they will always support their friends.

Will our elected leaders in Augusta spend the taxpayers' money for a project that is so ill-advised? How many of our citizens can get grant money from the state to pay off their mortgages?

If this project goes through, will the so-called culture center be a continued drain on the taxpayers of Millinocket? There is no reasonable business plan that will support the culture center, and it will end up on the back of the citizens of Millinocket. Can Millinocket afford this folly, coming so closely on the heels of so many others?

Unfortunately for the taxpayers of Millinocket, neither the four members of the town council nor the elected officials in Augusta seem to care if it becomes a drain on Millinocket.

They donít care that the Bank has filed in Superior Court for non-payment on the loan. They donít care that there is no realistic business plan. They donít care what the citizens of Millinocket, who pay the bills, think. Instead, they will vote for their friends and supporters.

That is what is called democracy in Maine, and the people will keep being taxed for projects that will never be self-sufficient.

With no common sense, and no investigation of where the money goes, they can continue to spend and tax, and the people will have to pay the bills.

That is the new culture of Maine and Millinocket. It is the new reality.

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