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Sally Bouchard

Condominiums in Millinocket
By Sally Bouchard
Jun 18, 2006 - 6:51:00 PM

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With all the money that has been spent on the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC) to help bring employment to Millinocket, the latest plan is to bring condos to Millinocket; no jobs but housing for people with money. With the unemployment so high, there are a lot of empty homes. Our people are leaving. Bring in people with money to enjoy the view of the mountain and have our people leave. That's their solution.

Money is to be made building condos, but it wonít be the people of Millinocket who will get rich. It will be the man from Massachusetts and his friends.

Who is Bob Benjamin, and why did he come to Millinocket? He isnít helping our community to grow. No, he is tearing down buildings, and we the people of Millinocket are losing our history. He bought Steeves Hardware, and it is now gone. He owns the Fruit Store and the Fleet Bank, but is doing nothing with those buildings. The Fruit Store has a lot of memories for the people of Millinocket: the smell of fresh roasted peanuts as you were walking down Main Street, and the penny candy.

To Bob Benjamin, the Fruit Store is just another building, but to us who lived here, it is a building with a lot of memories. And with that building are the memories of the Matangeloís, John, Chet and Eunice who owned the store and who are missed by the people who knew them.

An old bank is sitting empty. Why? It would be a wonderful building for the Millinocket Historical Society to have the museum in, but instead it is empty. The museum needs a new building to show their collection, but Mr. Benjamin doesnít seem to want to sell it at a reasonable price, or lease it. He's had his chance.

Bruce McLean stated that Millinocket can be another gateway to the park, like Bar Harbor. If Millinocket becomes another Bar Harbor, it will die as a community. Apparently, that doesn't bother those who support MAGIC. Bar Harbor has condos, but Millinocket does not need them.

For over a hundred years, Millinocket was a wonderful place to raise children. People are staying here and some are coming here yet, for that very reason. They are not going to Bar Harbor.

Tear down homes to make bigger lots for new residents. Have Millinocket become an artist colony. Those are also statements Councilor McLean has made. As director of MAGIC, and as someone who grew up in Millinocket, he should be trying to keep his friends and classmates here, not trying to get wealthy new residents from away as his highest priory.

The coast of Maine has condominiums, and because of a very high valuation, the people of Maine are being driven out of their homes. Is that what will happen to Millinocket?

Mt. Katahdin has always been part of our town. The beauty and spirit is always with us, and we will never get tired of looking at her. Now people are coming here and only seeing how much money they can make from the beauty of the mountain.

The Millinocket Cemetery has one of the best views of the mountain. With the flowers and the flags flying on the graves, it is one of the best spots in Millinocket.

If the townspeople leave this area, there will be many empty gravesites with no flowers, nor will there be enough veterans to put the flags on the graves of the men and women who served their country.

Look at the mountain and weep for what this town is losing.

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