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Morning Star

One Step Closer to Consolidation

MILLINOCKET -- The Katahdin area towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket, and Medway move one step closer to consolidation, while some speak of a possible merger.

On a unanimous vote, the Millinocket town council voted to award a $60,000 proposal to a Wiscasset company for consulting services related to consolidation of area municipal and school consolidation efforts.

Advanced Management Catalyst, Inc., the company chosen to provide the services, was called into question recently in an opinion piece by the the Katahdin Times. According to the Times, AMCi’s president, Dan Thompson, served as Wiscasset’s town planner from 1989 to 2001.

Shortly before he left this position, it was revealed in a story by the Wiscasset Newspaper that Thompson allegedly tried selling his own land to a developer while he was being paid to represent the town’s efforts.

“By promoting his own land, Thompson was in effect competing against the town,” wrote Wiscasset’s attorney, Dennis Jumper, in a letter addressed to the town on December 27,2000. “It appears,” the letter continued, that Thompson “was using information he obtained as town planner to, in effect, compete against the town’s sale of its middle school property.”

Nevertheless, the Millinocket town council voted unanimously to award a $60,000 contract for consulting services to AMCi.

More

$15,000 of this has already been approved to be paid by East Millinocket, while the towns are anticipating a matching funds grant from the state for $30,000, leaving the costs to both town’s budget at $15,000 apiece.

Millinocket must administer the grant because it is the only town involved in the process that has a comprehensive land use plan approved by the state.

Asked by Councilor Scarano what would happen if the state funds didn’t come through, Town Manager Eugene Conlogue said that the state grants were needed, but that he antcipated that they would be approved.

“What we’re doing is so important that I would be happy to raise the additional funds,” said Councilor Polstein. “I’m committed to this whether we have the additional help or not,” he added.

Later, when the Town Manager reported on the need to fill a vacancy in the recreation department, Polstein suggested that this was the ideal time to not fill the part-time supervisory position, but to seek consolidation of services with East Millinocket.

“This is an opportunity to bring our rec. department together with East Millinocket,” arguing that it was better to do it “now rather than later.”

After much discussion it was agreed to fill the position, but to make it known in advance that it was subject to change at any time.

-- Ken Anderson 06/13/03