By Diana Bowley of the News Staff - DOVER-FOXCROFT - Piscataquis County commissioners on Tuesday approved two requests and denied a third from all-terrain vehicle clubs to use stretches of county roads for trails.
The commissioners agreed to allow the Bodfish All-Terrain Vehicle Club to use 1.6 miles of the Elliotsville Road to connect to trails and the Northern Lights All-Terrain Vehicle Club in Kokadjo to use a portion of the Greenville and Millinocket Road and the Frenchtown Road. The club has 81 miles of scenic trails thanks to permission from landowners.
A request from the Moosehead ATV Riders to use three-tenths of a mile of Depot Street near Greenville Junction was not approved. That move focused on the fact that the road is heavily traveled.
"I don't think they should be on that road," Commissioner Woodrouffe "Tony" Bartley said. He said the club should find a way to connect their trails via the industrial park land.
As for the use of the Elliotsville Road, the commissioners agreed to allow it on a trial basis until Dec. 1 when they will revisit the issue to determine if there was any impact from the use.
Mike Aube, state director of USDA Rural Development, presented the commissioners with a facsimile of a check for $84,986 which will allow the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council to develop strategies to improve the economy.
Mark Scarano, PCEDC executive director, said a part-time staffer will be hired to help communities identify grant opportunities and to provide technical assistance to help develop identified projects.
Projects that will be helped include the industrial park in Milo, the Natural Resources Education Center in Greenville and downtown revitalization in Dover-Foxcroft. Technical assistance also will be offered to nonprofit groups that make a difference, he said.
"You can see we're going to be spreading technical assistance opportunities around the county, including some areas that are not your service center communities," Scarano said Tuesday. He said the local match for the grant was funded through the $75,000 that the county budgets for PCEDC each year.
Also on Tuesday, the commissioners granted a 3 percent increase in pay in 2006 for nonunion, elected or appointed employees. This is the same increase union members will receive that year. An increase in the hourly pay rate for nonunion part-time employees from $6.35 to $8 per hour also was approved.
It was announced that the county is the new owner of a Polaris all-terrain vehicle that was taken from Thomas Izbicki of Wellington in a case involving marijuana.
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