Local towns reject Millinocket school proposal.


KATAHDIN REGION, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The latest proposal to send students from three Katahdin area towns to Millinocket has sparked controversy once again.

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Library Group asks Millinocket Town Council not to cut entire library budget


MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Millinocket Town Council has decided to put some money back into the town budget for the public library.

The budget they took up late Thursday afternoon included more than $200,000 in cuts. The largest share of the proposed cuts, about $80,000 was the entire yearly budget for the public library. That money pays the staff and keeps the lights on for 15 hours each week.

Members of the Friends of the Millinocket Memorial Library offered a compromise. They aksed the town to contribute $30,000 which they would need to match with $30,000. They've collected $20,000 so far.

"To me it's the heart of the community. for me it's very emotional," explained Bernie Friel, a member of the Friends of Millinocket Memorial Library.

National Park opponents send letter urging Quimby family to drop park plan


MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Opponents of a national park in the Katahdin region have sent a letter to Roxanne Quimby and her son Lucas St. Clair urging them both to drop their plans for a park on land the Quimby family owns nearby.

The plan is to put the park on land east of Baxter State Park. Seventy-five=thousand acres would be set aside for a national park and 75 thousand acres for a national recreation area that would allow hunting and snowmobiling.

The Maine Woods Coalition said recent referendums in East Millinocket and Medway showed voters there overwhelmingly reject the idea. The Millinocket Town Council also opposes it.

East Millinocket voters say no to national park


EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A majority of East Millinocket voters casted their ballots against a controversial proposal to create a national park in the Katahdin region.

On Monday, 320 voted against the park while 191 voted in favor.

The town of Medway voted an overwhelming "no" in a similar vote last Tuesday. This non binding vote is for the board of selectmen to see where the community stands on the issue.

The proposed plan would be to establish a 75,000 acre national park along with a 75,000 acre national recreation area. The recreation area would allow hunting and snowmobiling.

Some proponents say that having a national park could create jobs, and increase tourism while some opponents say that they do not want to give up land to the federal government. So far, there has been a steady turnout.

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East Millinocket buys former mill wastewater plant












EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- East Millinocket has a new wastewater plant after buying the one attached to the former Great Northern paper mill. It only cost the town one dollar, but that doesn't mean it the deal was a bargain.

East Millinocket now has to pay to run and maintain a much larger waste water plant. It also plans to build a brand new facility on the same site.

According to town leaders, the cost of constructing the new plant is tied to what the state does with the mill's landfill. Right now leachate from the landfill is processed at the plant.

Opponents and supporters discuss national park proposal


EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Representatives on the both sides of the national park proposal are answering questions head-on about the proposal Thursday.

Opponents gathered earlier in the day to discuss their concerns. They say a national park in the Katahdin area it will hurt jobs and limit recreational access.

The park would make up 75,000 acres and another 75,000 acres would be a recreation area.

Opponents are skeptical of the plan and think it is vague. They also said it would only bring in low-paying jobs that wouldn't boost the economy. They also fear that the land isn't attractive enough for a national park.

Millinocket school system could see $400k funding cut


MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Millinocket has faced constant financial struggles since the loss of the paper mill, but now the town's schools are starting to suffer as enrollment decreases.

Millinocket School System is looking at a nearly $400,000 shortfall in its projected 2016 funding, largely due to fewer students. More than $300,000 was lost due to that lack of enrollment, and about $72,000 was lost due to students from outside territories moved into the district. The state Department of Education bases its funding on each individual school's enrollment, and Millinocket currently has only 500 students in the system, K-12, as opposed to four times that amount years back. And the number is expected to continue to decline after this school year with more than 50 seniors graduating, but little more than 20 kindergartners coming entering the system.