MILO — The process was different this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but SAD 41 residents approved a $9,912,964 budget for the 2020-21 academic year at the Aug. 6 referendum.

Instead of voting on the total spending plan approved at the annual district budget meeting, as has been done in years past, in 2020 residents of Brownville, LaGrane and Milo voted on three separate articles making up the 2021 expenses.

The first article asked if citizens would approve a 2020-21 budget totaling $9,870,987. This item passed in each town, 30-10 in Brownville, 11-1 in LaGrange and 48-10 in Milo for a combined count of 89-21.

Article No. 2 concerned the district’s $41,976 share of about $412,000 for the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative. This item passed in all three communities, 29-10 in Brownville, 10-2 in LaGrange and 46-10 in Milo for a total of 85-22.

The third article asked if $50,000 would be set aside for the capital reserve fund. Article No. 3 was also approved, 33-5 in Brownville, 11-0 in LaGrange and 49-7 in Milo for a combined count of 49-7.

The proposed 2020-21 SAD 41 budget total of $9,912,964 with adult ed included, is up by nearly $288,000 from the previous academic year.

Between local required and local additional monies, the combined share for the three district communities is $2,391,605. This total is up by just under $68,000 from 2019-20 (approximately 2.28 percent). Another near $42,000 for adult education brings the local total to $2,433,581.

Each SAD 41 community would see an increase in the respective proportional shares of the $2.4 million-plus. Brownville’s contribution would be $785,820, a $16,612 (2.16 percent) increase; LaGrange would see an $18,742 (4.32 percent) increase to $453,066; and for Milo its $1,194,694 contribution is up by $18,948 or 1.61 percent.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump Administration announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $462 million to modernize critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure across rural America. In Maine, Bridgton Water District and Milo Water District have each been selected to receive $2.4 million in funding.

The Milo Water District has been selected to receive a total of $2.4 million (water and waste direct loan of $1,200,000 and water and waste grant of $1,200,000). This rural development investment will be used to upgrade the 2nd Street pump station, the Ida Moore pump station and infiltration & inflow reduction in the collection system.  The project also includes some minor upgrades at the wastewater treatment facility.  The primary purpose of the project is to address the applicable health or sanitary standard.

“Upgrading the infrastructure that delivers safe drinking water and modern wastewater management facilities will improve public health and drive economic development in our small towns and cities,” Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA continues to be a strong partner with rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

USDA Rural Development Timothy P. Hobbs said, “This investment of $4.8 million in two Maine water systems is another example of the Trump Administration’s commitment to ensuring rural residents have quality and reliable infrastructure. Supporting thriving rural communities is paramount in the work we do for rural communities every day at USDA Rural Development.”

USDA is funding 161 projects in 44 states through the water and waste disposal loan and grant  program. These investments will benefit 467,000 residents. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit rd.usda.gov/me.

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