Mexico not awarded federal grant

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MEXICO — The town failed to secure a highly desired and important  Community Development Block Grant, according to Town Manager John Madigan at Tuesday evening’s selectmen’s meeting.

Mexico had pursued the federal $500,000 public infrastructure grant to help pay for significant road construction on three streets.

“We had secured the remaining funds for the (anticipated $1.2 million project),” Madigan said, “as well as lining up everyone for the project.

“This really throws a big wrench into the works,” he said. “We had been waiting for over a year (for the grant decision). We were all set to go.”

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Mexico was told that its grant application finished in the middle of the pack of the 15 applicants, according to Madigan.

Undaunted, the town will apply for future federal public infrastructure grants, he said.

Regarding four quitclaim deeds:

* The town released its claim to a property on 3 Spring St. after a previous owner paid all past-due encumbrances.

* Selectmen voted unanimously to seek bids to demolish a house on Dix Avenue.

* Selectmen decided to sell a house at 47 Mexico Ave. with a $5,000 minimum bid.

* Selectmen decided to sell a house at 6 Yannish Way with a minimum bid of $7,500.

The board issued a new vendors license to Jim Barnett for an outdoor flea market for this summer at the old Irving gas station on Main Street. It was given on condition that he keep the business neat and supply a Porta Potti.

Barnett described his new business, as an open-air flea market with several tables where several vendors will sell their goods.

In other matters the board decided to:

* Have the library painted because it was last done eight to 10 years ago.

* Seek bids for a new new extended-body truck with body and chassis only  to replace the town’s 1987 plow truck. The board estimated that with the wings and sander added the total cost of the outfitted truck would be $130,000. The town should get approximately $28,000 in trade for the old truck, selectmen estimated.

* Put new plumbing at the Mexico Recreational Center. Bids will be sought.

* Seek pre-bids for construction on 3.3 miles of the Backkingdom Road. The construction will be done in three parts.

Madigan announced that Memorial Day plans are set and the new memorial stone has been put on a cement pad by the highway department. U.S. Sen.  Olympia Snowe, R-Maine., has been invited to attend.

Joe Roche of Peru, a graduate student in public administration, will be interning with the town government this summer in order to fulfill his degree requirements, the town manager said.

“This internship arrangement will be a win-win for the town as we can tap his experience as Peru road commissioner when we work on Backkingdom Road,” Madigan said.

In other news, residents will be able claim a piece of land around the town’s gazebo to plant flowers.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 2 for the opening of Jennifer Wing Massage.

The town’s annual spring cleanup is under way, with more than half the town done.

The town has applied for Maine Municipal Association grant for the purchase of  a multigas detector.

There will be a public hearing on the school budget at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 26.

The second annual lawnmower race will return this summer due to popular demand at a date to be announced. There will be a new racing category called the unlimited outlaw class this year.

                              dfayen@sunjournal.com

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