Minot looking at money for walking, biking trails


MINOT – The Maine Trails Advisory Committee has recommended approving a $29,000 grant to develop a web of walking trails on town land.

The grant will be matched with $7,500 the townspeople have already raised to construct nearly three miles of trails connecting the Minot Consolidated School and the town office with the existing ball fields in the Minot Memorial Park and the play fields now under development to the east of the school.

The trails will be for nonmotorized use only, and most of the 14,000-foot network will be handicap accessible. The project is expected to take three years to complete with the Maine Trails Advisory Committee’s recommendation. Final approval by the Federal Highway Administration is expected in April.

Recreation Committee member Candace Benwitz told selectmen she will be going over final plans for field layout in the new recreational area with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and reaffirmed that the group’s goal is to have one soccer field ready for play this fall.

Town Administrator Rhonda Irish said she and the Recreation Committee is working to secure a $50,000 grant from a private foundation for a second playing field and a parking area.

Fire Chief Steve French announced that the state’s system for issuing burning permits online is now working, and those who do not have Internet access can go to the town office during business hours for help. The cost for online permits is a $7 charge to your credit card.

“You can still get your building permits free, provided you can catch someone at the fire station or Norm Gurschick, Dean Campbell or me – and providing the weather is right for burning,” French said.