Fire Chief Bill St. Michel has been notified that Durham has been approved for a $1,400 Rural Community Fire Protection Relief 50-50 matching grant. It’s to be used to purchase two portable radios, six collapsible Indian tanks and 10 forestry jackets.

The items must be purchased by the town. The 50-percent reimbursement is expected in about three months, St. Michel said.

The Fire Department has also been approved for a substantial Fire Prevention Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. St. Michel submitted the grant application for a $28,100 project last September. Of this, the federal share will be $25,290 and the local share, $2,810. “This package will allow us to put together a very aggressive, yet fun, fire prevention and safety education program for elementary school-age children,” he said.

He has also submitted two grant requests to the Maine Municipal Association risk pool, which are now under review. If successful, both projects are currently listed in the budget so local matching funds would not be an issue, St. Michel said.

– Connie Footman

Business people suggest priorities

Between 30 and 35 local business people attended Lisbon’s first Development Conference, making various suggestions on community needs. Topping the list was education, followed by taxes on business equipment, a new industrial/commercial park, new community center and tax reduction, in that order.

In a report to selectmen, Economic Development Director Dan Feeney said 11 people said the town and school administration should hold quarterly meetings to improve communication, work on common problems and set goals for improving the general educational system.

In the area of taxes on business equipment, 10 thought the town should work with the legislature and business community to get program changes to work for smaller companies and to introduce bills to improve the system.

Two people thought a new community center should be added to the capital improvement plan. They would add to the center a facility for seniors, and a facility for kids. It was also thought that the town should review uses for the Morse school after it’s vacated.

On tax incentives for development, two people thought Feeney should continue to monitor state and federal programs. On tax reduction, two said Feeney and Town Manager Curtis Lunt should keep selectmen apprised of all incentives.

Eight favored building a large industrial-commercial park, suggesting that Feeney should monitor funding sources and review a “super park” concept on an annual basis, with the possibility of using the former Maine Electronics property.

No interest was expressed for increasing the Adult Education or the Neighborhood Watch programs, and there was no need expressed for “keeping existing business happy.”

– Connie Footman

New deed fixed problem from 1934

Selectmen signed a tax deed Tuesday night, clearing an error made nearly 70 years ago.

Town Manager Richard Chick explained that the action taken by the board straightened out the error in the language of the deed that was made in 1934. The parcel is owned by Camp Fernwoods, a summer camp for children.

The selectmen also signed the warrant for the annual town meeting, which will be April 26, and voted to discontinue small portions of Aggregate and Poland Corner roads where the town owns both sides, straightening out a right of way line.

– John Plestina

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