CARRABASSETT VALLEY – Employees at Sugarloaf recently helped raise and distribute $17,100 to area nonprofit organizations, the largest amount given through this project.

The donations come from the Sugarloaf Region Charitable Trust, which collects money from mountain employees through payroll deductions. The employees contributed $8,550, which was then matched by the Sugarloaf Mountain Corp.

The trust was established in 1984 to encourage the existing human service and cultural organizations and to develop new organizations that would involve and improve the Sugarloaf area.

Last year, the group distributed $14,000 and the year before, $10,000.

Construction starts

AVON – Travelers on Route 4 in Avon may have noticed traffic is moving at a snail’s pace lately since the Maine Department of Transportation has begun a major construction project on a 3.8-mile stretch.

The project, which was awarded to E.L Vining and Sons Inc., of Farmington, officially began last October. It stretches from the rest area in Avon west to the Avon airport. Among the improvements to be made are repaving, improving drainage and widening the road, which will have two, 11-foot travel lanes and a four-foot shoulder on each side, said project manager Heath Cowan, of DOT.

The $3.8 million project was driven by a need to bring the road up to federal standards and to prepare for an expected rise in traffic levels. Five percent of the current traffic is comprised of heavy trucks, such as 18-wheelers and logging trucks.

Development plan

RUMFORD – Lem Cissel announced last week that he has bought 460 acres off Isthmus Road and plans to develop a 200-plus lot housing development and a retirement facility.

Cissel, a businessman from Maryland. is currently having engineering work conducted at the site previously owned by Eugene Caton. He said he has developed 27- and 36-lot subdivisions in his home state, and developed a successful landscaping business in the same area.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Jim Thibodeau said Cissel’s plan fits right into the municipality’s long-range plans for getting federal grant money for the expansion of water and sewer lines extended to several areas in the town.

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