Council OKs takeover of Nordic Heritage Center operations

2 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Presque Isle City Council tackled a lengthy agenda at its April meeting.

The Presque Isle City Council voted on April 6 to become operators of Nordic Heritage Center in a 6-1 vote. The Presque Isle recreation department will take over programming events at the heritage center, and provide more outdoor recreational activities for the people of Aroostook County. The Libra Foundation will continue to own the facility. The hope is by operating the facility, the recreation department can increase outdoor recreation opportunities. 

The council also unanimously voted to participate in the Northern Maine Railroad reuse project started by the city of Caribou. This multi-municipality project (Limestone, Presque Isle, Caribou, Fort Fairfield) would decommission unused train tracks between the cities and enable them to be transformed into public use trails and common spaces. These rails have not been used for a decade.

Kim Smith has helped the council draft American Rescue Plan Act funds to help with projects around the city. The two projects that the city hopes to accomplish with the funds are Echo Lakes sewer and clean water infrastructure, and the Forum’s air quality filtration system and air conditioning. 

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — April 6, 2022 — City councilors Craig Green (left) and Gary Nelson (right) discuss reapportioning the SAD 1 districts during the April Presque Isle City Council meeting. (David DiMinno | The Star-Herald)

The council took time to recognize the Aroostook County Action Program for their 50 years of service to the Aroostook County Community. Due to their service to the community, the council named the month of May 2022 as Community Action and ACAP month.

The city council also approved the comprehensive plan for the next 10 years of development in Presque Isle. The plan has been approved by the state of Maine, finishing a planning board project that has gone through months of changes and revisions.

The council discussed the need to reapportion the districts in SAD 1 to make sure that each district has equal say in votes. City Manager Martin Puckett spoke with SAD 1 Superintendent Ben Greenlaw regarding this issue, and Greenlaw said he will speak about the topic at the next school board meeting on April 13. 

The council voted to renew the marijuana licenses for Royal Leaf Apothecary and Full Bloom Management LLC. Counselors also approved a special license for music, dancing and entertainment at Lotus Lounge. 

The second-floor offices have been completed in city hall, and the plan is to have employees move into them early next week. 

The next Presque Isle City Council meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on May 4, at the Sargent Community Center.