U.S. Sen. Angus King helped funnel $9 million to regional projects

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Aug. 1—Two-term U.S. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, put more than $137 million in the federal budget to help pay for 93 projects in Maine, including a half-dozen in Androscoggin County.

Among the allocations chosen by King are $1 million for the overhaul of Bates Mill No. 5 in Lewiston and $1.7 million to help with the replacement of the sewage treatment plant serving Livermore Falls and Jay.

King said the funding provides "direct, needed resources to the projects and places in Maine" that will have a major impact. Many of the project also had backing from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat.

In addition to the Androscoggin County projects, King also secured $514,000 to support the Carthage Group Critical Internet Infrastructure project to expand high-speed internet connection to towns in rural, western Maine.

Charlie Woodworth, executive director of the Greater Franklin Development Council, said in a prepared statement the money will be used as a "necessary match against provider, state and town funds to bring fiber connections to people in four towns."

In Androscoggin County, the spending plan includes $1 million to remove asbestos from Bates Mill No. 5 in Lewiston and for the replacement of its weave shed roof.

Lincoln Jeffers, Lewiston's economic and community development director, said the money "is a critical piece of the funding needed to mitigate environmental issues and clear the path for the redevelopment of the historic and iconic Bates Mill No. 5 in Lewiston's western gateway."

"The building employed thousands when it was first built. When redeveloped, it will do so again," Jeffers said in a prepared statement.

Jeffers said that without federal cash "this project would not move forward." With the help, he said, the city expects to leverage the aid into $70 million or more in private investment.

King also secured $4 million for the reconstruction of 1.1 miles of state Route 17 in the town of Livermore Falls.

He also got $1.7 million to assist with the replacement of the wastewater facility that serves Jay and Livermore Falls, a $14 million project considered crucial for improving the water quality of the Androscoggin River.

Mark Holt, superintendent of the Livermore Falls and Jay Sewer Department, said the money backed by King "will be a great asset to help reduce the financial burden our ratepayers and citizens will be facing."

The measure includes nearly $400,000 to install an elevator at Safe Voices' program center in Lewiston, an improvement that will make the building "truly accessible" and "open up invaluable space in our basement where we can house the free boutique where survivors can choose items to furnish their permanent housing," said Elise Johansen, executive director of Safe Voices.

The spending package also has $948,000 to help with renovations for Central Maine Healthcare's Paralysis and Brain Injury Rehabilitation Expansion Project and $366,000 for improvements at Spurwink Behavorial Health's intermediate care facility in Auburn.