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Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
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February 9, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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February 9, 2018
 

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9 February, 2018 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 23 Calais to donate to CRH fundraising drive by Lura Jackson MaineStart. "We think this is a good way After a briefly heated discussion, the to retain people," Gallina said. The city Calais city councillors voted to support has 31 full-time employees, 27 of whom the Calais Regional Hospital's fundrais- are enrolled in MainePERS. If the remain- ing drive for pulmonology equipment with ing four adopted MaineStart and began a $1,000 donation. The topic was among contributing 5% of their checks to it, then those covered at a council meeting on Jan- the city's match would be about $8,800 a uary 25, along with how the city will be year. compensating employees in the Maine- "I like the idea, but I don't think the Start program, the pursuit of a grant for a contribution should be the same across new ladder truck and the acquisition of the board," said Councillor Marcia Rag- funds for the fiber optic Intemet network, ers. She suggested that the amount that The pulmonology equipment needed by the city matches should increase over time the hospital is a $32,000 machine used to as an incentive to remain with the city. clean bronchoscopy equipment.-The has- Following Rogers' suggestion, the coun- pital is expanding its pulmonology servic- cil voted to approve a 1% match for each es, and the new equipment will enable year of employment, up to 5% at five increasingly advanced and accurate years and above. screening services to take place at the has- Fire Chief Ken Clark received approval pital, to submit an application for a national The decision to support the hospital was FEMA Assistance for Firefighters grant. approved by a narrow 3-2 margin, with Chief Clark said that the highly competi- councillors Anne Nixon and Marcia Rag- tive grant could be used to cover nearly all ers in dissent and Artie Mingo, Scott Geel of the cost of a new ladder truck and add- and Mike Sherrard, who was the mayor ed that the grant had previously been won pro tem at the meeting, in support. Nixon by the Calais department for the last lad- and Rogers centered their concerns on the der truck. If Calais receives the grant, its hospital board. "I hate to give them any cost for a new truck would be approxi- money," expressed Councillor Nixon. "I mately $50,000. Judy East is assisting with don't trust them or what they do." Coun- the grant application. cillor Rogers said, "Until there's a change The city is moving forward in the con- that happens, we're going down a bad struction of the physical aspects of the path. I def'mitely support the hospital, but fiber optic network that will soon provide I don't support the board." dramatically faster Internet speeds to resi- In expressing the opinion of the majori- dents who sign on for the service with ty, Councillor Geel said that, while he their selected provider. The council ap- could see Councillor Nixon's point, "we proved City Manager Jim Porter's request obviously need to keep the hospital here. to seek a short-term $1.6 million bond for It would be aterrible blow to the commu- the project. nity to lose it. I think we need to mend the The council also approved Porter's re- fences." The council voted to approve a quest to place a full-page ad in the upcom- $1,000 donation, matching a similar ing Best Kept Secrets of Way DownEast amount previously contributed by the magazine, which will be published by the Town of Baileyville. St. Croix Chamber of Commerce in April. The council voted unanimously to sup- The expense will be drawn in part from a port an initiative proposed by Finance Di- promotional line and the econonic devel- rector Crystal Gallina to offer a matching opment fund. program for employees enrolled in Maine- The council authorized the expense of Start, an alternate retiring plan for those $4,700 for the replacement of a commer- who have not adopted MainePERS. For cial door at the city building. The lowest MainePERS, the disbursement once re- bid for the door was from Coastal Glass. tired is based on one's highest salary while According to Councillor Mingo and those who enroll in MaineStart will re- City Manager Porter, the city is making ceive an amount based on their contribu- progress in uniting an ATV trail with the tion. While MainePERS offers more state network at Ayers Junction. Mingo long-term stability for retirees, IRS rules said that access to Hardscrabble Road has limit enrollment in the program to within been obtained. Porter noted that a "key a week of the employee's full-time start piece" in the trail has been secured as a date. This means that employees who opt result of the city recently obtaining a prop- out of it are left with MaineStart unless erty through the tax-acquired property they begin new employment elsewhere, process. To prevent employees from leaving and to remain competitive as an employer, Gallina proposed that the city match up to ;% of what employees contribute to Brave Hearts MEET FURRY VALENTINE CRYSTAL, a lovely and resilient young cat who was abandoned in the midst of the arctic cold this winter: As Crystal has learned to trust her daily caregivers, she has become more confident and affectionate. She would love a quiet home with a family ready to give her TLC and a fresh start in her long life ahead! FMI, call 207-454-7662, email pawscalais@yahoo.com or message us on PAWS Brave Heart Facebook. FREE )ELIVERY Sponsored by Mays Funeral Home CALAIS ACE HOMECENTER recently made a donation to support the new pulmonolo- gy services at Calais Regional Hospital The new equipment will expand local health options for those with respiratory issues. Shown is CRH CEO Rod Boula (right), who is accepting the donation from Ryan Case, Crystal Carrier and Drew Case of Ace Hardware. School health center bill garners support by Edward French 15 school-based health centers in the state. Among those testifying in support of a Jenkins also pointed to the value of the bill to restore funding for Maine's school- health center, noting that, for many fami- based health centers were several who lies, students would not see a doctor or spoke about the benefits that the Blue health professional if it was not provided Devil Health Center in Calais provides, through the school's center. "Having suc- The hearing was held by the legislature's cess in school is many things," he stated. Health and Human Services Committee "If a student is not healthy both medically on January 18. and emotionally he/she cannot learn. Do Calais Superintendent Ran Jenkins not- not take away our ability to help all stu- ed that the health center serves about 80% dents to succeed." of the students attending Calais Middle/ Calais junior Dylan Carrier's testimony High School, with services that include stated, "I know of many fellow students medical, dental, counseling, drug and al- and their families in my high school who cohol prevention and suicide prevention, depend on the health center for not just Along with Calais, students come from a mental health care but physical care, and number of smaller nearby towns. The they wouldn't get the treatment they need health center relies on the state for about without the health center." 30% of its funding, but last summer, when In her testimony, Calais senior Kylie the state budget was passed after the start Donovan stated, "Through the health cen- of the school system's new fiscal year, ter, the students at Calais High School can that funding ended. "The timing was terri- schedule appointments with three differ- ble because we had already passed our ent physicians and a trained psychologist. budget and making adjustments at that late For most of these kids, these services would date was very difficult," stated Jenkins. not be available due either to financial re- "It will be even more difficult if not im- straints or time." She noted that for some possible moving forward to fill that gap." students, if there wasn't a therapist in the The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. building next to the school, they mostly James Handy of Lewiston, with Senator likely would not see one. She said the health Joyce Maker of Calais and Rep. Anne Per- center "is crucial to Calais, and instead of ry of Calais among the co-sponsors, would coming here to plead with you to keep it, restore the $600,000 from the Fund for a we should be here trying to introduce more Healthy Maine for both 2017-18 and for facilities like it in other schools." 2018-19, which was the level provided in In an initial vote on February 1, the 2016-17. Last July, the Maine Legislature committee gave the bill an ought to pass cut $5 million from the Fund for a Healthy as amended recommendation in a divided Maine, resulting in a loss of funding to the vote. 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