Princeton

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Town News

Sandra Smith

 

On Wednesday at 6:00 there was a special town meeting at the Princeton Elementary School. The Article that was voted on was: To see if the Town will vote to expend $75,000.00 from the Undesignated Surplus Account for upgrades at the Princeton Municipal Airport. The upgrades include the replacement of the existing navigational aids. The FAA will reimburse the Town 90% of the project, the State 5% and the Princeton Regional Airport Authority is 5% for a total reimbursement to the Town 100% of the cost of the project. Attending the meeting from the town office staff were Wendy Goodwin and Donna Worden and select board members John Leighton, Jason Theriault and Doreen Wallace. Presenting the article were Princeton Regional Airport Authority representatives, Dave Herrick and Greg Monk as well as Seth Lovely from Stantec Consulting. Greg Monk was elected moderator. The upgrade was presented as a safety measure that would assist pilots navigation on approach keeping them from flying too high or too low. The $75,000 would be a loan from the surplus account which would be reimbursed by the grant which would be filed May 2017 with $60,000 of it reimbursed by September 30, 2017 and the $10,000 by May of 2018. The presenters felt there would be no problem in obtaining the grant. After a short discussion, it was voted with no opposition to expend the funds.

For those not familiar with the airport I have put together a brief history that I compiled from the Princeton Town Reports. The land originally was four farms owned by the Bailey, Pike, Lovering and Mercier families. Paul Plaisted bought all of the farms and in 1925 built a huge barn. It was noted that he delivered milk to Princeton residents as well as the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (CCC). In the early 1940’s, the federal government bought 420 acres to build an airport for parking airplanes that would not fit on Dow Army Airfield (now the Bangor International Airport). The employees of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) cleared the land, the government installed two runways, lighting and a drainage system. Once the rotating beacon was installed in the Pike Field the airport was operational.

After World War II, the airport and surrounding land was given to the residents of Princeton and called the Princeton Municipal Airport. At one point the original Princeton Railroad Station was moved to the airport to become the terminal building.

The Princeton Regional Airport Authority, is the governing body for the airport, via a cooperative agreement between Princeton, Baileyville and Calais. There are two representatives from each town: Princeton - Dave Herrick, Greg Monk; Baileyville - Keith Hanson, Tony Leavitt; and Calais - Billy Howard, Greg Bridges. Also they are responsible for maintaining and developing the airport for business and the general public.

Recent history includes improvements such as new pavement for the runway, new snow removal equipment and building, weather reporting equipment and a new aircraft parking apron and over $1,050,000.00 in Federal and State grants.

Currently there are eleven hangars and two runways. One is 4005 x 100 feet; the other 3998 x 150 feet. Over the past 4 years there have been about 5000 landings which include Life Flights (both fixed wing airplane and helicopters), the Maine Forest Service, Border Patrol, Air National Guard, charters, businesses, recreation, tourists and local pilots.

In 2016, stumps and bushes were cleared from the edge of the N/S runway and some trees were harvested. Plans for 2017 include permitting and preliminary work for reconstructing the Main Runway N/S and in 2018 the reconstruction of the Main Runway N/S.

Upcoming Activities

Princeton Pathfinders - Every Sunday at noon at Isaac Cilley’s home in Princeton.

Princeton Library Committee - Wednesday, January 11 at 5:00 p.m. at the library

January 11 - Princeton Pathfinders Snowmobile Club - 6:00 p.m. Old School House Restaurant  - New members always welcome.

Dog licensing deadline January 31-after that $25 late fee

News? Just drop me a note princetonnews@outlook.com or give me a call after 10:00 a.m. at 796-2261. I need any news no later than early Monday morning. See school news on page 23.