Monday, 10 December 2018 22:13

Economic council celebrates 20 years, honors local couple Featured

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DOVER-FOXCROFT - A group that has worked to improve the economic development of Piscataquis County marked two decades Monday night.

 

At an awards dinner and annual business meeting in Dover-Foxcroft, the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PCEDC) also honored a local couple that they feel is helping to put Milo on the map.

 

Formed in 1998 because local leaders were concerned about financial growth, the council works to bring in new businesses and support current ones.

 

Tom Lizotte, PCEDC's board vice chairman said Piscataquis County is "a wonderful place to live but first you have to have a job...we want to thrive economically and improve the quality of life of the people who live here, that's really what it's all about."

 

On Monday night, Tom and Nancy Harrigan were honored. The couple runs the local Kiwanis chapter, visitor's center, and a paleontology museum -- all in Milo. The museum, the Harrigan Learning Center, features fossils, Indian artifacts, and minerals collected during the couple's worldwide travels.

 

"We want to make the lives of the people there better and we want to try to get commerce through there," said Tom Harrigan.

 

"We don't do it to be recognized, but when people notice you, it is nice," said Nancy Harrigan.

 

They received the "Warren 'Pete' Myrick Award", named for one of the founding members of PCEDC.

 

Current members said the Harrigans have helped draw attention to the area.

 

"It was done with their own funds, and they really looked at what was the need, what would bring people to Milo," said Christopher Winstead, PCEDC's executive director.

 

When the council was formed, members said Piscataquis County did not have access to higher education. The council worked to get worker training available and is now looking to the next twenty years.

 

"I think one of the greatest opportunities we have as a state for attracting new people, is through converting them from tourists to residents," said Winstead. "It's the greatest possibility to really help rural Maine put itself on the right course."

 

He said their next project is working to expand broadband access across Piscataquis County.

Kelly Mitchell

Reporter
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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...