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Mexico Rec awarded $10,000 grant
MEXICO -- The effort to make improvements with the Mexico Recreation Department has been boosted with the acknowledgement they have been awarded a $10,000 grant.
Wayne Sevigny, named the recreation director in August, said he has received confirmation regarding the grant from Marshall L. "Jack" Gibson, who instituted the Marshall L. and Ruth-Anne Gibson Municipal Charitable Program.
He said the grant will become available in March.
Sevigny said that when he applied for the grant, he specified the funds will go towards facility improvements at the Mexico Rec Park as well as the recreation center, particularly the gym floor.
In August, Gibson, a retired Portland-area paving contractor and philanthropist, announced he's giving away $600,000 of his own money to help dozens of cash-strapped communities across Maine. He sold Commercial Paving and Recycling Company back in 2004 to an investment company for an undisclosed sum.
Each month for the next five years, Gibson will send a check for $10,000 to one of the 175 Maine municipalities with which his paving company did business between 1945 and 2004. That's 60 towns and $600,000. The money comes with no strings attached, although Gibson suggests that the towns funnel it toward their children, their community centers or their elderly.
Gibson's first 12 letters went out July 15 to parts of Maine where he felt the current economic downturn weighs the heaviest: Washburn, Mapleton, Littleton, Mars Hill, Fort Kent, Ashland and Van Buren in Aroostook County; Staceyville in Penobscot County; Norway and Peru in Oxford County; Machias in Washington County; Unity in Waldo County.
In September, Peru voters turned down acceptance of the grant, which would have gone to the recreation center.
However the former elementary school had not yet been accepted by the town to be a recreation center.
But then, at the November referendum, voters to accept that building as the town's recreation center.
In Norway, the Board of Selectmen voted to turn Gibson's gift into $1,000 property-tax discounts for 10 elderly homeowners who are struggling to pay their tax bills.
The grant to Mapleton was used to improve a children's playground and swimming pool.
Sevigny also noted that there is still time for youngsters in the area to sign up for a new basketball program.
To date, more than 100 youngsters from kindergarten through fifth grade have signed up. For more information, call 357-6708.