Maine Gov. Seeks Federal Money for Oxford County

July 19, 2007

Gov. John Baldacci formally asked the Bush administration Tuesday for federal aid to help Oxford County recover from storm damage.

“The current condition of the public water supply for the town of Bethel isn’t sufficient to provide fire protection, sanitary service and clean drinking water,” Baldacci wrote. “Emergency assistance to this water supply is required to protect property and public health and safety.”

State requests include financial assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Following storm damage earlier this month, Baldacci declared a state of emergency for Oxford County, a move intended to free up state and federal resources.

Officials said the most affected communities were Bethel, Gilead and Newry, and that Bethel is currently trucking 80,000 gallons of water per day from neighboring water supplies to meet public water needs, with an estimated cost of up to $5,000 a day.

Baldacci’s office said the state is seeking $506,000 in federal support for immediate needs, including $86,000 for debris removal, $205,000 for substantial road damage on the throughway between Gilead and Bethel and $215,000 for emergency protective measures.

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