Bucksport Council Saves Health Coalition

BUCKSPORT — The Town Council saved the Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition from sure death Sept. 29 by increasing its funding for the current fiscal year.

The coalition had lost a main source of its funding in July.

The source of funding for the partnership is the state’s tobacco settlement money, Fund for a Healthy Maine.

The state funding provided roughly 75 percent of the Bucksport Bay coalition’s operating budget.

Several residents and partner organizations, such as RSU 25 Superintendent Jim Boothby, told the council about the good work the coalition had accomplished.

Boothby spoke about a $400,000 four-year grant called Building Assets-Reducing Risks at Bucksport High School, which he said the school received because of the coalition.

“We’re very fortunate to have this partnership,” Boothby said.

Jewett School Principal Marcelle Marble said that thanks to the coalition, the capacity for an early childhood education program for 3- and 4-year-old children had doubled.

Marble said when she came to the school there was a waiting list for the program.

“It’s amazing what the coalition has done for school readiness,” Marble said.

Thomas Gaffney, who is chairman of the coalition, said the coalition listed several projects that were done by the coalition or in partnership with the group. They include: establishing a dental clinic at the Bucksport Bay Medical Clinic, an after-school program for teenagers and starting a Kindercamp.

The coalition attracted $1.6 million in funding over the past 10 years, Gaffney said.

“How could the town better invest $23,105?” he asked, referring to the original amount the coalition asked the council for.

After listening to supporters for several minutes, the council voted to approve additional funding.

The council voted 6-1 to award $16,105 to the Bucksport Healthy Communities for the current fiscal year.

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Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.