BUCKSPORT- Financial hardships are hitting most people as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal stimulus package will likely help them, but town of Bucksport is going above and beyond.
Bucksport town officials approved a plan to help the people who live and work there stay there.
“It’s been really tough, but it’s encouraging the folks have stuck around to do what they have to and up to us to do what we can,” said Peter Stewart, chair of the Bucksport town council.
Town manager, Susan Lessard, brought a proposal she calls “Pay It Forward Bucksport” to town councilors.
Among items it includes $100 gift cards monthly for families that have lost jobs, $500 a month for small businesses impacted by closures, and a waiver of fees for senior meal plans.
“We want these businesses to succeed and stay through this,” Lessard said. “I believe we want these residents to know the community cares about their welfare.”
The plan will cost $115,000.
That would be coming from the town’s undesignated fund.
“We’re lucky in Bucksport. Folks before myself and all the other councilors were very good stewards with the money,” Stewart said. “It helped us when the mill shutdown and I think that’s what government is there for, to do what we can to help.”
The plan also includes $5,000 for Bucksport Community Concerns and another $5,000 for Home Inc.
“I don’t think this is going to solve everybody’s anything but it helps and is an indication of support and concern on part of the community,” Lessard said.
This current plan covers months of April and May but would be able to go longer if needed.
In addition to Pay It Forward Bucksport, a couple who grew up in the town, Andrew and Shelby Silvernail, donated $60,000 in addition to the proposed amount.