The Piscataquis County (Maine) Commissioners agreed to sign letters of intent that will allow a  local business to apply for Community Development Block Grants.

If approved, Abol Bridge LLC of Chesuncook Village will use the money to expand their operations.

Ken Woodbury, community development director for the Piscataquis County Economic Development Commission, outlined the goals of each business at a commissioners’ meeting.

David and Luisa Surprenant of Abol Bridge LLC operate the Chesuncook House, Abol Bridge Campgrounds and Rip Dam Sporting Camp, according to Woodbury, and they want to add more cabins at Rip Dam and campsites at Abol Bridge. “They also want to expand the restaurant at Abol to include a store, and to build a store at Rip Dam,” he explained. “There used to be one there [at Rip Dam] but it was torn down.”

The Surprenants are applying for $120,000 in working capital for equipment and material which would have to be matched “with an equal amount of cash,” Woodbury said. “Plus, they would have to add the equivalent to four full-time employees.”

But Commissioner Eric Ward said he was skeptical of the application. “I can just hear it now,” he said. “People will say they’ll just hire family members for seasonal jobs.”

Woodbury said, however, that he would have to certify that the job creations were legitimate.

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