FARMINGTON — Nick Pelletier, from Bingham, and Tristan Huntoon, of Madrid, stopped by the Farmington Public Library on Tuesday to find out about financial aid.

The high school seniors were beginning the college application process. They met with Sarah Graettinger and Ben Tucker, representatives from U.S. Sen. Angus King’s office, who were there as part of King’s Your Government Your Neighborhood program.

Graettinger set the young men up with a financial aid tool kit from the Finance Authority of Maine and began explaining the process of applying for financial aid and looking up grants.

“The cost and impact of student loans is something the senator is very conscious of — and troubled by,” Tucker said, adding that King has likened the cost of getting a college degree to getting into a mortgage with no house to show for it.

Tucker said he is a regional representative who not only goes to these small gatherings but also represents King when he is away. He said Graettinger, as a constituent service representative, is the front line for Maine residents to help solve immediate problems if she can, “and she’s particularly good at it.”

Graettinger and Tucker brought with them informational pamphlets on everything from Medicaid to how to apply for college financial aid to many veteran-related programs.

Begun in 2013, the Your Government Your Neighborhood program closed some standing offices in order to send delegations throughout the state each month in hopes of reaching those who otherwise might not have been able to go to an office. At the time, King added that the extra benefit to the taxpayer would be money saved by ending leases on offices.

Graettinger said the representatives are there to help in any way they can, setting up appointments, referring constituents and even setting up times to meet with them if they can’t make it to one of these meetings.

King went back to work Monday in Washington, D.C., after treatment for prostate cancer. Graettinger said he is doing well and was quite energized about getting back to work.

Charles Spear stopped in to wish King well with his recovery and voice his support for the Social Security Fairness Act. The bill would end the government pension offset and windfall elimination provision that reduces Social Security benefits for some public employees.

“Hopefully something happens so these people can get what they’ve earned. We want no more than what is fair and what we’ve paid for,” Spear said.

Douglas McIntire — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @CD_McIntire

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