WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Community Voices Coalition in Fort Kent will receive a $328,000 federal grant to create a pilot program to limit teen access to alcohol, U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe announced today.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initially denied the grant because of the town’s rural location, according to Snowe, R-Maine. The grant application met all stated requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

However, it was rejected because a government contractor said the town was too far “off the beaten path” and would be “inconvenient” for an evaluation visit, Snowe said in a news release.

Snowe called for a review of the federal agency’s criteria for awarding competitive grants, citing apparent “rural discrimination.” A review was conducted and the grant was awarded.

“Denying Fort Kent the grant award because of (its) distance from a major metropolitan area was wrong and unfair,” Snowe said. “It is critical we ensure the federal government (award grants) with the utmost fairness and transparency.”