Big-ticket items face March vote

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NEWRY – Town meeting voters in March can expect at least two big-money items on the warrant: reconstructing about four miles of Sunday River Road beyond the ski resort that doesn’t meet town road specifications, and a proposal to buy a new pumper firetruck.

At Tuesday’s selectmen’s meeting, a cost estimate wasn’t determined for the proposed road project from Monkey Brook intersection to the Newry-Riley Township line, but assistant fire Chief Bruce Pierce estimated that an outfitted 2007 pumper with a 2,500-gallon capacity would cost between $335,000 to $340,000.

Selectmen’s Chairman Steve Wight said Wednesday night that engineer Jim Sysko presented selectmen at Tuesday night’s meeting with an engineering study regarding the road.

Prior to the meeting, Administrative Assistant Loretta Powers said the Planning Board advised selectmen that the road wasn’t built to town road standards, which sparked Sysko’s study.

According to Newry’s road ordinance, a primary road must be either 20-feet-wide with 2-foot-wide shoulders or 22-feet-wide with 4-foot-wide shoulders.

There are no shoulders on that section of road, which Sysko said is also too narrow.

Additional findings, are, that:

• Culverts need to be lengthened and have guardrails.

• The road needs an extra foot of elevation by the schoolhouse and tractor shed.

• What’s known as the letter “S” bump must be removed.

• Eames Brook needs a larger culvert.

• Fill is needed at Nordic Knoll.

• A slide needs to be stabilized.

• The road to Riley line requires its base to be rebuilt.

Additionally, the Monkey Brook Road and Sunday River Road intersection needs to be redone, Powers said, because it’s problematic for large trucks, school buses and snow plows.

In other business, Pierce said Wednesday night that the fire department wants to replace two antiquated firetrucks – a 1980 Ford pumper and a 1969 Maxim tanker/pumper – with a new pumper.

Neither of the old trucks meets insurance service standards. Replacing them is part of the department’s 2000 comprehensive plan.

“The reason we’re going new is that we haven’t been able to find something suitable,” Pierce said by phone from his Newry home. “Most trucks don’t come in a 2,500-gallon capacity, but we need this because we’re a rural town with no water supply. To arrive on scene with water is always a good thing.”

Voters previously OK’d buying a Ford F-450 first responder truck for a forest utility vehicle in 2006, a Metz aerial ladder firetruck in 2004, and a Kenworth 3,000-gallon capacity tanker in 2002.

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