Board OK’s Sunday River Road funding for state project

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BETHEL — Selectmen agreed Monday night to have Bethel fund $200,000 of the state’s $600,000 project to rebuild 1.38 miles of Sunday River Road. But don’t expect work to begin anytime soon.

“It will go out to bid and there will be an engineering survey this summer, we think,” Town Manager Jim Doar said Tuesday morning of the stretch from Route 2 to the Newry town line.

Work on the project itself, which includes horizontal and vertical alignments, drainage improvements, and new base gravel and pavement, isn’t expected to begin until 2011. The road section will be rebuilt to modern standards and to improve ride quality.

At Monday’s meeting, Doar said the board signed a Rural Road Initiative Agreement.

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“It’s fantastic,” Doar said. “We’ve been lobbying the state to get this done for a number of years, but we had to wait until it was our turn, and now, it’s our turn.”

Doar said Bethel has already raised $175,000 toward its share of $200,000; the state picks up the rest.

In other news, selectmen changed the time from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. for a May 26 public hearing on proposed ordinance amendments, and the referendum to determine whether Bethel disbands its police department and goes with county police coverage or keeps the department intact and boosts police pay and the police budget.

The Ordinance Review Committee will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, in the town office to make any needed adjustments to several proposed amendments.

Additionally, a representative from the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments in Auburn will speak to Bethel, Greenwood and Newry officials about wind power-development regulation by towns at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13, in the Bethel town office.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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