Franklin County contractor to reimburse county for sand

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FARMINGTON — Madrid Township plow contractor Alan Brisard will reimburse the county $7,500 for sand he used from a county gravel pit in the township to treat Madrid roads.

Brisard holds the winter maintenance contract for Madrid Township.

The town of Madrid deorganized in 2000 as a municipal entity and is now an unorganized territory. The roads in Madrid fall under county supervision and the county owns Madrid’s gravel pit.

Brisard told commissioners that he thought the sand was for use on Madrid roads.

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Commissioner Terry Brann of Wilton picked up on Brisard not paying for the sand as stipulated in the contract.

According to County Clerk Julie Magoon, in this case, it was not in the contract but in a side agreement Brisard signed several years ago. There was a change in treasurers since 2009, which may have contributed to the oversight, she said.

Magoon also spoke to someone on the deorganization committee and learned there was a misinterpretation about the use of sand from the gravel pit.

On Aug. 1, commissioners discussed but did not vote on having Brisard reimburse the county $4,500 for sand he used but did not pay for. It broke down to $1 per yard for an average of 750 yards per year for six years.

“We know it wasn’t intentional,” Commission Chairman Charles Webster of Farmington said then. “We want to make sure we protect the taxpayers.”

Brisard decided to submit a new bid for plowing and sanding the roads. He told commissioners in August that he was “working for nothing” under last year’s contract price of $63,161 and he would have to rebid it.

“I don’t have a problem paying the money back; evidently, I owe it,” Brisard said Aug. 1. “I just wish it was brought forward a long time ago.”

Commissioners voted Aug. 29 to award the winter maintenance contract for Madrid to Brisard, the only bidder, for $74,781 for a year. It breaks down to $5,900 per mile for 12.69 miles. 

Magoon said she changed the contract to make it clear that Brisard provides the salt and he will get sand at no charge from the county in Madrid.

Commissioners also voted on Aug. 29 to charge Brisard $2 per yard for 750 yards over a five-year period, an end cost of $7,500 plus sales tax.

Brisard, who was not at last week’s meeting, questioned the increased price. Webster explained how commissioners figured the amount.

“I want to be fair to you and fair to the taxpayers,” Webster said. “Don’t be fretting over it. Just pay us back when you can.”   

In another matter, commissioners scheduled a public hearing for 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at the county courthouse on a proposed revised amendment to the 2008 tax-increment financing application tied to the Kibby wind energy facility.

Commissioners withdrew the initial TIF amendment application that was submitted last year to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development after representatives raised questions and concerns about it, Magoon said last week.

In addition, the revised amendment will contain some new categories to address projects that have come to light since the amendment application was submitted, she said.

Attorney Shana Cook Mueller of Bernstein Shur has been hired to work on the draft amendment that will go before commissioners sometime this month.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

Alan Brisard, left, of Madrid Township talks to Franklin County commissioners Tuesday about the amount he needs to reimburse the county for the sand he used to treat Madrid Township’s roads from the county’s gravel pit in that township. Register of Probate Joyce Morton listens to the discussion.

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