Harrison seeks to reduce outside contracts

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HARRISON — Town Manager Bud Finch told selectmen Thursday that he will be looking into whether recent bids for contracts may not be awarded if some of the work can be done by town employees.

Unlike previous years, when only a few bids were submitted for maintenance, cleaning and mowing contracts, nine individuals or companies submitted bids for work this year.

After the bids were opened at the Jan. 19 selectmen’s meeting, Finch was asked to review them and report back with a recommendation at Thursday night’s meeting.

However, Finch told selectmen that after he and Administrative Assistant Mary Tremblay started reviewing and clarifying the bids, it became apparent that some of the work might be done by town workers rather than private contractors. Projects that went out to bid included roadside mowing, cemetery mowing, and maintenance of parks, beaches and the RADR athletic field.

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“When Mary and I were working on these, we realized there’s some opportunity here to reduce costs,” Finch said. “But this is a policy decision you have to make,” he added.

“I think it makes perfect sense to see what we can consolidate and what we can farm out,” Selectman Kathy LaPlante said.

Selectmen Lisa Villa and Richard St. John agreed.

“I would like to ask that we hold awarding these bids until our next meeting on Feb. 23 to review what work can be brought in house,” Finch said. The selectmen agreed.

Finch announced he is seeking a part-time “on call” worker who will be available to plow during snowstorms. He said the person who has been doing the job cannot finish out the year. This work is not related to the contract work.

In other action, the board signed appointment papers for Budget Committee members James Dayton, Arlin Bigelow, Raymond LaPlante and Colleen Densmore.

Selectmen also signed a quitclaim deed to Sumas Fletcher.

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