Selectmen consider new boat launch, roadwork, sidewalks

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DIXFIELD — Selectmen are looking to apply for a grant to pay for new sewer and water lines, and other work on North, Pine, High and Rowe streets.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said the board will decide whether to spend up to $25,000 to engineer the possible street work once the annual town meeting is completed. He said tentatively planned are new sewer and water pipes, where needed, drainage ditches and road work.

The engineering is required prior to applying for a federal Community Development Block Grant.

The board is also considering applying for Maine Department of Transportation money that would upgrade the sidewalk from the intersection light to Dirigo High School, extend that sidewalk up Weld Street to Dirigo Middle School, and build a new sidewalk along Nash Street.

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Skibitsky estimated the cost at about $100,000. The town is working on the grant with Dirigo Wellness Program Director Laurie Soucy.

The board also heard an update from Mark Thompson of Peru, who is coordinating construction of a new announcer’s booth at Harlow Park. The $6,500 project is entirely the work of volunteers and donations. The old booth was removed last fall.

The booth serves as a site for sports announcing and the press, as well as a place for coaches.

In another potential downtown improvement, the board authorized Skibitsky to investigate the possibility of buying the Fish home on Main Street, tearing it down, then building a boat launch into the Androscoggin River.

The house, formerly owned by Althea Fish, sits on about one acre that extends to the river. Skibitsky said the house is offered at $45,000. If the project should go forward, Skibitsky said Ione Harlow Trust Fund money could be used.

With the arrival of a new ladder truck for the Dixfield Fire Co. last week, Skibitsky said a municipal equipment open house will soon be scheduled.

During the past year, the town has bought a Ford Expedition for the Police Department, a new plow truck, and a new sidewalk plow as well as the fire truck.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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