Selectmen review bids for wastewater system infrastructure

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KINGFIELD — Selectmen on Monday night reviewed four bids for rebuilding the town’s wastewater system infrastructure and asked an engineer to study them before a decision is made.

Kingsbury Companies of Vermont, Apex Construction Inc. and Penta Corporation, both in New Hampshire, and Johnson & Jordan Mechanical of Scarborough each submitted bids for under $275,000.

The town applied twice for state and federal monies to help pay for a full revamping of the system but did not receive the full amount needed. Officials revised the request for bids to rebuild a significantly smaller section, according to Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett.

New housing will raise the system another 4 feet above the historical 100-year flood zone and improve the safety and efficiency of employees.

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“The pump stations and the pumphouse buildings will no longer have to deal with water pouring in through covers,” Main-Land consultant and senior engineer Tom DuBois said.

Selectmen asked DuBois to review the four bids to ensure each had the required elements for the entire job. He will attend the Jan. 5 selectmen meeting to discuss any concerns or bid inconsistencies before the board chooses a proposal.

Village Enhancement Committee member Cynthia Orcutt presented selectmen with a request for funds to start the planning and design stage for three open space projects in the downtown area. These include a village green, a veterans’ memorial and a Carrabassett River trail and trailhead. The Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments and the Maine Department of Transportation will work with community representatives on a preliminary design, and Jon Edgerton, senior vice president and director of the Topsham-based Wright-Pierce Civil Engineering group, will help the town committees develop a budget for construction.

Several private property owners behind Longfellow’s Restaurant have seen the plans, Orcutt said, and they have been supportive.

Selectman John Dill said the back of some of the properties along the riverfront are in less than desirable condition, and he didn’t want selectmen to approve developing the open space if the buildings looked shabby.

“Are they going to fix up their properties?” he asked.

Orcutt said this first phase will get costs to the Budget Committee and then to town meeting.

Although the projects will be coordinated with the Maine Department of Transportation, they will not be part of the plan to reconstruct Route 27.

Orcutt said the town’s Road Reconstruction Committee has been included in the coordination of the overall plan. David Guernsey, chairman of that committee, said future property owners might not embrace the open space construction project, and he suggested selectmen investigate easements and other legal options to preserve riverfront space permanently. Getting voters to support the three projects would be a critical component.

“The town had a false start with Grand Central Station when they were going to buy some parking spaces,” he reminded selectmen.

Guernsey also announced that the MDOT has begun preliminary design work for the anticipated road reconstruction and will host a public hearing in the spring of 2015.

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