WELD – Weld voters will decide Tuesday night at a special town meeting if the town will appropriate $35,000 to fix the dilapidated Westbrook Bridge.

Earlier this year at the town’s annual meeting, voters opted to establish a committee that would look at feasible options for fixing the dilapidated two-lane bridge, which is located on the Westbrook Road on the north-west side of Webb Lake.

The committee has estimated that it will cost around $35,000 to fix the bridge, which, according to Chairman of the Weld Board of Selectman Wayne Dubois, has been cited for the past eight years by the Maine Department of Transportation as being “unsafe.”

Although the bridge has little traffic, with only one full-time home on the other side, it “definitely needs some work,” Dubois said. Last winter, the bridge had to be plowed by a pick-up truck instead of a full-sized plow truck like the rest of the road for fear the bridge would buckle under the weight.

The money has already been raised and is in the town’s account for road maintenance. Dubois stressed property taxes would not increase if the money was appropriated as selectmen have recommended.

Voters will also decide on who should pay the cost for disposing universal hazardous waste, such as computer monitors, televisions, stereos, VCRs and DVD players.

Currently, the town’s transfer station requires no such fee to be paid to dispose of those types of items; however, Sandy River Recycling, which takes the hazardous waste from the town and recycles it, has recently imposed a charge of between 21 and 23 cents per pound.

Tuesday night’s warrant article asks voters to choose between charging a user fee for the disposal or incorporating the disposal fee into the transfer station’s operating budget.

Dubois said he hopes voters will choose to set a user fee, that way each person is responsible for his or her own waste.

If voters decide to charge a user fee, he said, the town will only seek to recover the actual cost.

Town Hall will be open one-half hour prior to the special town meeting so that new voters can register.

In other Weld town news, a new Ford F-250 pickup truck has finally arrived. The $25,000 for the truck, which will be used by Road Commissioner Kelly Hutchinson, was approved at the town’s annual meeting last March.

In the past, Hutchinson has used his own vehicle for town road work and has been reimbursed for mileage. The new truck also has a snowplow, and according to Dubois, may be used to plow small roads where it will be more cost-efficient than to use a full-sized plow truck.


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