NORWAY – Selectmen decided Wednesday at a special meeting to pay a contractor $29,520 to improve a hilly stretch of Ralph Richardson Road.

Although they acknowledged aloud that there would probably be a public response to their decision to go without bids, selectmen went ahead because Everett Excavation Corp. is currently improving the public road for a new subdivision. Selectmen said it is a convenient and necessary moment to ask the contractor to do additional work for the town.

Selectman George Tibbetts Jr. said, “It is in the town’s advantage.”

The work selectmen asked Everett to do would help preserve the dirt road and also widen it. Town Manager David Holt explained that the town set a precedent by asking the subdivision developer, Jayco LLC, to improve the public road as part of a new five-lot subdivision.

The additional work involves digging ditches along a hill above the subdivision to ensure the newly improved lower road does not wash out.

Moreover, Jayco must, as part of its deal with the town, widen a portion of the road to 16 feet. Selectmen asked Everett to further widen that section an additional two feet, because that width would eventually be required as traffic increases along the road, Holt said.

Holt said Everett has won several town bids in the past.

David Everett presented his bill at the meeting. He split the road project into two portions, asking different prices for each: $15,520 to widen the lower road, and $14,000 to carve the ditches on the sides of the hill.

The hill is about 380 feet, and the portion of road being widened is roughly the same.

Selectmen Leslie Flanders, Russell Newcomb and Tibbetts voted separately on the two projects, unanimously approving both.

The money will likely come from the $1 million bond townspeople approved last June to spend on road improvements, Holt said.

He explained that while it is common practice to put municipal projects out to bid, it made more sense in this case to ask the contractor.

“Since he is working here, it doesn’t make sense for two contractors to be working on the road at the same time,” Holt said.


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