DIXFIELD – A plan to build and share the cost of a bridge spanning the Swift River between Dixfield and Mexico was nearly solidified at Tuesday’s selectmen’s meeting.

It was new Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky’s first meeting.

Plans to replace the bridge, known as the Thad White Bridge, which connects the two towns from Coburn Avenue, has been in the works for years.

Mexico Town Manager John Madigan and three of that town’s selectmen brought a proposed agreement to the Dixfield board at Tuesday’s meeting.

Skibitsky said Wednesday that selectmen may act on the agreement at their Oct. 27 meeting. They may also decide whether to call a special town meeting to seek voter approval to borrow more money for the bridge than had been requested, and passed, during the May annual town meeting.

The total cost for the bridge, its design, legal and site work is expected to reach more than $300,000.

The state Department of Transportation has agreed to pay half, leaving about $75,000 each to be paid by Dixfield and Mexico. Voters approved borrowing up to $50,000 during the annual town meeting.

Mexico is taking the lead in borrowing the funds at a rate of 3.76 percent over five years from KeyBank. Dixfield will repay Mexico for its share.

The existing bridge had been deemed unsafe for travel by emergency vehicles.

T. Buck Construction of Auburn is the general contractor for the 90-foot-long steel trussed bridge. Work began on the bridge last week. It is expected to be completed by mid-November.

In other matters from Tuesday’s meeting, Skibitsky said a new boiler has been installed in the municipal building to serve the U.S Post Office, which leases space from the town. He said the postal service agreed to increase its annual lease payment from $14,500 to $17,500.

Skibitsky said the board also plans to arrange for an ice skating rink to open at McGouldrick Park.

Skibitsky said the town also decided to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to help cover repair costs to Averill Hill Road. He said washouts occurred during the heavy summer downpours causing more than $38,000 in damage.


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