DIXFIELD — Selectmen submitted two
proposals to the Mexico Sewer District on Thursday morning regarding use of a sewer main.

At issue is a new contract between the
town of Dixfield and the Mexico Sewer District that allows Dixfield’s
525 customers to use a sewer main that empties into the
Rumford/Mexico Sewer District treatment plant. An agreement must be
made within the next few days so the Maine Department of
Transportation can go ahead with its plans to replace the Webb River
Bridge that connects the two towns.

Dixfield’s sewer pipe is attached to
the bridge and must be replaced when the new bridge is built.
Dixfield will pay for that replacement.

Town Manager Eugene Skibitsky said
selectmen unanimously agreed to present the following two proposals:

• Dixfield would own and maintain 100 percent
of the forced sewer main, which extends about 2 miles into Mexico,
and the Mexico Sewer District would own and maintain about a 1 mile
stretch of the main on which several gravity sewer users are
connected.

• Dixfield would own and maintain 100 percent
of the sewer main from the Webb River Bridge to the Peru interceptor,
a distance of about 1,200 feet along Route 2. Dixfield then agrees to
pay 95 percent of the costs of maintaining most of the line, except for the
section on which gravity systems are located. There, Dixfield agrees
to pay 75 percent of such costs.

Skibitsky said the board believes that
if the town is 100 percent responsible, then it should have 100 percent ownership.

“These proposals acknowledge that the
flow into the pipes is mostly Dixfield’s,” he said.

Under the 30-year contract that expired
between the two towns last year, Dixfield was responsible for 100 percent
of costs for the main that extended from the bridge to the Peru
interceptor, then a declining percentage of costs the closer the
sewer main got to the treatment plant.

Thirty Mexico customers are on the line
between Dixfield and the treatment plant. The remaining Mexico
customers, about 770, use sewer lines that are not a part of
Dixfield’s use.

Paul Dumas, attorney for the Board of
Trustees for the sewer district, said Thursday afternoon that he had
forwarded the proposals to Lisa Gallant, Crystal MacKinnon and Anne
Young, who are the trustees. He said trustees are expected to meet
as soon as possible to discuss the proposals, then Dumas will get
back to the town of Dixfield with their decisions. He said that
meeting will be prior to the Maine Department of Transportation’s Aug.
4 deadline.

Skibitsky said the MDOT has set a bid
opening date of Oct. 7 for beginning work on the bridge.

Although Dumas would not comment on the
proposals, he did say they were a step in the right direction.

“We thank Dixfield for making the
proposals,” he said.

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