MINOT — The highway crew’s battle with beavers appears to have abated in the last week, Town Administrator Arlan Saunders told selectmen Monday.

During the latter part of June and early July, Highway Department Foreman Scott Parker reported that his crew spent quite a bit of time on Shaw Hill Road contending with beavers at the Indian Brook crossing.

The beavers would plug the culverts one day and the highway crew would unplug them the next.

Thus far, Saunders said, the beavers haven’t begun work on a proper dam and, for the time being at least, the highway crew has managed to discourage them from making an all-out effort.

“Maybe they have given up or gone away. Or maybe it’s just the water is low,” Saunders said.

While Saunders wouldn’t declare the town the winner in this latest skirmish with the beavers of Indian Brook, he did report that he is making headway on his work writing a grant application to secure funding for a major upgrade to the culvert at Indian Brook.

The existing culverts, according to Saunders, can only handle a flow of about 200 cubic feet per second, causing the brook to frequently flood across Shaw Hill Road without any help from the beavers.

Saunders said that according to a hydrological survey for Indian Brook at its Shaw Hill Road crossing, the five-year flood flow at that point is 213 cubic feet per second.

For Shaw Hill Road to be adequately protected, Saunders said, the culvert system should be capable of handling the flow from a 50-year flood, which, the survey report said, would produce a flow of 449 cubic feet per second.

Saunders estimated the current system, two culverts — one 2 feet in diameter and the other 3 feet in diameter — would need to be replaced by a box culvert measuring about 6 by 8 feet.

Saunders also reported that the road serving the 3-acre expansion to the Center Minot Hill Cemetery has been completed. He said the town’s Cemetery Committee is scheduled to meet sometime the last week of July to set prices for lots and procedures for burial permits and sales agreements as well as to discuss an area for a memorial garden.

The Cemetery Committee’s recommendations, Saunders said, could be ready for selectmen at their Aug. 9 meeting.

Selectmen signed an agreement with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department to provide dispatching services for the town for the next year. Terms include a charge of $27 per hour for dispatch to structural fires and a fee of $27 per call for all other services. It is estimated that the $11,000 townspeople raised at March town meeting should be enough to cover dispatching costs for the year.

Selectmen also authorized purchasing a new computer for the assessor’s office.

In an update of the code enforcement officer’s decision to deny developer Chuck Starbird a building permit for his property off the end of York Road, Saunders said that Starbird has formally filed his appeal. The matter, he said, is now in the hands of attorney Jamie Belleau and will be going to the town’s Board of Appeals. A date for the hearing has not been set.


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