NORWAY — A town cemetery that overlooks the Oxford Hills and Hobbs Pond will need to have the drainage ditches dug again, cemetery officials said.

“The water level over the past two years has changed,” said Rowena Palmer, chairman of the Lakeview Cemetery committee, which oversees the 12-year-old cemetery that was once a farm field overlooking the Little Pennesseewassee or Hobbs Pond. The plot was purchased by the town in 1998 for cemetery use.

Palmer said the problem began several years ago when water began rising to ground level in the cemetery that is located on the Watson Road. “We have a ditch and when we put it in it was fine, but because of the change in water level, there were problems,” she said. “We just built it. That’s why I’m so upset.”

The plan is to have an engineered ditch put in to resolve the problem sometime in late summer when the ground is drier.

Selectmen recently awarded the bid for the work to Larry Todd & Co. for $8,210. Although Todd is a member of the cemetery committee, Town Manager David Holt said he was the lowest bidder by as much as  $8,000.

“They’re all plenty capable of doing the job and doing a good job,” said Selectman Russ Newcomb of Todd and the other two bidders, Sumner Sessions, who bid $17,775 and Everett Excavation, who came in with a bid of $10,900. “If we can save $2,700, we have to do it.”

Todd lives across the street from the cemetery and therefore his transportation costs are much lower than the others, officials noted.

Palmer said the town ran out of cemetery plots and charged the committee with finding a new one. In 1998, the town purchased the Lakeview Cemetery for $64,000. About a quarter of the several acres of space has been used so far, but Palmer said it won’t be long before the town is looking for more space.

“Ours has filled up so fast. We have to start thinking about developing another one in the next 10 years,” she said.

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