MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council agreed Monday that the town should explore the possibility of extending the sewer system to Route 26.

“Poland has expressed interest in a cooperative project, and Oxford has extended an invitation to tie into their line,” Town Manager John Hawley told councilors.

He said that while the need for pipes in the ground might be several years off, it appears inevitable that development will continue along Route 26 — from the Poland village area north to Oxford Casino.

A stretch of the road from Five Corners up Pigeon Hill toward the casino passes through Mechanic Falls.

Hawley noted that Mechanic Falls is the only town of the three that has a wastewater treatment plant, although Oxford is preparing to build one.

The Mechanic Falls sewer system would have to be extended along Route 11, roughly three miles to Route 26 and the base of Pigeon Hill, he said.

Advertisement

“A first step would be to have an engineering firm look into what it might cost,” Hawley said.

In answer to Councilman Stephen Bolduc’s question about whether the Mechanic Falls plant has the capacity to treat additional waste, Hawley said there was excess capacity, but that “it would depend on exactly what goes in.”

“Go for it,” Councilman Dan Blanchard said.

Hawley also reported that work on Lane Road to repair damage caused by the August storm has been completed and he has documented the history of repairs, going back some 10 years, that have been made on a particularly troublesome stretch of the road.

“FEMA officials have determined that Lane Road would likely qualify for a $100,000 grant through the mitigation grant program,” Hawley said.

Securing the grant and getting the work done usually takes about two years, he said, and the town would be responsible for 25 percent of the costs.

Advertisement

Hawley also advised the council that Code Enforcement Officer Nick Richard was preparing an ordinance that would establish a property maintenance code to help the town deal with abandoned properties.

“We call them ‘phantom properties.’ Their owners have just walked away and the mortgage holders don’t seem interested in doing anything to keep them presentable,” Hawley said.

He said that while neighbors complain about conditions, the town can do little.

Richard is expected to present a suggested ordinance to the council for review at its December meeting, with an eye toward a public hearing in January.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.