OTISFIELD — The Board of Selectmen has agreed to ask an engineer to survey the erosion problems on Cobb Hill Road to resolve drainage problems affecting the water quality of Thompson Lake.

Ross Cudlitz of Engineering Assistance & Design in Yarmouth will be asked to look at the road, which runs between Route 121 and Scribner Hill Road. 

Cudlitz also serves as district engineer with the Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District. The agency offers technical assistance on issues involving water quality, land use and erosion.

He has been involved in local projects such as the Robinson Mill dam safety and problems on Shore Road in Otisfield. In 2007, Cudlitz did the design for the improvements on Shore Road and Park Way after that road washed out in spring storms and sent sediment into Thompson Lake.

“I’d really like to put my trust in an engineer with this,” Selectmen Rick Micklon said. He suggested the board ask Cudlitz for a courtesy site visit and that he come back to the board with a proposal to fix the problem.

The recommendation came on the heels of a request by town Conservation Commission Chairman Jeff Stern last month to form a study group on how to resolve the drainage problems.

The request was denied because selectmen said the Conservation Commission is not chartered to create its own subcommittee and only Road Commissioner Richard Bean has the authority to say what happens on Otisfield roads.

Selectman Len Adler, who rejected Stern’s request, said he supported Micklon’s recommendation because “it’s a professional opinion.”

A 2010 grant program through the Thompson Lake Environmental Association to help control erosion from sites, including Cobb Hill Road, into the lake was considered successful, preventing an estimated 52 tons of soil from entering the lake at various sites.

Although Stern told selectmen he agreed some progress has been made after the installation of three culverts, damage from continuing major storms has left the situation unresolved.

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