PHILLIPS — Selectmen learned Tuesday night that the town could be without an Animal Control Officer after Sept. 1.

For several years, the town has contracted with Josh Bachelder, who also works as an ACO for other towns and the unorganized territory in Franklin County.

“I received Josh’s resignation, effective Sept. 1, 2014,” Town Manager Elaine Hubbard said.

Hubbard said she was not sure if Bachelder was resigning from all of his other positions, but the town needed to begin the process of finding a replacement.

“Animal control officers don’t just happen,” she said.

Individuals must deal with stray, dangerous and sick animals and must pass certification exams that include the proper use of a firearm. Hubbard will contact Avon officials to collaborate on a shared plan of action.

Public Works Director Ward Bredeau updated selectmen on the progress of his road repair schedule, voicing the frustrating delays in the permitting process to begin work on a major projects. Voters had approved maintenance and repair funds in June to start repairs on the Bragg Corner roadbed and on a section of Tory Hill.

The schedule has not progressed as promised, he told selectmen. The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Nature Conservancy and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife representatives have to agree on an engineering plan that will least disturb the salmon spawning environment.

Bredeau said a stalemate between the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on the choice of design has prevented him from starting the job Aug. 1. Fisheries and Wildlife representatives promised him a permit within 30 days of his request because they considered the road project a priority.

“That was 60 days ago,” he said.

Without that permit, the town cannot put project costs out to bid. The only way Bredeau can start on the Tory Hill project is to postpone the Bragg Corner project. Hubbard said the different state and federal groups required environmental surveys to determine the best way to do the work. The Gulf of Maine Council representative reassured her that the town would not have to shoulder the extra costs.

“I told him we have no money,” Hubbard said. “He said it’s okay; they’ll pay for it.”

According to Bredeau, design plans favor concrete blocks under the road, but he said he’s worried that he’s running out of time for this season. He had proposed a work schedule to the permitting authorities that would have started two weeks ago and would have ended work in the spring-fed warm stream bed by Sept. 15.

“We can file for an extension to go beyond Sept. 15 for any in-stream work,” Bredeau said.

Without a permit, he said, he can’t send out requests for bids by contractors, because he can’t give them a construction plan.

Bredeau added that he has replaced five culverts, placed “Dead End” signs on Beal Street and Echo Valley Lodge Road and continues other planned summer maintenance work, including 10 more culvert replacements.

In other news, selectmen agreed to meet with Hubbard at 1 p.m. on Aug. 19 to review choices before they decide the 2014-15 rate when tax bills go out on Sept. 1.


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