ROXBURY —  Selectmen intent on improving fire protection for areas that are miles away from the fire station on Route 17 listened Tuesday night to an engineer explain his proposed feasibility study to install three dry hydrants.

Dry hydrants are permanently installed pipes within a pond, stream, river or holding tank that provide firefighters with a water source. Roxbury doesn’t have any dry hydrants, Chairman John Sutton said.

Sutton said the town punches a hole in the ice at Roxbury Pond in the winter to access water at Roxbury village or it gets water from a stream for Horseshoe Valley Road residences that are off Route 120.

Engineer Tom Dubois, director of personnel and engineering at Main-Land Development Inc. of Livermore Falls, outlined his proposal and explained his rough cost estimates.

“There are some things that we’ve had to assume in all this, such as what kind of impacts will this have in your Shoreland Zone and how much involvement will you have to have with your Planning Board in order to approve some of these,” Dubois said.

“So we made the assumption that everything that could go wrong is going to go wrong and that’s probably not valid.”


“OK,” Sutton said while viewing the document along with Selectmen Mike Worthley and Timothy Derouche.

Dubois said the site feasibility cost is Dubois’ cost to come to Roxbury, ride around with the person in charge of getting dry hydrants installed, and evaluate each of the proposed sites. He said he charges $110 an hour for his service.

“That would give us a better idea of costs associated with each dry hydrant site,” Dubois said.

That way, he said he could determine if the sites are within Roxbury’s Shoreland Zone and know right away whether there is a Planning Board issue or not.

“As an example, under Permit Application and Permit Process, we’re at $2,200 or $2,500 apiece on that, that (site evaluation) cuts that number to less than half if we don’t have Planning Board involvement,” Dubois said. “Those numbers can get drastically reduced.”

Planning Board process accounts for two-thirds of that cost, he said.


After more discussion with Dubois, selectmen took the matter under advisement. Sutton said they are looking into hiring a professional engineer and need to know costs involved to put forward a plan during the upcoming budget season.

The project could be put before voters at town meeting in March 2015. Depending on approval, the work would be done next year at the earliest, Sutton said.

Dubois lauded selectmen for their forward-thinking in looking into improving fire protection.

Fire Chief Raymond Carver suggested selectmen go with Dubois’ offer.

“If you guys are serious about doing this, get someone that knows what they’re doing,” Carver said.

Additionally, he said they could ask residents for the money and there’d be a chance to get some of the money reimbursed from homeowners’ insurances.


Derouche said they also plan to pursue grants.

Sutton told Carver that when the time comes to make a decision, he will ask Carver to assemble an estimate for savings on insurances from people.

“At Roxbury Pond village, it’s about saving buildings, but at Horseshoe Valley, which has less buildings, it’s about saving a life,” Derouche said.

Selectmen decided to convene a workshop with the Planning Board at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Town Office prior to their 6 p.m. meeting.

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