PARIS — Selectmen were able to reduce the town’s overall budget by $5,000 and award a bid to fix the police department’s sewer and water lines that froze multiple times during the winter because the bids came in low.

At their meeting Monday night, selectmen unanimously hired Wayne Kennagh Excavating of South Paris to do the work, with the low bid of $8,997. Paris Town Manager Amy Bernard said she received three quotes for the project that will fix the lines that run to the police department, which is located behind the Town Office at 35 Market Square.

“There was an assumption that the house that was tore down had a connection that was still existing … and that we could connect into that existing connection to the main,” she said about the property on Church Street. “If it isn’t there, then we would need to connect into the main main and that will be significantly more expensive because those are further down than five feet.”

Bernard added that sewer lines run 12 feet and water lines eight feet under Church Street.

“The trench would need to be deeper and it would be more time,” she said about hooking into the main line.

The quotes included prices to connect existing line and the main line. Wayne Kennagh Excavating had the same amount for both projects and other bids were submitted by Bedard Excavation and Everett Excavation, which ranged between $12,500 and $18,000. Bernard had originally the estimated the project would cost between $12,000 and $14,000.

From Presidents’ Day weekend to the first week in March, the police department’s sewer and water lines froze three times. Act Plumbing was able to get the sewer line open when it first froze, but then two additional plumbers were unable to get the lines open when they froze again. The town had to rent a holding tank for water use at the department for $150 until the ground thawed out. Bernard previously said the police department personnel weren’t flushing the toilet and/or using the sink enough for the water to travel 174 feet to the end of the sewer line. Also complicating the freezing issue was a cold snap during that time that caused the temperature to plummet and the lack of insulation surrounding the pipes.

The money for the project will be used in the current budget cycle and Bernard recommended selectmen reduce the amount in the police department’s emergency line by $5,000. They gave her the go ahead for the reduction, which will leave $2,000 in the budget line.

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