FARMINGTON — The Board of Selectmen unanimously awarded a bid Tuesday for the new storm drain outfall project to carry storm water from Front Street to the Sandy River.

Selectmen picked the lowest bid, from E.L. Vining & Son Inc., for $250,000 for work on the project from the Front Street parking area near the old train bed to an area of the river just above the site of the former train trestle.

The project, budgeted for $300,000, attracted six bids, Town Manager Richard Davis said. He expects costs for engineering, soil testing and a biological assessment for salmon to run about $40,000.

With the bid and these costs, we’ll just squeak under the budgeted amount, he said.

Five of the bids came in under $300,000 for the work while the highest was $439,250. 

No permits have been received from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he said.

According to the biological assessment, Davis does not expect an adverse impact on salmon habitat at this part of river.

Low-water work along the river needs to be done by Sept. 30, but Davis expected permits will come in time to start the project.

In other business, the board agreed to purchase a rebuilt engine for the Public Works Department’s high-pressure vacuum truck at a cost of $12,800 rather than rebuilding the present engine for $11,115.

The rebuilt engine, although initially more expensive, has a one-year warranty to cover parts failure, Jon Alexander, department fleet manager, told the board.

Quotes from C.N. Wood Co. of Westbrook allowed only a 90-day warranty if the truck’s present engine was rebuilt.  

Vacuum trucks and sweepers require high maintenance because of the environment they work in, Public Works Director Denis Castonguay said.  

The vacuum truck takes in water from drains. It is used about 200 hours a year and was not new when the town acquired it in 1998.

Although projects over $5,000 usually go out to bid, this appears to be a specialty item that is not readily available, Board of Selectmen Chairman Joshua Bell said.

Funds for the purchase will be taken from the department’s equipment reserve account, which contains $56,865, Castonguay said.

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