DIXFIELD – Residents will vote at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, on whether to appropriate $46,850 from surplus to provide a 20 percent match for the Safe Routes to School project.

The special town meeting will be held at Dirigo High School’s community room.

In early 2013, the town agreed to move forward with constructing 3,500 feet of sidewalk from Dirigo High School to T.W. Kelly Dirigo Middle School, and constructing a sidewalk along the length of Nash Street to the Regional School Unit 10 superintendent’s building.

The cost would be split 80-20 between the town and the Maine Department of Transportation.

However, Mike Laberge, MDOT’s local projects coordinator, told the Board of Selectmen in June that project engineers Wright-Pierce discovered the estimated cost would be 20 to 30 percent more than expected.

Laberge attributed the price increase to a loss of federal funding in 2012, which resulted in a delay between the project’s design and when the project’s funding would be available.


After learning that the cost was increasing, the board agreed to drop the Nash Street work from the project.

The new cost to build the 3,500 feet of sidewalk from Dirigo High School to T.W. Kelly Dirigo Middle School is $484,250, with MDOT paying 80 percent, or $387,400, and the town paying 20 percent, or $96,850.

If residents approve the $46,850, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said it would be combined with $50,000 from the town’s sidewalk reserve fund to cover their 20 percent match.

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