POLAND — Selectmen on Tuesday awarded the contract for a skid-steer loader to Jordan Equipment of Falmouth for its low bid of $40,032 for the loader plus $7,386 for a 66-inch heavy-duty brush hog.

Half of the $40,032 for the loader, which comes with a snowblower attachment, will come from the Tax Increment Financing downtown district account and half from capital improvement funds.

Money for the brush hog will come from capital improvement funds because that equipment will not be used in the TIF district, but rather for clearing brush from the sides of rural roads.

Town Manager Bradley Plante estimated the apparatus will save the Public Works Department about $6,000 annually in rental fees.

Selectmen also approved transferring $240,000 from town TIF accounts to the general fund to lower the overall tax rate.

Selectmen adopted recommended changes to fee schedules for returned checks, tax map books, audio books and photocopying medical records.

In approving revisions to the town’s fee schedule, Poland selectmen did not change fees for residential and commercial construction permits. The fees remain at $5 per thousand for residential construction and at $10 per thousand for commercial construction. 

Selectmen also met with Bob Thompson, executive director of the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, who reviewed benefits the town received through the agency’s various programs and services.

Thompson said Poland saved an estimated $6,400 this year by participating in AVCOG’s regional bid for road salt.

Poland’s dues, for all AVCOG services, is $8,492 this year.

Marcia Matuska, representing the Thompson Lake Environmental Association, reported on the results of phase four of the Thompson Lake Watershed Improvement Project.

Phase four cost about $98,000, with $88,000 coming from federal grants and $10,000 from the association. The money funded projects in Poland, Casco and, to a limited extent, Oxford. The projects reduced the amount of soil washing into the lake by nearly 27 tons annually and eliminated about 23 pounds of phosphorus from entering the lake annually.

In his report, Plante noted that Poland’s 2017 state valuation stands at $674,700,000, an increase of about $16 million from last year.


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