STRONG — The plan to pave 1.1 miles of the Pond Road is another step closer to completion.

At their meeting Tuesday, selectmen signed the Franklin Savings Bank loan documents to finance the work. The loan for $145,288 and a one-time fee of $250 for processing is payable over three years at 5 percent interest.

The first payment of $40,000 is due in 2019. The second payment of $80,000 is due in 2020; the third and final payment in 2021.

The paving will start soon, according to Selectman Mike Pond.

Pike Industries has been repaving Burbank Hill this summer, but with the cooler weather, that overlay is not curing as it should. Selectmen approved postponing the rest of that job until next spring and instead start paving Pond Road, which isn’t as susceptible to the weather changes.

Selectmen agreed at a previous meeting to review their Bangor Savings Bank services and related costs, compared to other banks. Franklin Savings Bank and Bangor Savings Bank representatives provided selectmen with an overview Tuesday night, and selectmen agreed to review services of TD Bank and Skowhegan Savings Bank at future meetings.

Androscoggin Bank and First National Bank also have expressed interest in working with the town.

Banks have more sophisticated electronic services, including scanning checks to deposit them. That would cut down on driving to Farmington twice a week and save on mileage reimbursement, Pond noted.

He said he was more concerned that the town was wasting money paying for a payroll processing service. Bangor Savings Bank handles that task and also provides employees’ tax forms at the end of the year.

The town could buy the software and have the office staff do the job. The town used to do all of the payroll processing and decided to have Bangor Savings Bank do the job because of the possibility of the office staff being liable for errors.

“I believe … we should be doing our own payroll,” Pond said. “Phillips does it, and Kingfield does it.”

Selectmen will review their options and costs at a future meeting.

Forster Memorial Building in Strong

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