OXFORD — Repairs to the historic Center Meeting House on Route 26 are set to move forward after selectmen approved bids totaling $27,500 for painting and roof replacement at their regular meeting last Thursday.

Vermont Painting Co. of St. Johnsbury was chosen as painting contractor with a bid of $14,300. Triglione Construction of Bridgton bid $13,200 for roofing, which was approved. The cost may increase if the company discovers lumber needs to be replaced.

The Center Meeting House at 476 Main St. was built in 1830 and has been used for town meetings and other gatherings for over 100 years.

The Center Meeting House on Route 26 will be painted and a new roof installed. Submitted photo

Selectmen also approved a bid of $17,450 from St. Laurent & Sons of Lewiston for sidewalk paving.

The board directed Town Manager Butch Asselin to set the agenda for an Aug. 13 meeting of selectmen from Oxford, Casco, Otisfield and Poland on repairs to the Thompson Lake dam.

Selectmen discussed the possibility of a compact among the towns, an idea an Otisfield official presented at the July 16 meeting of the Thompson Lake Dam Advisory Committee.

The committee is chaired by Butch Asselin, who is a nonvoting member, and Oxford representatives Peter Leverdiere and Samantha Hewey, Otisfield representatives Hal Ferguson and Jim Hughes, Poland representative Stan Tetenman, and Casco representatives Holly Hancock and Joseph Stella. There is one vacancy. At this month’s meeting there was no consensus on a plan for repairs and who would pay for it.

Oxford Selectman Sharon Jackson said last Thursday that she had no desire to enter into an agreement with other towns for property owned by Oxford.

Selectman Dana Dillingham agreed that while it is Oxford’s dam, he would value other stakeholders’ constructive input about maintaining it. “But I do not care for the compact example” that the committee saw,” Dillingham added.

Board Vice Chairwoman Samantha Hewey said it is in the best interest of Oxford taxpayers to collaborate with other communities and she was open to discussion with the towns about the dam.

The east gate of the Thompson Lake dam in Oxford will be replaced with a retractable metal gate next month. Submitted photo

Dillingham requested that the agenda state each town be provided a set amount of time to make a presentation on its position and ideas on how to move forward in a collaborative process.

Asselin said he recently met with dam engingeer/consultant Myron Petrovsky  of MBP Consulting and representatives from  Bancroft Contacting Corp. in Paris about dam repairs, and the projected start date is Sept. 14. He said the total estimated cost stands at $472,550, down from Bancroft’s original estimate of $521,350.

The project includes replacing the east gate, which is not functioning, with a retractable metal gate and other maintenance, Asselin said.

In another matter, Asselin said he has discussed with representatives of Oxford Plaza on Route 26 about relocating the town’s administrative offices from Pleasant Street to space previously leased by School Administrative District 17. He said the Facilities Committee is set to meet Tuesday to discuss the idea further.

The administrative offices are in the Municipal Center, which is the former Oxford High School.

The tentative lease rate for the Oxford Plaza site is $12.50 per square foot but could change if significant modifications were required.

Dillingham said the board would need specific cost projections that take extra construction into consideration. Sharon Jackson favored looking at a five-year lease commitment instead of a 10-year one.

In other business, Asselin confirmed that construction on Allen Hill Road is set to start on Aug. 10 and residents and commuters should plan for delays.

He informed the board that Oxford’s projected revenue-sharing income from the state has been decreased by more than $40,000, to $301,875.


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