OXFORD — After rejecting two rounds of bids to design and build a new town office, three last February and three more in May, Town Manager Adam Garland presented selectmen Thursday with a bid for designing and engineering a building.

Harriman Architects of Auburn submitted an offer of $258,680 to design, create construction bid documents and oversee building.

“I’m not looking for the board to take any action on this tonight,” Garland said. “I just wanted to put it in front so you can start reviewing it. If you have any preliminary questions I will try and answer them. I am in the process of checking references and so forth so I can have some recommendations for you at the next meeting.”

Selectmen voted on another long-standing issue facing Oxford: how to proceed with processing sewer plant treatment waste, which can no longer be sold as fertilizer due to the level of PFAs, also known as forever chemicals.

For more than two years the town considered building a dewatering facility that would dry the waste in a greenhouse-type structure, based on recommendations from Woodard & Curran engineering firm.

Originally it was estimated construction would cost less than $1 million. However, bids presented to Garland by Woodard & Curran ranged from $2.2 million to $3 million. The engineer managing the project, Brent Bridges, recommended that Oxford reject the bids and revisit the issue when building costs have stabilized.

Garland presented a proposal for disposing of Oxford’s processed waste from Anson-Madison Sanitation District, which uses the same dewatering process on a much larger scale. The agreement would run for five years.

Sewer Department Superintendent Zhenya Shevchenko recently sent 38,000 pounds of waste that had been stored since 2019 to Anson-Madison at a cost of about $3,500.

The rate in the contract is 13 cents per pound for transporting it to Madison and 5 cents per pound for processing it, but the agreement had no details how or when rates might change.

Selectmen rejected the contract and asked Garland to request a new one that includes specifics on rate adjustments and future negotiation periods.

In his town manager report Garland said the winter drawdown at the Thompson Lake dam is done and the water level is 32 inches below the top of the dam. He thanked the Highway Department for its work clearing the sluices of leaves and debris.

In other business, Kayla McGee was appointed to the Recreation Department.

Selectmen also approved the marijuana business application for Cannafore, which will be located at 901 Main St.


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