Dixfield citizens voted approval at the special town meeting on July 25 for a capital project to renovate the 42-year-old waste pump station on Hall Hill Road. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

DIXFIELD — At a special town meeting on July 25, citizens approved a capital project to renovate the 42-year-old waste pump station on Hall Hill Road.
Following several questions over 20 minutes, people voted 14-0 to also accept and authorize the use of 80 percent grant funding, noted to exceed $536,620 at the meeting, held at the Dixfield Fire Station.
The station pumps waste to the Rumford wastewater treatment plant on the River Road in Mexico.
Dixfield Town Manager Alicia Conn said very little maintenance has been done on the station, which was designed to last 20 years. Most of the equipment is original and finding parts is difficult, she said.
“We’re hoping to be able to secure 80% grant funding, either from Congressman (Jared) Golden’s Community Project Funding or Northern Borders Regional Grant Funding,” she said.
Golden, a Lewiston Democrat, visited the station June 30.
Resident Dan McKay asked how the town stands in regards to the two grants.
Town Manager Alicia Conn responded, “We are viewed favorably for both grants we are applying for. We will hear about the grant from Northern Borders by the end of August. The Golden Community Project Funding, we will hear somewhere between the end of August and January.”
She added, “This is for a fairly low-cost project that will see high impact. If we get nothing, then we will have to apply for the next round of grant funding.”
Conn said Vortex is contracted by Dixfield to maintain and monitor sewer system operations, which includes the Hall Hill Lift Station. Vortex of Livermore, formerly Ted Berry Co. has been under contract since 2007.
Shawn Ready, regional vice president for Vortex, said he also believes the town is viewed favorably for grants. “No matter what happens, the project would be going out through the competitive bid process.”
Resident Barbara Chow asked what the life expectancy for a new pumping station would be.
Ready responded that it should be 50 years.
Resident Steve Remeika asked about the extent of the project.
Ready said it’s his understanding that it will be a full overhaul. “There’s very few pumps that are reusable.”
If the system should fail, Ready said they would become the pipeline, pumping the sewerage into transport vehicles and “hauling to the Mexico sewerage facility continuously until whatever repairs are made. The expense of transport costs would be between $10,000 and $15,000 every 24 hours.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Richard Pickett said the project is contingent on receiving federal money.
“Without it, we’re just not in a position to do it,” he said.
Should the town receive the federal grant, the remaining 20%, or $109,000, would be financed by a local bank or the Maine Bond Bank and repaid by the system’s 551 users, Conn said.


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