Livermore officials are seeking a stream crossing infrastructure improvement grant to defray some costs of replacing the culvert for Ford Brook on Norton Road. The brook provides habitat for wild brook trout which should be preserved and protected, according to wildlife biologists. Google maps screen capture

LIVERMORE — At the Aug. 30 Selectpersons meeting it was announced a fish-crossing infrastructure improvement grant would be sought to replace a culvert on Norton Road that crosses Ford Brook.

“At my request last year we had a fisheries biologist from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife visit,” Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller said. “They determined the brook is high in value for its wild-brook trout populations. They say this habitat should be restored and protected.”

The culvert is in need of repair or replacement, Miller said. The fisheries managers recommend a bridge or culvert that spans at least one-point-two times the brook’s bank’s full width, he noted.

“Also, they are recommending a substrate side of the crossing that is representative of the natural stream bottom and be constructed during the in-stream work window which is July 15 to September 30,” Miller stated. “Best management practices should be employed during construction.

“The new crossing, [biologist Wes Ashe] says would restore the brook to a more natural flow regime, create unfettered passage for wild stream dwelling brook trout and greatly reduce the size of impoundment which would benefit the thermal regime, the riparian zone, insect community, row integrity and other natural processes.”

A stream-crossing infrastructure-improvement grant will be applied for, Miller said. Applications are due in November, he noted.


“There is no match amount, however grants can’t fund 100% of any project, so a match amount is factored into the scoring of the project’s cost effectiveness,” Miller stated. The maximum award is $150,000 per project, he added.

Main-Land Development Consultants in Livermore Falls has been contacted, are busy until next year, Miller noted. “I asked them if they could consider the project, it is a community project,” he said. “[Richard Dunton] from Main-Land drove by today, took some pictures and will pitch it to his team.”

Selectperson Scott Richmond gave a rough estimate of $200,000 for the project, asked Selectperson Brett Deyling if he had an idea on what the cost might be.

The engineering costs would be about $50,000, a few hundred thousand for construction costs, Deyling said.

“Probably $300,000 plus just because it is in the water.” he noted. “Making sure you are doing everything right and if it is in a sensitive habitat it’s even more – more erosion control and more care you have to take with construction. I would say you are looking at $500,000 including engineering fees, contingency and everything else that goes into it.

“You have got to repave that section of road. There is a lot that goes into that, it is not just replace the culvert. Plus the culvert is going to be expensive because it is going to be a box culvert that is two and a half times the bank front width and everything else.


“One thing you need to think about is you lose access to that road unless you put a temporary bridge in as part of the project. If you are doing the whole thing you lose access, if you are doing it half and half then it costs more because you have got to stage it that way.”

A temporary bridge wouldn’t happen, Selectperson Chair Mark Chretien said.

Deyling said he could get better pricing on the project through the company he works for – he is not involved with that division of the company. The company has done 40-50 culvert replacements in the last couple years, he noted.

Dunton estimated the engineering at $30,000, didn’t want to give a construction cost estimate, Miller said. IF&W biologist Wes Ashe recommended looking at how important the watershed is, how that would come into play for winning the award, then see if cost savings could be found through the Audubon Society or others who would help with the project, he noted.

Trout Unlimited was a possibility, Deyling suggested. “If you have got a trout habitat that’s got native and wild trout they would be all over it because they love that kind of stuff,” he said. “From what I gathered at the Brettuns Pond meeting, the dam across from Brettuns Pond is preventing pike from coming up any further than right there. That is probably one of the reasons that habitat is still intact is we’ve got a natural man-made barrier and the pike can’t get to it because the water is just going underneath it.”

If Main-Land has done similar projects that may reduce the engineering costs, Deyling noted. He will help Miller complete the grant application.

In other business it was noted the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance is being updated as some details are out of date. There are 17 changes, they must go before the legislative body for approval. Selectpersons voted to put it before voters on Nov. 8.

The $1,000 Pollard Scholarship was awarded to Kayla Adams, a first-generation college student studying radiology, Miller said. In high school she was inducted into the National Honor Society, was one of the Top Ten students, he noted. Muriel Bowerman and two others reviewed four applications, drew a name from a hat, Miller added.

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