MEXICO — The town will be seeking a stream crossing grant for a bridge on Thompson Hill.
Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day said, “We desperately need to fix the bridge on Thompson Hill. The abutments are caving in. We’ve got a temporary fix right now, but it’s nothing that’s longterm.”
She said, “My concern is, if you go up and look at it, both sides are caving in. And the person who drives the plow truck isn’t real sure he wants to drive a plow truck over that this winter. John (Blais, foreman) might have to use a smaller truck to do that hill. It’s concerning. Going forward, we have got to address this.”
Welch-Day said to go for a grant for a stream crossing grant, and you can’t apply for a grant without an engineering firm. She called several engineering firms in Maine, and “my question to them was how successful they were with these grants.”
She said, “Pine Tree Engineering is pretty successful and they stay with you right from the beginning, from the engineering piece right through to the contractor coming in, and they help you write the grant.
Their fee is $20,000 for them to do this. The would be include the installation of a boxed culvert.
Welch-Day clarified that she was told by Pine Tree Engineering that they have a 90 percent success rate.
She said the money would be taken out of either the road reserve account, which has $96,000, or surplus, depending on how much is left in that account.
Further, Welch-Day noted, “It’s not a 100 percent grant. Whatever our portion is, we’ll have to put in next year’s budget because this wouldn’t be fixed until spring, probably.”
The board then voted 5-0 to go with Welch-Day’s recommendation of Pine Tree Engineering for $20,000.
In other business, Fire Chief Mat Theriault said the fire department will hold a toll road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 on Main Street in Mexico.
He said the proceeds will go towards the purchase of a portable pump. King Hiram Masonic Lodge #57 of Mexico will assist with that purchase.
Selectman TJ Williams, who also serves as the Lodge Master, said King Hiram will double the toll road proceeds up to $1,000 ($2,000 total) to assist with the portable pump purchase.
The board also voted not to support a request by Med-Care Ambulance to provide them with 15 percent of their second disbursement of the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding to go to developing a capital equipment account.
Bob Chase, Med-Care President, said that the plan received unanimous support from all the representatives of the towns serving on the Med-Care Board of Directors and that they would advocate for it with their town’s Select Boards.
A letter dated August 8 from Paul Landry, chief of Med-Care Ambulance, was then sent to all the member towns, seeking the same 15 percent of each town’s second installment of ARPA funding.
Chase said, “Med-Care has not yet been able to establish the point where we’ve built capital reserves and be able to set money aside for those larger purchases that come up less than frequently.”
With the request, he believes capital is the place to use it. “We don’t want to use any of this money for operating expenses. We want to get on solid financial ground in regards to capital expenditures so that we can get ahead on things that are more one-time purchases like some of our ambulance and equipment,” he said.
Landry said that only 22 percent of the revenue to run Med-Care comes from town assessments, which currently is $30 per capita. A single dollar per capita assessment is $14,902.
He said that if all the towns participate in this proposal, it would total $109,000 to the capital fund. “That would really take care of a lot of our immediate capital needs.”
Med-Care Ambulance is a quasi-municipal organization that provides emergency medical response to the towns of Andover, Byron, Canton, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Newry, Peru, Roxbury and Rumford in Oxford County, as well as to the town of Carthage in Frankin County.

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