Dresden selectmen on Tuesday, July 20 agreed to meet with Maine Department of Transportation officials Monday, July 26 to discuss possible replacement of the Route 197 bridge that spans the Eastern River.
The 10 a.m. meeting at Pownalborough Hall is open to the public, but public comment is not planned to be taken, and will be taken at public hearings during the process toward any project, Selectman Allan Moeller said July 21. In the July 20 meeting, Town Administrator Mike Faass noted selectmen could have people attend who might be impacted by the project. Faass said he had invited Fire Chief Steve Lilly because the repair could impact fire response routes.
Moeller said the bridge appears to be in poor repair and might not last until the 2024 date for construction.
“It might just end up in the river,” said Moeller. He said the bridge is not posted for heavy loads but a sign only allows one truck to cross at a time.
The board met in executive session with town attorney Joe Siviski to discuss the ongoing legal dispute with gravel pit owner Heather Beasley. Afterward, the board took no action. “We are working with the (Department of Environment Protection) DEP to get a resolution,” said Moeller.
The board picked All States Asphalt Inc. of Richmond to do summer paving on three town roads. The firm’s bid of $142,485 was lower than three other companies’ bids..
“I am very pleased,” said Moeller. He said the company mixes its own gravel whereas other contractors have to buy from other companies..
The board nominated Jeffery Pierce for the budget committee. Faass presented the board with survey maps of two lots near the intersection of Routes 27 and 197. The boundaries of the town-owned lots have been questioned by a private property owner.
Regional School Unit 2 committee member Jeffery Bickford reported that the budget increase that had provoked a campaign to vote down the school budget has been reduced from $155,000 to $64,000. He said future RSU 2 meetings would be available to the public on Zoom.