About $10,000 in work on Alna’s salt and sand shed may have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace it, selectmen said Oct. 17. The effort should keep the 1987 shed going a long time and has gotten it insured again, according to officials and an email from the town’s insurer.
“The town has taken great steps” to address last April’s recommendations, Maine Municipal Association’s Corina Steeves tells First Selectman Melissa Spinney in the Oct. 10 email. “Considering what has already been done, that property coverage can be added back” with the building valued at $73,745, the email states. An attached document removes the property exclusion, Steeves adds.
Selectmen praised the work of the resident they hired, Steve Zuppa. He went above and beyond, Spinney said.
“It looks brand new. You’ve transformed it,” Second Selectman Ed Pentaleri told Zuppa in the board’s meeting at the fire station. In September, Pentaleri reported a Maine Department of Transportation staff member recommended the town start setting aside money for a new shed. Selectmen made no estimates then, but Oct. 17 they said it might have run $300,000.
"And for $10,000, we did the whole thing," Spinney said. Voters tapped the shed maintenance reserve for it in August.
Zuppa said the work, which included sandblasting and coating the concrete, is about 75 percent done and will continue as long as the weather holds. "With a little maintenance, there's no reason (the shed) can't go on for a long time."
Also Oct. 17, selectmen unanimously named Abbe Manahan to the Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12 board after Spencer Bailey resigned, and Greg Shute to the planning board after wife Lynne Flaccus resigned; said Hagar Enterprises has sealed cracks on Golden Ridge and Rabbit Path roads for about $25,000; said Alna General Store's Trick or Treat Street is from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 28; announced Chris Kenoyer has joined Shute and Spinney on the recreation committee and more are welcome; and expressed interest in resident Ralph Hilton’s idea to see if the town could have the playground equipment from the former Wiscasset Primary School.
Having Shute take Flaccus’s seat will keep an environmental voice on the planning board, Third Selectman Doug Baston said. He added, Shute has been interested in joining before, but there was concern then about having a couple serve. Manahan lost to Hilton for a school board seat in March.
Edgecomb Eddy School Principal Ira Michaud and Edgecomb School Committee Chair Tom Abello reported Alna parents are liking the school. Officials said it began adding Alna and Westport Island students last year under a deal with SVRSU. Enrollment at the pre-K to grade six school has hiked from 76 to 91 and the school can handle 120-125 students without adding to the facility, they said.
“I feel really good about it and look forward to it growing,” Baston said about Alna students going there. Parents are liking the low student-teacher ratio, he said. The only concern he’s heard is about the long bus ride. Responding to a question from Baston, the Edgecomb officials said they could look at picking up Alna students at a central spot like Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum. But they said working parents like the door-to-door pickup.