Wiscasset selectmen

Bid-seeking generates bids too high for generators

Revaluation gets mention; paper not contacted about venue change
Wed, 11/18/2020 - 1:15pm

    How much did Wiscasset voters approve to get generators for sewer pump stations, Selectman Jeff Slack asked Town Manager Dennis Simmons over Zoom and Youtube Tuesday night, Nov. 17.

    $100,000, Simmons answered.

    “Shoot,” Slack said. Simmons had just announced the bids received for the four generators: IEC Electrical Data and Services of Strong bid $171,490 and Auburn-based Generac bid $175,453, he said.

    The board could not act because the warrant article said not to exceed the $100,000, Chair Pam Dunning said. She said Simmons will look through the bids for any items the town did not request, such as installation, that can be removed, and he will report back next meeting. “Does that sound reasonable,” she asked fellow members.

    “Sounds perfect,” Slack said.

    Also Nov. 17, Slack wondered if it might be time for a town-wide property revaluation. He noted recent tax abatements the town has done: “I just have been on the board a long time and it seems like every meeting we’re doing these, and I am glad to grant these abatements but ... does Ellery (Bane, assessors’ agent) feel like it’s time to re-evaluate the town?” 

    Dunning said the last revaluation was about seven or eight years ago. “A lot of changes in eight years,” Selectman Katharine Martin-Savage said. “A lot of changes just in the last year,” Simmons said. He said he will ask Bane about it.

    According to wiscasset.org, the town last completed a revaluation in 2007.

    The board accepted Officer Corey Hubert’s resignation from Wiscasset Police Department and Terry Heller’s donation of a stair railing and its installation at the Sunken Garden; and approved a liquor license for Bath Ale Works at Marketplace Plaza, business licenses for Maine Tasting Center, 506 Bath Road, and Chez Sam, 54 Water St., and beano/bingo and games of chance next year at Huntoon Hill Grange.

    The board set an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 budget session.

    Selectmen  took no votes after an executive session on a legal matter, Simmons said. The board meets next on Dec. 1 via Zoom, he said.

    Based on a Nov. 12 town email – which stated “only the board and media will be allowed in the hearing room (Nov. 17), all others are invited to join via Zoom” – and a discussion at selectmen’s Nov. 12 budget workshop, Wiscasset Newspaper News Contributor Phil Di Vece went to the municipal building’s hearing room Nov. 17 for the meeting.

    Due to the region’s spike in COVID-19 cases, the meeting was moved online for all, including the board, Simmons said. Administrative Assistant Kathleen Onorato said she updated the agenda at wiscasset.org and did not also send a new email. Wiscasset Newspaper informed Simmons the town has previously kept the paper informed of meeting plans via email. Then it should have been done, and he takes responsibility, he said.

    For now, the board will continue to meet on Zoom, and agenda emails will include a Zoom link, just as the one sent Nov. 12 did, Onorato said.