Commissioners award bid for pre-paving work on Elliottsville Road

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — After looking into a pair of bids that were more than $28,000 apart, the Piscataquis County Commissioners awarded pre-paving ditching and culvert work for a 1.8-mile stretch of the Elliottsville Road to Bennett Construction of Guilford for the lower price of $10,350.

“This is in preparation for the paving this summer,” County Manager Tom Lizotte said during a May 16 commissioners’ meeting. “We asked for four bids and we received two back.”

The project involves creating ditches along 1.8 miles of the Elliottsville Road in the township of the same name, from the Willimantic line to the Big Wilson Stream bridge and then north from the bridge on the Bodfish Valley Road to the Borestone Mountain parking lot. The work includes replacing 16 culverts along the stretch of road.

The Bennett Construction bid was the lower of the two, with the second bid by William W. London & Son of Milo coming in at $38,750.

Being unsure because of the amount of discrepancy in the bids, the commissioners tabled a decision that morning until Lizotte and Piscataquis County Road Agent Carl Henderson could speak with each contractor.

The commissioners also agreed to be available in the next few days to discuss the project and select a bid to prevent any project delays. They were not scheduled to meet again until June 6.

“The issue is this work has to be done before we can do the paving,” Lizotte said as he asked during the May 16 meeting whether the commissioners could be available as soon as he could clarify the bids.

In a follow-up email, Lizotte wrote that after providing the commissioners with additional background information from the contractors, they voted 3-0 — via email and phone — on the morning of May 17 to award the bid to Bennett Construction.

Lizotte wrote that the work on the Elliottsville Road will need to be completed by June 30 in preparation of the 1.8 miles being paved by Lane Construction later in the summer.

In other business, the commissioners met with Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency Director Tom Capraro for an update on several agency happenings.

Capraro said D&S Engineering is working on architectural drawings for an Emergency Management Agency building to be located on the county campus. He said with the four-bay structure being located in the historic district of town, the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society needed to review the plans and the approval will be formalized in writing.

“Because it’s for EMA and for planning it may be funded with Homeland Security funds,” Capraro said, though he has been setting aside building monies in the Emergency Management Agency budget.

Since the start of the year, the EMA office also has been handling the county’s E-911 addressing services.

“We took that over in our office and it’s going well,” the director said. He said if a call comes in — such as to assign an address for 911 purposes to a new camp in the Unorganized Territory — and the property owner has all necessary information, then their address assignment can be handled in about 20 minutes.

Capraro said there is a checklist to go through and even if something is missing, the caller can check in once they have located the information “and again it’s 20 minutes” for the address to be finalized and entered into the database for use by first-responders.

The commissioners regularly meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, but Lizotte said that this year the first Tuesday of July falls on Independence Day. He suggested that July’s meetings be on the second and fourth Tuesdays (July 11 and 25) instead.

A formal decision will be made next month on the July schedule as well as on the August meetings, which could be switched to Aug. 8 and 22. Lizotte said the July 11 session could potentially take place in Greenville with some agenda items pertaining to the Moosehead Lake region. The county manager said an August or September meeting may be held in Milo to enable the commissioners to get out into the other side of the county.

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