County commissioners approve 2018-20 unorganized territory paving plan

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Work on roads in Blanchard, Moosehead Junction, Big Moose and Elliottsville townships is set to be taken care of over the next three years under a proposed 2018-20 paving schedule approved by the Piscataquis County Commissioners during a Sept. 5 meeting.

County Manager Tom Lizotte said a 10-year paving plan was developed in 2010 and the latest proposals would complete the decade of work. “The thought was the roads that people actually live on should be the priority next year,” he said.

The 2018 paving work is scheduled to include 0.8 miles on the Mountain Road in Blanchard, from the Piscataquis River bridge west, and 0.375 miles on Depot Street in Moosehead Junction from the Route 15/6 intersection to where the asphalt ends as well as another quarter mile on the Green Tower Hill Road in Moosehead Junction also from the Route 15/6 intersection to the end of the pavement. The respective costs between the two townships — with material at $66 at ton — would be $74,580 and $$59,400 or nearly $134,000 combined.

“$134,000, that’s really what we paid last year,” Lizotte said.

The county manager said the paving schedule in 2019 calls for 1.6 miles to to be resurfaced on the Ski Resort Road in Big Moose Township from Route 16/6 west to the Big Squaw Mountain ski area for an estimated cost of $108,900 plus ditching expenses. Lizotte said the road is owned by the county, and should there be some new developments with the ski area then the paving schedule could be flipped between 2018 and 2019 to improve the county’s portion of public access to the ski site.

The paving plan calls for a mile of the Monson Road in Elliottsville to be worked on in 2020, from the Big Wilson Stream bridge to the Willimantic line at $75,900 with additional funding needed for brushing and ditching.

“That pretty much would finish off the 10-year paving plan we have come up with,” Lizotte said. He said the paving costs would be worked into the unorganized territory budget to be approved by the commissioners later in the year. A refined project scope is scheduled to be presented to the commissioners in April.

In other business, Lizotte said the various 2018 budget requests have all been submitted. “Everything is on track and the department heads did a good job getting in everything they needed to get in,” Lizotte said.

The county manager said he would be meeting with these county leaders one-on-one over the next week to review their requests and devise an updated budget for the commissioners to review later in the month.

In October the nine-member budget advisory committee — who all may be formally appointed at the Sept. 19 commissioners’ meeting — will start meeting and the group will wrap up its work in November. A public hearing on the proposed 2018 calendar year county budget and 2018-19 fiscal year budget for the unorganized territories will be held the Monday after Thanksgiving on the evening of Nov. 27. From there the commissioners would formally vote on the respective spending plans during a December meeting.

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