County & State News

Blanchard and Williamsburg bridges to be repaired this summer

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Bridges in Blanchard and Williamsburg townships are both set to be repaired later in the year as the bids were opened and approved by the Piscataquis County Commissioners during an April 3 meeting.

County Manager Tom Lizotte said 21 contractors were given the specifications for repairs for the Gully Brook Bridge in Blanchard and the Whetstone Brook Bridge in Williamsburg, but only one bid was received for each project. Lizotte said the engineer explained this result is not too surprising given the remote location of the two structures, and he also said there are not too many contractors in Piscatquis County with the resources for this type of work.

NF Luce, Inc. of Norridgewock submitted bids for each bridge — Lizotte said the engineer thought this firm may have been the low bidder in the event of multiple submissions. Individually the Gully Brook Bridge had a bid of $64,000 and the bid for the Whetstone Brook Bridge was $109,000. NF Luce, Inc. offered a rate of $165,000 if awarded both projects.

“There is an $8,000 difference between separate bids and a lump sum,” Lizotte said.

“That is really good news going forward with next year’s unorganized territory budget,” he said, shortly before the commissioners approved the $165,000 combined bid for the two bridges.

In other business, county officials heard from Piscataquis County District Attorney’s Office Office Manager Corina Tibbetts who said, “The move into our temporary places has gone well.”

The department office space on the first floor of the county building is being renovated to better serve staff needs. Nickerson & O’Day of Brewer and JK Electric of Cambridge are scheduled to start on April 16 and be done two weeks later.

“I’m hopeful they will be able to stay within that timeframe and I am told they will,” Tibbetts said, with the new district attorney’s office space ready to go for Tuesday, May 1.

Lizotte said Internet and telephone connections have been installed at the future home of the patrol and investigation divisions of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office at the former Guilford Primary School and the photocopier will be arriving soon.

“They hope to move around the same time the DA’s project starts around mid-April,” the county manager said.

The sheriff’s department is leasing in Guilford — at a monthly cost of $1,200 with heat and utilities included — to alleviate issues with space and privacy at current office. Department officials have talked about bringing forth another bond referendum to fund a new sheriff’s building on the Dover-Foxcroft campus.

“I think that office space will work really well for them,” Lizotte said.

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