Police & Fire

County EMA garage may be built this season

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — After more than a year of trying to get the project close to budget, a Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) four-bay storage garage for vehicles and equipment on the county’s East Main Street campus may be constructed this summer/fall.

During a June 4 meeting of the Piscataquis County Commissioners, County EMA Director Tom Capraro said he has been working with the project engineer to modify the building design in order to reduce construction costs such as the facility going from two storeys to one. Last July the commissioners passed a motion to waive the competitive bid process and authorize Capraro to negotiate with a contractor at a rate capped at $120,000.

“Pretty much I think I have the job,” Capraro said. He said Knights Siding & Roofing of Detroit has expressed a great interest in building the storage garage.

“This is one company that really wants the job and really worked with the engineer these last few months,” Capraro said. He said Knights Siding & Roofing has been in business for around 25 years “and the engineer approves them 100 percent.”

“They put in a final offer of $132,000,” Capraro said, saying this amount is a bit over budget but potential department funds could be used to make up the difference. As an example, the EMA director said half of the approximate $30,000 agency vehicle purchase costs are reimbursed.

The Knights Siding & Roofing bid does not include electrical, plumbing, heating and paving. “We can use the county companies we use here,” Capraro said.

“I talked to (County Manager Tom Lizotte) about it, he thinks it’s a good deal and we can get it done,” Capraro said.

“I’m pretty much in agreement with you on this, we need to move forward if we can,” Head of Maintenance Josh York said. One of the bays would be used by the county maintenance department and the other three would be for EMA.

Capraro said construction could be completed by September or October, right at the start of the next budget county budget cycle.

The garage went out to bid twice last year. In May 2018 three bids for an EMA storage garage all came in multiple times more than the project budget. The garage estimate was between $85,000 and $100,000, and the bids were for $278,836, $342,848 and $476,638.

A month later the structure was put out to bid again with some revisions to the specs, such as eliminating a $100,000 performance bond requirement recommended by the project engineer and taking out a September completion deadline. Ralph McNaughton Construction of Newport, which bid $278,836 the first time, was the lone bidder for round two (five companies took out paperwork). The second submission from the company was for $259,618.

In other business, the commissioners authorized Sheriff Robert Young to sign a medical services agreement between the county jail and Mayo Regional Hospital.

“It’s a one-year contract that can be automatically rolled over,” Lizotte said.

“I really appreciate Mayo Regional Hospital and (Mayo Inpatient and Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. David McDermott), they have stepped up to the plate,” Young said.

Jail Administrator Maria Landry said there has been one very sensitive case involving an inmate, and she said Dr. McDermott himself has called to check in. “I think this is going to be a very good thing for the jail,” she said.

Lizotte discussed several items in his report.

He said the previous Saturday he and Road Agent Carl Henderson had the chance to go on a driving tour of the roads in Atkinson prior to the town becoming part of the Unorganized Territory on July 1. Lizotte said most of the travelways are in good shape, with there being some broken pavement near the end of the Maple Road.

The county manager said snow plow contractor Chuck O’Brien has found a location in the community to store his salt and sand, and a transitional contract for this work may be brought to the commissioners during an upcoming meeting.

Atkinson officials have sold the town’s old salt/sand pile site, and the DEP has signed off on the property, and will close off the McCorrison Road bridge over Alder Stream.

“They have done everything they said they would,” Lizotte said. “They sold off their town hall so the town does have enough money to close out its books.”

“Letters have been sent out to all the landowners on the Mountain Road in Blanchard informing them of the public hearing on July 2,” the county manager said.

The session will allow for input from the eight abutters on the proposed closure of the Mountain Road to winter maintenance. The road is a dead end with only camps and properties in tree growth located on the travelway. Potential savings by closing the Mountain Road to winter maintenance could be around $6,000.

During a meeting last month, Lizotte said washouts are common on the Mountain Road as a result of how narrow it is and the steep terrain. He said the lack of snow to absorb runoff after plowing leads to more washout damage, saying one 1,000-foot stretch will need about $15,000 in repairs.

Following the July 2 hearing the commissioners could vote to take action on closing the road in the winter.

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