Cleanup to start on Moosehead property

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — A crucial step in the redevelopment work at the former Moosehead Manufacturing site — which will become a mixed-use property on the Piscataquis River — is about to begin. “We are officially starting the clean-up phase this week,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said during a selectmen’s meeting on March 25.

    Peter Sherr of Ransom Consulting, Inc. of Portland said the bids for both demolition and abatement work have been awarded to Enviro Advantage, Inc. of Epping, N.H. and having the same contractor for the two jobs will be advantageous. “Over the next month we will be doing most of the demolition work, then there will be the abatement work,” Sherr said, which will remove lead paint, asbestos and other hazardous materials from the site.
    “The bulk of the abatement work won’t start until May,” Sherr said, adding that another public hearing will likely be held in April to allow for more comment. “We are gearing up, you are going to see a lot of traffic,” Sherr said.
    Sherr was asked several questions by the selectmen, and he said that the contractor is required to meet a number of safety requirements for the crew and for the public. “There will be containment systems so asbestos fibers won’t get airborne,” Sherr said. He explained procedures will be in place to keep dust down, prevent any substances from getting into the river and keeping the Main Street sidewalk free so pedestrians can walk by the edge of the property.
    “We will be working in all of the buildings,” Sherr said. “Mainly in the main building right now, and some of the out buildings will dovetail with the redevelopment work.” He said these might include having a roof with asbestos being removed, and then a replacement roof be immediately installed.
    Security on site will be covered by Enviro Advantage while the company is present. “We are working with Pine Crest (Business Park) and the town as we did with Maine Leathers,” Sherr said about securing another redevelopment project in town. He said there will be appropriate signage and buildings will be locked “and at least initially there will be some flags and caution tape and if need be a chain-link fence.”
    “We have a substantial completion date of the end of July/early August,” Sherr said, saying the brownfields grant for the cleanup will be closed out by Sept. 30.
    “There is a sign going up that’s very high profile,” Clukey said. Sherr added that as with the river walk at the former Maine Leather site the large sign will be posted out front for passersby to see.
    “When this phase of remediation is done we are really going to be down to the structural membrane of he building,” Clukey said, comparing the building to Central Hall after it was abated.
    “We know what we need to protect at the mill and where we can do demolition to get it ready for Arnold Development,” Sherr said. “This is a very exciting starting point, it is essentially a shovel to the ground or a ribbon cutting.”
    Clukey provided an update on the river walk at the former Maine Leathers site, farther down the Piscataquis River from the Moosehead property. “We are going to be doing a pre-bid meeting down at Maine Leathers,” he said, which was scheduled for the morning of March 26 with potential landscapers looking at the plan specifics.
    “We are excited about getting that going at the end of the month,” Clukey said, as plantings are expected to take place in late April.
    In other business, the selectmen scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the town office to discuss the 2013-14 budget prior to the annual town meeting on Saturday, April 27.
    “Each Wednesday the Budget Advisory Committee has been meeting, and this Wednesday they have scheduled a joint meeting with the selectmen to go over their recommendations and see what will be put out on the April meeting ballot,” Clukey said. Articles affirmed on April 27 — the meeting will start at 9 a.m. in the Morton Avenue gym — will then go out to a referendum vote on Tuesday, June 11.
    The town meeting warrant may also include a proposed amendment to the Land Use Ordinance pertaining to electronic signs. The selectmen scheduled a public hearing on this matter for the April 8 meeting, several days after the planning board will discuss it at their April 4 meeting — also at 6:30 p.m. at the town office.
    The Promotion and Development Committee of the selectmen have discussed electronic signs and planning board member Fred Muehl drafted some possible ordinance revisions, and some potential amendments to the Land Use Ordinance should be ready by April 8 after the meeting of the planning board four days prior.
    “It would be nice to have some language to solicit around to the business community before,” Selectman Paul Matulis said, added there would still be time to finalize an article for the town meeting warrant.
    “People on these roads facing these kinds of signs, this would be their time to speak up,” Matulis said, encouraging feedback from both sides of the sign issue.
    Clukey said he would ask the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce for assistance in reaching out further to the business community for feedback and/or attendance on April 4 and 8, and the general public is also being encouraged to take part.

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