Street work nearing a conclusion

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    MILO — Travelers going through downtown Milo and on Park Street will soon no longer have to contend with construction. During a selectmen’s meeting on Sept. 16 Town Manager David Maynard provided an update on both the Route 11 and Safe Streets projects.

    Maynard said the Route 11 project schedule has changed on a near daily basis with rain and overnight temperatures dropping below the freezing mark to then delay the next day’s work until the ground can thaw. He said most of or nearly all of the paving could be finished by the following Saturday, which will lead to “approximately two weeks of hand work.”
    The post-paving aspects of the Route 11 project include several new crosswalks, such as by Tradewinds and Rite Aid. The crosswalks will include handicapped accessible accommodations.
    “Oct. 18 is the contract deadline and they expect to be finished Oct. 11 at the latest,” Maynard said. “There will be tremendous change, the street will finally look like it is supposed to.”
    He said some new streets lights “should be here sometime next week” as one of the last parts of the Safe Streets project. Maynard said he asked that the lights not be installed until Pike Industries is done paving the adjacent sections of the road, to avoid any damage with these street lights having a 16-month-long waiting list.
    Maynard said back in July he received a call from the Department of Environmental Protection that an umbrella permit for the Eastern Piscataquis Business Park expired in November of 2011. “Because of that there were some changes that were required for the site and subdivision plan,” Maynard said, with a record of the plan expiration date being sent to the town ending up being very difficult to track down.
    The necessary changes were made to the park plans, such as showing where all the buildings will be located and a drainage easement for a pair of ponds. Maynard said wetland areas of the property are subject to further review and some of these parcels may turn out to not need to be classified as wetlands and could end up being used for other purposes.
    The Milo Planning Board will need to sign off on the revised plan, which was scheduled for a Sept. 29 meeting, in order to get the permit reinstated. Maynard did not anticipate any problems with this action.
    In other business, Maynard said questions have been asked about a building ordinance and related fee that may have been enacted at a town meeting in 1968. He said such an ordinance was passed over four and half decades ago which specified no building permit was required if construction costs were below $400 but a permit is needed if the project expenses were in excess of $400.
    Per the town charter the selectmen may be able to act on an existing ordinance, such as to make amendments. Maynard said the town attorney is reviewing all the related paperwork and the board may be able to take action at the next meeting.
    “I think you can revise it, you just can’t replace it,” Select Chair Lee McMannus said. He later added that if a building has square footage being added then the town needs to know in order to be informed of the potential increase in property valuation. McMannus also said there is a difference between adding and maintenance, such as replacing old shingles or putting on new shutters.
    Maynard reported that the Heritage Building had a leak which resulted in a portion of the ceiling over Elaine’s Basket Cafe and Bakery being taken down. “There was enough damage involved I called the insurance company and filed a claim,” he said, with the leak coming from an air conditioner hose.
    He said the damaged insulation has been removed and “we are waiting for a release from the insurance company to do the installation.” Maynard said owner Elaine Poulin “has been very accommodating in working with us” and “the insurance company is bending over backwards to make it right.”
    Milo Emergency Management Agency Director (EMA) Jerry Cole said, “On the 24th at 4 o’clock in the afternoon we are going to do an exercise.” He explained various first-responder agencies conducted a table-top exercise several weeks ago for the later replication on Sept. 24.
    Cole said in the exercise a fuel truck will be involved in an accident with two other vehicles, with drivers and passengers becoming covered in gasoline and then needing to be decontaminated as part of the larger process to secure the scene. He said fire and rescue, the police department, ambulance service, Mayo Regional Hospital, county EMA and others will all be involved.

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