Police & Fire

Commissioners award Blanchard and Moosehead Junction paving bids

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Paving on stretches of roads in Blanchard and Moosehead Junction will be done this summer by Vaughn D. Thibodeau II, Inc. of Bangor after the company’s low bid of $146,160 was approved by the Piscataquis County Commissioners during a May 1 meeting.

The project will be comprised of .8 miles in Blanchard on the Mountain Road from the Piscataquis River bridge to where the asphalt ends. Less than half a mile on both Depot Street and the Green Tower Hill Road in Moosehead Junction will be paved.

Five bids were received for the work, and County Manager Tom Lizotte said the county was partnering with the Hancock County communities of Lamoine and Sedgwick in order to get a lower price per ton of asphalt.

“Usually whenever we open the bids, the towns accept it,” Roger Picard of Pavement Management Services, LLC — the county is contracting with him to oversee the projects — said. He said he did not anticipate any issues with Lamoine and Sedgwick town officials on the Vaughn D. Thibodeau II bid.

Four of the bids were within $6,000 of the $146,160 figure, and the highest came in at $165,445. After the documents were first opened Picard went through to calculate the cost for the county with each contractor providing a rate for the 2,030 tons of asphalt needed in Blanchard and Moosehead Junction.

“The ditching on this, we are are bidding on that and we will open that at your next meeting and get that done by July,” Lizotte said.

In other business, Lizotte said he is scheduled to meet with the Atkinson selectmen on May 15. The county manager said he will be discussing the unorganized territory budget and how expenses for the town would be incorporated into the spending plan should residents vote to deorganize in November.

Lizotte said the county would be responsible for services such as road maintenance and plowing and solid waste disposal.

Las month an Atkinson deorganization bill was approved by the Legislature and then signed by Gov. LePage, setting up a town referendum on the November ballot. The referendum would need to pass by a two-thirds majority with at least 50 percent of voters casting ballots in the last gubernatorial election taking part.

An affirmative vote meeting the criteria would make Atkinson part of the unorganized territory as of July 1, 2019.

The Atkinson municipal budget is around $300,000, so this could increase the unorganized territory budget by around 20 percent from $1.5 million to $1.8 million. Lizotte had said he and others will be keeping this in mind as the spending plan is developed later in the year.

Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Tom Capraro said bids for a storage garage to consolidate the agency vehicles and equipment are being advertised. “Bids close on May 14 and they’re going to be opened here on May 15,” he said.

Capraro said he and Lizotte were scheduled to present the project to the Dover-Foxcroft Planning Board on May 3. Capraro said the contractor will have 100 days to get the bulk of the work done “and 120 days to get all of it completed so it’s done before winter.”

The storage garage will feature three bays for the Piscataquis County EMA and a fourth bay for the county maintenance department. The maintenance portion of the structure will be separated from the rest of the building with its own entry. Storage space will be located upstairs for both departments.

The storage garage would be built on the county campus, near the edge of the property by School Street. The EMA structure would be placed away from East Main Street, leaving room for a potential new sheriff’s office.

With the storage garage being used for emergency management, Homeland Security funds through Maine EMA can reimburse the county’s $16.500 engineering expenses.

Piscataquis County EMA has $58,000 in capital reserve and $10,000 proposed in the current budget for the garage, which was approved by the commissioners in 2016.

The county currently leases space at a Dover-Foxcroft municipal garage for vehicle and equipment storage, and other EMA gear is housed at the bunker in Milo. The agency also utilizes the county parking lot and building.

“We weren’t active in the manhunt but we did provide services to them in the eastern portion of Somerset County,” Sheriff John Goggin said about the previous week’s multiple day manhunt for John D. Williams, who now has been charged with intentional or knowing murder in the death of Somerset County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Eugene Cole.

“I just can’t imagine that happening to anyone’s department,” Goggin said. “It happens all over the country and occasionally it comes home.”

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