Police & Fire

County EMA garage project to go out to bid again

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Last month three bids for building a Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) storage garage all came in multiple times more than the project budget. The structure will now be going out to bid again, this time with some revisions to the specs.

During a June 5 meeting of the Piscataquis County Commissioners, Chair James White said he talked with County EMA Director Tom Capraro and the director mentioned a $100,000 performance bond requirement recommended by the project engineer was a key reason why each bid came in well over budget.

“That eliminated probably a half dozen contractors that are insured and competent that probably would have bid on the project,” White said.

“It was really an unnecessary addition to the project,” he said, saying there was not a performance bond requirement in with the recent work to renovate the district attorney’s office space.

The garage estimate was between $85,000 and $100,000, and the bids were for $278,836, $342,848 and $476,638.

“Tom’s thoughts were let’s go out to bid, open the bids on July 10,” County Manager Tom Lizotte said. He said the performance bond piece would be removed, as would the September deadline.

“As long as the slab is in in the fall you can build the stick-built portion over the winter and that may be attractive to some contractors,” Lizotte said as the commissioners then passed a motion for him to proceed with putting the revised project out to bid.

At the present time the county 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.

Plans called for the storage garage to have three bays for the Piscataquis County EMA and a fourth bay for the county maintenance department. The maintenance portion of the structure would 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.

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

In other business, the commissioners awarded contracts for the operation and maintenance and transportation and recycling of solid waste at the county transfer facilities in Orneville and Lily Bay townships to Moosehead Rubbish of Greenville for the next five years (2018 to 2023).

“There are two contracts for each transfer station, one is for the operation and the other is for the transportation,” Lizotte said. “We have two bids for Orneville, Moosehead Rubbish is the current operator and Somerset Disposal of Madison is the other.”

Moosehead Rubbish bid $40,000 annually for the five years to run the facility in eastern Piscataquis County with $2,000 in transportation costs. “We have a grand total of $210,000,” White said.

Somerset Disposal submitted a bid of $15,000 for operations each year over the next half decade and $27,500 for transportation in Orneville. The total package of $212,500 was $2,500 more than that of Moosehead Rubbish, which received the bid.

Lizotte said the two companies also both bid on the Lily Bay transfer facility. The annual costs of the Moosehead Rubbish proposal are $65,000 for operations and $2,000 for transportation for a total package of $335,000.

Somerset Disposal bid $20,000 for each year’s operations and $47,500 for transportation, resulting in $337,500 for the two services over five years. The commissioners also awarded the Lily Bay bid to Moosehead Rubbish, which came in at $2,500 less as well.

“I met with the Atkinson selectmen last month,” Lizotte said in his report. He discussed the unorganized territory budget and how expenses for the town would be incorporated into the spending plan should residents vote to deorganize in November. The county would be responsible for services such as road maintenance and plowing and solid waste disposal.

“The municipal budget is $249,900,” Lizotte said. “Basically we can strip out most of the administrative services.”

“If you look at the total we need to add to our UT budget, it’s $201,400 which is better than $300,000,” he said. The current unorganized territory budget is around $1.5 million, and county officials will be considering the fate of Atkinson as the next spending plan is developed later this year.

Lizotte said projected revenues such as about $29,000 in county tax, $60,000 from excise taxes and approximately $26,700 from the Maine Department of Transportation for Atkinson would equal a combined $115,775. These revenues would cover more than half of the expenses of services provided by the county to Atkinson, resulting in an $85,625 net increase.

“They have done a decent job of maintaining their roads in the interim,” the county manager said, saying Atkinson paved some stretches last year.

Lizotte said at the annual Atkinson town meeting in March, residents will likely vote on the closure of a bridge and remainder of the McCorrison Road over Alder Stream, which is weight restricted and closed during the winter. Another vote could be to sell the property containing a salt/sand pile in need of being brought up to Department of Environmental Protection standards. Lizotte had previously said the pile is not as in bad of condition as believed.

In April an Atkinson deorganization bill was approved by the Legislature and then signed by Gov. Paul 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.

“We are fortunate to live in an area where people appreciate law enforcement,” Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Bob Young told the commissioners. He said residents will drop off pastries and other food for department employees to enjoy.

Young said Paul and Teresa Lancisi of Dove Tail Bats in Shirley recently gave the sheriff’s office a custom baseball bat, painted black matching the new officer uniforms, “just in appreciation.”

“We are going to mount that up in the Guilford patrol office,” Young said as he showed the wooden bat to the commissioners.

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