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Town to vote on upgrades
DIXFIELD — The town will seek voter approval this month to improve the water, sewer and storm drain main lines in the area of Pine, High and North streets.
The special town meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at the Dirigo High School Community Room. The meeting will be preceded by a public hearing at 6 p.m.
Voters will be asked to approve a $1.8 million project consisting of water and sewer line replacements, road reconstruction, engineering and design costs, transaction costs and other expenses. They will also be asked to approve funding the work and authorizing selectmen to accept various grants.
The project, designed by Al Hodsdon Engineering in Waterville, would replace old, galvanized pipes that are in danger of breaking, which would put the town's water system in danger of contamination as well as causing discoloration.
The work would also replace the water mains, the hydrants and the sewer and stormwater lines, and improve the water flow from the fire hydrants.
According to the five-article warrant, the State of Maine Drinking Water Program has already committed $676,056 in a low-interest loan, and the Clean Water State Revolving fund has been projected to give $110,000 for sewer line replacement and related paving repairs.
The Town Office announced in a statement that the town will seek funding through a Community Development Block Grant. In order to qualify, the town must complete a survey of the households in the project area. The town will apply for a $500,000 CDBG grant.
Article 3 asks voters if the town should approve a capital project consisting of upgrades to the Dixfield Water District pump station, engineering and design costs, transaction costs and other expenses and appropriate the sum of $151,215 to fund the project.
Article 4 asks residents if the town should vote to authorize a “tax club” payment plan where residents would pay for their taxes monthly instead of quarterly.
Town Manager Linda Pagels-Wentworth said at Monday's selectmen meeting that residents would have until Sept. 16 to apply for the program, which is set up “like a Christmas club for your taxes.”
Each resident who applies for the program by Sept. 16 would have their total yearly taxes divided by 10, one for each remaining month of the fiscal year.
Pagels-Wentworth said the tax club would accept checks and cash but not credit cards.
Article 5 asks voters if the town should pass a Property Assessed Clean Energy Ordinance, which would give residents access to low-cost loans for home energy efficiency upgrades.
The program's funding, administered through Efficiency Maine, comes from a U.S. Department of Energy grant.
To participate, homeowners must have an energy audit which shows the property needs improvement and homeowners must meet several criteria to qualify for a loan. The loans can be used to pay for insulation, more efficient heating systems and other upgrades.