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Backkingdom Road project on tap
MEXICO -- The process has begun to start a long overdue road project.
At their May 10 meeting, the Board of Selectmen approved a recommendation by Town Manager John Madigan to go out to bid for a portion of the 3.3-mile Backkingdom Road project, which he said they need to do if they plan to get started on it this summer.
He said engineer Al Hodsdon will have a pre-bid meeting with all the potential contractors and then they will have unit prices for all three parts of the project. "When the final drawings are all done, what we'll do is to make sure all the bidders are aware that this will be a continuation of the contract once the entire road is designed, and for the unit prices for the first section that's ready."
Madigan said the winning contractor would be based on his unit prices being the low bid, then those unit prices would carry through for the entire project.
The three sections are from Harlow Hill to the tower, then from the tower to Jamison's, and then from Jamison's to the dead end.
In a related matter, Madigan informed the board that hopes for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant has been turned down by the Office of Community Development.
"To me, it has to do with money," said Madigan, who noted that they had 15 applications totalling $7 million, and they had $2.2 million to give out. They awarded six projects.
"That really throws a wrench into everything because we had everything ready. Osgood (Avenue) is completely done
(engineering), so the contractor could have started tomorrow."
The town was hoping to use the grant, combined with other funds, this spring for the installation of water and sewer lines on South Main and Alder streets, and water lines on a portion of Osgood Avenue. The utilities project is part of an overall $1.4 million upgrade for the three streets. Once the utility lines are installed, the streets will be reconstructed and paved.
The majority of people in the 62 residences on all three streets met the criteria for low and moderate income, a criteria for the grant monies.
There will be a joint meeting of town officials, and the water and sewer departments with design engineer Al Hodsdon to discuss what they're going to do from here.
Madigan said options include splitting the project up and starting work, or doing nothing and submit the CDBG application next year, although again, there would be no guarantees.
The good news is that the same CDBG application can be used next year. "I talked to the lady at CDBG and she was saying that maybe in late July or August, she can come up and we can go through the application and refine to see how we can make it the application better," he said.
"Compared to other projects, she said we did very well on the citizen participation and on the money part because we were totally committed. But we didn't make a strong enough case for the water and the sewer, and we needed some stronger language in the impact statement out of the application," said Madigan.