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Bridge project forces Dixfield to approve $250,000 loan
DIXFIELD- On November 2 citizens were asked to approve a $250,000 bond to pay for a new sewer main under the planned new bridge along Route 2 that connects Dixfield with Mexico. That bond was defeated 533-478 and will be brought back before voters at a special town meeting on December 9 in the basement meeting room of Ludden Library at 6 p.m.
The specs for the proposed plan are being developed by the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) and will be administered and supervised by them. Bids for the project will be open on Nov. 17 and from there a determination for an estimated start date of January 2011.
The project calls for demolition and replacement of the current bridge, where the Dixfield sewer force main is attached. Parts of the ledge on Route 2 will have to be blasted and several hundred feet of Leavitt Street will also be affected to accommodate for the new bridge.
According to Dixfield Town Manager Eugene Skibitisky, the town has been advised by legal counsel that they must continue to bring the question back to town vote in order to allow selectmen to borrow the money. The sewer main is primarily for the benefit of Dixfield sewer users and therefore the town is responsible for the replacement cost.
“The town has an obligation for the sewer and the selectmen have no choice but to borrow the money in order to meet that obligation.”
If the project gets underway prior to the town's approval, then the MDOT and their contractors will have to wait longer for reimbursement for the sewer main replacement.
Since the loan will be specific to the sewer line, only those taxpayers that are on town sewer will be impacted to pay back the $250,000 through their sewer user fees.
Citizens are urged to attend the weekly Monday night selectmen meetings that take place in the basement meeting room of Ludden Library at 5 p.m. if they want to learn more about the bond issue prior to the Dec. 9 special town meeting.