Franklin Countys First News

Board awards bid for North Jay sewer project

The Jay Board of Selectpersons. Left to right is Selectperson Tom Goding, Gary McGrane, Judy Diaz, Tim DeMillo and Chair Terry Bergeron.

JAY - The Board of Selectpersons unanimously accepted a bid to replace the aging sewer treatment plant in North Jay with a pump station and force main at Monday's meeting.

The board accepted a $4.31 million bid from Jordan Excavation of Kingfield, bringing the total cost of the project, including contingencies, engineering and legal costs, up to $4.9 million. Jordan Excavation had the lowest bid and was also the recommendation of Wright-Pierce, the town's engineering firm.

The project will replace the 20-year-old plant in North Jay with a line that will ultimately run along the Whistle Stop Trail to the Jay Plaza, where it would enter the system that is serviced by the Livermore Falls plant. The project, which would include a pump station and laying 19,000 feet of pipe, will end the practice of having to discharge into Seven Mile Stream. To continue operating the North Jay plant would have required the installation of an expensive modification, and the plant itself would need to be upgraded 20 and 40 years in the future.

The town has secured $2 million in grant funding and $1 million in principal forgiveness, requiring $1.9 million be financed through the Maine Bond Bank. While the project is more expensive than the previously estimated $3.9 million total, Superintendent Mark Holt said, the town would actually be paying significantly less in annual debt service than it had estimated at the end of 2018, from $226,000 annually down to $110,000 annually, beginning in 2021-22. The town will also be able to reduce the Operations & Maintenance budget after the North Jay plant is decommissioned, and will only need to upgrade the pump station after 20 years, rather than a far more expensive treatment plant.

"We will be saving money by doing this project," Holt said.

Jordan Excavation's bid calls for work to begin by July 18 and be substantially completed by Oct. 30. One issue will be the Route 4 paving project; Holt said that running the line beneath the roadway would not sync up with the state's project. Under consideration is the use of directional boring to tunnel under the road.

In other business, the board approved an addendum to its contract with Archie's Inc. to handle the town's single-sort recycling at the cost of $78 per ton of material. That represents an expansion of Archie's role in Jay's waste removal, as the company currently handles the curbside pick-up. The addendum can be revisited quarterly if the price of recyclables significantly improves.

The vote was 4 to 1 in favor of signing, with Selectperson Gary McGrane opposed.

The board also approved equipment purchases utilizing funds left in department budgets as the town approaches the end of the fiscal year. The board unanimously approved expending $99,000 out of the Public Works Department budget to purchase a CASE backhoe that will replace a 25-year-old piece of equipment that is currently inoperative, with the Capital Reserve to make up the difference between Public Works' remaining funds and the cost of the equipment; up to $20,000 out of the Town Government line to purchase an electronic sign and lights for the front of the town office, replacing the existing letter board which has seen some deterioration; and purchasing an aluminum hose bed cover for Engine 3 using funds left in the Fire Department budget.

The fire department also brought up purchasing a utility body for an existing truck, but the board instead suggested they look into purchasing a new vehicle, as that one is due to be replaced soon.

Funds left over in other lines, such as Insurance or Professional Services

Jay will be holding a special town meeting on June 24 at 6 p.m. at Spruce Mountain Middle School to decide on the town's stance on the New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project. Wilton resident and longtime moderator Ron Aseltine has agreed to serve as moderator if nominated and the question will be decided by secret ballot.

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