HAMPDEN, Maine — The town is set to begin a $1.85 million sewer replacement project on Monday and the work is expected to last through the summer and fall.
Town Manager Sue Lessard said the project, which was approved by a voter referendum last November, will replace 9,000 linear feet of old sewer line in a part of Hampden.
The streets that will be affected are: Route 1A from Riverview Road to Frances Drive and from Wheelden Heights to Hillside Drive, Patterson Street, Wheelden Heights, Northern Avenue, Perry Road, Coolidge Avenue, Coolidge Avenue Extension and a portion of Old County Road.
Sargent Corp., which has offices in Hampden, was the low bidder for the project and was awarded the contract, Lessard said. The company has done significant work for the town in the past, including a similar sewer replacement project in 2006.
“The contractor is responsible for ensuring that traffic can move at all times,” the town manager said. “Our goal is to minimize the impact to homeowners during this process. … We have a good team in place to see this project through.”
The project will be paid for by a bond, but Lessard said user fees are expected to increase as well. The town has not increased sewer rates since 1998.
“We understand it’s not the perfect time for any increase, but we have no choice,” she said. “There have been a number of breaks and problems in lines recently. Once that happens, we have responsibility to users.”
In 2006, the town completed a sewer replacement project along Route 1A between the Souadabscook Stream and the Crestwood Trailer Park. That project was bonded at $1.5 million but was largely paid for by user fees already in reserve.
As proposed, the rates would increase from $3.28 per 100 cubic feet to $4.28 per cubic feet. For an average customer, that means an extra $24 per three-month period, Lessard said, which would still keep Hampden in line with other area communities.
The sewer reconstruction project is expected to be completed by early November.