HERMON, Maine — Residents will be asked to authorize an additional $108,000 for improvements to Annis Road during a special town meeting set for Thursday.
The additional funds, which would be transferred from the town’s unrestricted net assets account, or fund balance, would cover the town’s half of the project cost, which is being split with the Maine Department of Transportation, Town Manager Clinton Deschene said Tuesday.
Deschene said voters approved a budget for the Annis Road project during the annual town meeting in June. Since then, town councilors consulted engineers and ultimately voted 6-1 in favor of a $880,000 project that will cost more but is larger in scope and will serve the town for many more years.
“The difference could be decades,” he said.
Original plans called for a 5/8-inch overlay, but engineers concluded that the thin layer of pavement would not have lasted more than a few years, Deschene said. In addition, DOT officials have indicated that because of budget constraints, the state does not plan to put any more money into the road’s upkeep for at least another 10 years.
“Our options were not to do it, do it, delay it or expand the scope,” Deschene said.
The new plan will result in reclaiming the old pavement and applying a new 3¾-inch layer to a 1,200-foot stretch, as well as some spot paving and overlay.
“I think it’s a better road project and is a more efficient use of state and local dollars,” he said.
In exchange for an expanded project, the town would assume summer maintenance of Annis Road, which is owned by the state, he said. The town now plows the road in winter.
Deschene said Annis Road hasn’t seen any major improvements in 22 years. If voters authorize the additional funds, the project is scheduled to be completed this fall.