Machias selectmen set special town meeting to vote on road spending

A Civil Air Patrol plane out of Lewiston/Auburn Airport leaves the Machias airport recently.
Sharon Kiley Mack | BDN
A Civil Air Patrol plane out of Lewiston/Auburn Airport leaves the Machias airport recently.
Posted Oct. 12, 2011, at 9:58 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Selectmen held a short meeting Wednesday night, dealing with several road issues and setting the date for a special town meeting.

The meeting will be held to transfer funds from one road account — Center Street reconstruction — to Old County Road and other road projects. The Center Street project cost was lower than expected which enabled the board to suggest completing other road projects.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the town office meeting room.

Town Manager Chris Loughlin also presented the board with a recent report by Jacobs Associates of Boston, the town’s consultants on the municipal airport, which suggested $66,000 worth of immediate remediation such as tree clearing, obstruction removal and renewal of existing state permits. This work would enable the airport to meet federal guidelines, Loughlin said.

The report also recommended a total of $225,000 in improvements between now and the year 2022. Loughlin said these included repairs to the runway, which has substantial cracks; paving of the apron; and a short extension of the runway to 3,200 feet. Loughlin said that runways less than 3,200 feet present insurance difficulties for pilots.

The report also suggests adding gasoline service back to the airport, which has been disabled for about 15 years. “By returning fuel to the airport, we can increase the traffic,” Loughlin said. He said the board needs to determine what direction to take on improvements and begin an assessment process.

He said William Richardson of Jacobs Associates is willing to come to Maine to further explain the recommendations in the report.

In other business, the board:

• Agreed to extend a 20-feet-long culvert at the West Kennebec Road home of Catherine and Gene Lord to 40 feet after it was determined the location of the home and driveway at a hill with limited visibility of approaching traffic was a safety problem.

• Signed appointment certificates for two temporary full-time and two reserve police officers and a town office deputy clerk.

• Suggested that the Telebusiness Center, which is leased to the Sunrise County Economic Council, be placed on the market for sale. The council recently has downsized the amount of square footage it is using. The building, which was built through a state grant, will be advertised with a local real estate agent. The selectmen said it would be an opportunity to move the building onto the property tax rolls.

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