NEWPORT, Maine — Work to rebuild three dirt roads will leave the town light in the wallet to repair paved roads.
Newport selectmen voted unanimously during Wednesday night’s meeting to accept the bid from F.C. Work and Sons of Jackson to rebuild Martin Stream Road, Pratt Road and Rutland Road at a cost of $83,744. It was the lowest bid of six returned to the town. The highest bid was $258,340.
The three roads were the subject of numerous complaints from residents. Some said they could not drive down the roads because of ruts and mud.
The town set aside $173,106 for roads this year. Town Manager James Ricker estimated that only about $50,000 would be left to repair paved roads and sidewalks. That wouldn’t go very far, he said.
“We would have a very minimal paving budget. [It’s] almost to the point where we might patch a few places and work on some sidewalks with the money that we’ve got this year,” said Ricker.
The selectmen also looked over bids for the town’s Sebasticook Lake dam gate project. Newport’s Bowman Constructors was the lowest bid with $44,500, while CPM Constructors of Freeport was the highest at $103,700.
Although Bowman was the lowest bid, selectmen were hesitant to automatically give them the contract as Bowman Constructors hasn’t had much experience with dams. Their bid also didn’t include any diving, which the town requires.
The selectmen elected to table the decision until more research could be done on past projects by Bowman Constructors and the other bidders.
Ricker said if Bowman Constructors were given the contract, the project would cost a total of $128,000.
Last August, the chains holding the gate on the dam broke during preparation for Tropical Storm Irene. The town had had problems with chains breaking for several years and decided to install a new gate.
Also on the agenda:
• Selectmen voted to renew all 18 victualer’s licenses for the town and granted a special amusement license for three locations.
• The three pawn shops in town were given pawn broker license renewals.
• Selectmen voted to purchase a Ferris 48-inch zero-turn lawn mower from Whittemore and Sons of Skowhegan at a cost of $5,990.