No road maintenance bids for Newry
Newry will hold a special town meeting July 16 to consider a three-year contract for winter maintenance of its roads.
Selectmen made the decision Monday to call a meeting, after they received no bids to maintain winter roads for one year.
The roads had previously been maintained by contractor D.A. Wilson, but at Newry’s annual town meeting in March, townspeople said they wanted the work to go out to bid in the future.
Selectmen put out a request for bids last month for one year only, because a longer-term contract would have required approval at a special town meeting, which they had hoped to avoid.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Town Administrator Loretta Powers said several contractors told her they would not bid for just one year. “If they need to buy equipment, that’s not long enough for the investment,” she said.
“That’s my feeling, too,” said Freeman Corriveau, who had attended the meeting to submit a bid for other work.
The board will put out a new request for bids, due on July 2, for a three-year proposal.
They will also hold open the option of adding other items to the warrant.
Possibilities include whether or not to require candidates for town office to take out nomination papers before the annual town meeting. The current practice is to nominate candidates from the floor.
Selectman Brooks Morton also raised the question of establishing a town charter to more clearly outline how government will be conducted, “rather than have bits and pieces passed over the years. It might be worth setting up a study.”
Morton also updated the board on discussion at a Work Group (a subgroup of the Oxford County Solid Waste and Recycling Corp.) regarding trash and recycling.
The Work Group has recommended Newry consider single sort recycling (for which households save all their recyclables in one bin to take to the transfer station), because of the large amount of material generated by Sunday River Ski Resort in the winter.
The theory behind single-stream is that more people will recycle if the process is easier. Although a town or organization does not make as much money on the recyclables, the decline is offset by the increase in volume.
But, said Morton, “how do you tell people at a resort, who are on vacation? They don’t want to do it.”
Powers said condominium owners who stop by the town office for a dump sticker often ask about recycling.
But the town officials said guests at the resort’s hotels would be unlikely to participate.
Without participation by Sunday River, said Morton, “I don’t think it would benefit Newry.”
Powers also said that Bethel, with whom Newry shares the Tri-Town Transfer Station, does not favor single sort recycling.
In other business, the board received three bids for roadside mowing: Alan Fleet for $1,025; Freeman Corriveau for $3,450; and TRS Timber Maintenance Inc. for $3,510. Fleet, who has done it in the past, was given the job.
Selectmen also approved a change in town banking from Bangor Savings and Northeast banks to Key Bank.