July 17--DIXFIELD -- Several residents from Pine, North and High streets heard engineers with A.E. Hodsdon Engineers of Waterville on Wednesday evening speak about the $1.8 million upgrade to water, sewer and drainage systems on six streets this summer.
Al Hodsdon, engineer of the upgrade, said he is hoping to have the plans solidified for the project by the first of August or mid-August and put the project out to bid shortly after.
The money would pay for water and sewer line replacements, road reconstruction, engineering and design costs, transaction costs and other expenses for High, Pine and North streets.
Earlier this year, the town was denied a Community Development Block Grant that would have provided an additional $500,000 toward the project.
Funding for the project includes a $110,000 loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a $676,000 loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, and a $500,000 general obligation bond.
Hodsdon said the interest rate on the $676,000 loan is "three-quarters of 1 percent over 20 years."
"That's the cheapest I've seen that loan going for since it first existed in 1976," he said. "The $1 million loan that the town received for roadwork is going for 2.75 or 2.8 percent interest over 20 years. That's also a good deal. The idea is for us to do the most amount of work for the least amount of money."
Each street will receive new water mains and reconstructed road surfaces.
Hodsdon said most of the streets have sewers that were constructed in the 1980s, and that they remain in good condition.
"The exception is a short section on Coburn Avenue," Hodsdon added. "If there ends up being enough money, we have plans to replace a small section of sewer."
Hodsdon said each street should take around two weeks to finish, with the exception of Pine Street.
"Pine Street is the biggest street of the bunch, so that one will probably take longer than the rest," he said. "Our hopes are to have the water mains replaced and have the first layer of pavement down before the snow flies."
With High Street, Hodsdon said the plan was to replace the sidewalks and slightly widen the road.
Police Chief Richard Pickett asked Hodsdon if the plans to slightly widen the road meant that "there would still be parking on just one side."
"Well, the plan is to make the road 20 feet wide, with two 10-foot lanes," Hodsdon said. "I don't even think the road should have parking on it the way it is now, so I'd say it should stay the same."
Selectman Dana Whittemore said if the town were able to free up funds to do work on Coburn Avenue, he "knows it'll make a lot of people in that area happy."
"I've surveyed that area before, and a lot of people have told me that when it rains, the water backs up into their driveway and yard and that there's a lot of drainage issues," he said.
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