Construction work on the public access road to Walker Pond may begin as early as June 15. Meeting in joint session on Wednesday morning, June 8, the selectmen of Brooksville and Sedgwick voted to accept bids for installation of sediment and erosion controls ($16,900) and road construction and site work ($139,600) from M.E. Astbury and Son of Blue Hill, and preconstruction clearing ($11,840) from Toby Woodard of Sedgwick. The motion, passed 6-0, was conditioned on consultation with Astbury, who bid $12,500 for the clearing, as provided by the terms of the bid process.
The clearing will not include work within 75 feet of the shore where a landing is to be constructed next year. While regretting this shortfall, Sedgwick Selectman Neil Davis reminded everyone, “It’s taken us 18 years to get this far.” The other selectmen present were Colby Pert and Victor Smith of Sedgwick, and John Gray, Richard Bakeman, and Darrell Fowler of Brooksville.
Engineer Andrew McCullough and former Sedgwick selectman Nelson Grindal assisted in reviewing the bids. Nine bidders submitted bids for one or more of the three parts of the project.
The selectmen acknowledged that special town meeting approval might be needed to fully fund this year’s portion of the work, which is for a 10 foot wide road. Still more town funds, supplemented by state grants if available, will be necessary in the following year (or years) to complete the project and widen the road to its state-approved 20-foot width, plus shoulders. The access road starts from the Cooper Farm Road on Caterpillar Hill (Route 15) in Sedgwick.
Five area residents were present, including Kathy Flood, president of the Friends of Walker Pond. That group plans to hire a consultant to monitor the construction as part of its efforts to protect the water quality of the pond. Flood invited the selectmen to attend the group’s “Invasive Plant Patrol Workshop” on June 22 in Blue Hill, which will address one of their concerns about the new road.