Originally published in The Weekly Packet, September 8, 2011
State denies request to amend Walker Pond contract
by Jonathan Thomas
Sedgwick and Brooksville selectmen had hoped to amend an existing contract with M.E. Astbury and complete the work on the Walker Pond access road this fall after being notified in early August of a $250,000 project grant from the Maine Department of Conservation. (See August 11 issue.)
However, in a letter dated August 18, George Powell, director of the Boating Facilities Division of the Department of Conservation said the state would not allow the contract to be amended as requested.
Powell listed several conditions lacking in the original bidding process that were either recommended or would be necessary for the towns to receive the state grant money. He wrote, “…it would be unfair to the other bidders to grant such a significant change order to M.E. Astbury” because the other bidders might have been more competitive if they’d had a chance to bid on the full project.
M.E. Astbury currently has contracts worth $146,500 for sediment and erosion controls, road construction and site work. The road to be built under this contract would only be 10-feet wide. The $250,000 grant would widen the road to its fully permitted width of 20 feet-plus-shoulders and pay for the construction of a parking lot and boat ramp.
Powell also had several questions about the boat ramp construction plans the towns’ engineer, Andrew McCullough, had sent him.
Sedgwick selectmen acknowledged at their meeting on August 25 that work on the boat ramp would not be done until spring. (See September 1 issue.)
On August 9, writing on behalf of the selectmen, McCullough had asked if they could amend the existing contract with M.E. Astbury to allow the additional work to be done at the same unit prices.
The two towns, working in partnership, had received state permits earlier this year for the 22-foot wide access road, boat landing, and swimming area below Route 15 on Caterpillar Hill in Sedgwick.
However, because of limited funds, the towns were only able to put out to bid the first phase of the project, with a ten-foot wide road, and no shore improvements.
The Sedgwick and Brooklin boards of selectmen are scheduled to meet jointly at
9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 12, in the Brooksville Town House. At that time they are expected to review the Powell letter and hear a report on the progress to date on the work currently being done.