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by Jonathan Thomas
Phase two of construction on the Walker Pond access road will begin within this week.
Contractor Michael Astbury of Blue Hill-based M.E. Astbury told The Weekly Packet on Monday, January 16 that his performance bond had been approved, the paperwork was on its way to him, and that he plans to have a large excavator at the work site at the end of the week to begin moving some of the large rocks at the upper end of the road.
At their regular meeting on January 11 the Sedgwick and Brooksville selectmen, meeting jointly as the Walker Pond Committee, signed the contract with Astbury, conditioned on the bond’s anticipated approval.
As previously reported, Astbury’s company was the low bidder (at $184,060) to complete the work on the access road using funds from a state grant. (See January 5 issue of The Weekly Packet.)
The selectmen distributed copies at their meeting of an e-mail from George Powell, director of the Boating Facilities Division of the Maine Department of Conservation. The e-mail confirms in writing that the state will fund the Astbury contract in full. This assurance had been lacking when the committee voted on December 22 to provisionally accept the Astbury bid.
The contract calls for the work to be done by August 15. In the first phase, completed last fall, a ten-foot wide road was built from the Cooper Farm Road (off Route 15 on Caterpillar Hill), down to the pond. In the second phase, the road will be widened to 22 feet (including shoulders) and work will be completed on the waterfront improvements, including the new landing.
In other business at the January 11 meeting, the committee voted to have the towns’ engineer, Andrew McCullough, be clerk of the works for the contract. The selectmen also discussed several site management issues, including future winter maintenance of the road and monitoring for invasive plants.
Present were Brooksville selectmen John Gray, Richard Bakeman and Darrell Fowler, and Sedgwick selectmen Neil Davis, Colby Pert and Victor Smith. Also attending were Michael Astbury and his son Mike, engineer Andrew McCullough, former Sedgwick selectman Nelson Grindal, and Brooksville budget committee member John Kimball.