Wastewater Renovations to Begin, Residents Sought for Budget Committee
December 10, 2008 -
BRIDGTON -- Work will begin soon on renovations to Bridgton’s wastewater facility, after officials realized two years ago the septic fields were inadequate.
Selectmen awarded the more than $652,000 contract to R.N. Willey & Sons Inc. Nov. 25. This project, to be funded by grants, positions the sewer system to make future renovations without incurring debt, according to Town Manager Mitchell Berkowitz.
Ray Turner, member of the wastewater committee, said the project includes rehabilitating and placing new beds in the dodge septic field. A treatment plant will be built to purify the waste before it goes into the fields.
The dodge field, located near downtown Bridgton, is the only municipally-owned septic field in town. Right now there is a moratorium on new hook-ups to the wastewater system.
“The rehabilitation of the field is an absolute necessity,” Turner said, adding that the committee learned about the problem two years ago. In the future, Bridgton’s growth rate will determine how big of a role the town sewer system will have to play, Turner said.
Alan S. Manoian, economic and community development director, has said that having a solid wastewater facility is very important to attracting business to the town.
Also at the Nov. 25 meeting, selectmen decided to seek applicants for a budget committee. In recent years, selectmen have reviewed the budget without the help of a separate committee, but with a goal of capping the operational budget, some selectmen were looking for help.
"I think it would be a good process," Selectman Doug Taft said, adding that he thought residents wanted a greater say in how their money is spent and there would be enough interest to fill a committee.
Selectman Woody Woodward cautioned against a small budget committee, saying that with only five members, some residents could pursue their own agendas.
Selectmen voted unanimously in favor of forming a budget committee.
By Julia Davis
Reporter - Lakes Region Weekly
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