CHINA — Selectmen and school officials took another step Monday toward authorizing a second access road to China Primary School.

Regional School Unit 18 Superintendent Gary Smith brought a draft memorandum of understanding to a Board of Selectmen’s meeting that outlines the town’s and the school department’s responsibilities for the joint project.

The draft says:

* The town will build the road and will be reimbursed by the school unit. The $101,800 for the road comes from the state’s renovation fund. More than half will be forgiven, the rest repaid.

* The road will be built to town specifications, including paving. Although it will be on town and school land, it will be a private way.

* The school unit will be responsible for plowing the road; the town will be responsible for other maintenance.

Smith anticipates no vehicle traffic except for plowing and in case of emergency, so routine maintenance should not be a great burden, he said.

Elwood Ellis, one of China’s representatives on the school unit board, recommended the town and the school share repair costs if a storm or other event does major damage.

Selectmen voted to have Ellis, Smith, Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux and board Chairman Peter Foote create a final draft of the agreement for their review.

China Primary School, which stands behind the middle school off Lakeview Drive, has only one access road. Firefighters and others are concerned that the road would be congested in an emergency, blocking emergency vehicles.

The proposed road would run along the north edge of the town and school properties. It is to be gated at both ends. Smith expects it will be used mostly by pedestrians.

In other business Monday:

* Selectmen unanimously approved the revised Kennebec County Hazard Mitigation Plan, after Sean Goodwin and Richard Beausoleil of Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency explained it.

The plan lists potential road improvements to reduce future storm damage, including nine roads in China. The selectmen’s approval makes China eligible for federal and state funds, when there are any, to do priority projects from the list.

* Susan Bell and John Titus, representing firms assisting Central Maine Power Co. with its Maine Power Reliability Program, made an hourlong presentation on plans for the transmission line through China. Preliminary work is likely to start in November, they said.

* Selectmen renewed two contracts — one with the city of Waterville for emergency dispatching services and one with the Kennebec Valley Humane Society in Augusta to take in stray dogs and cats.

* L’Heureux announced a drug take-back program sponsored by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the China Transfer Station. Residents with outdated or unneeded prescription medication are invited to take it there for safe disposal.

Mary Grow is a Kennebec Journal correspondent who lives in China.

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