OAKLAND — Town Manager Peter Nielsen signed a settlement this week agreeing to repair terms for Oakland’s new but inoperational $6 million sewer system.

Nielsen told the Town Council on Wednesday night that he hoped representatives of contractor Pratt & Sons and engineering firm Woodard & Curran would also sign the agreement within a few days.

“I’m not aware of anything that would hinder that,” he said.

The Waterville Sewerage District agreed this week to the settlement, pending a release from any claims, Nielsen said.

Oakland’s new sewer system was supposed to be operational near the start of 2012, but air blockages prevented water flow through 1,700 feet of two six-inch pipes.

Two terms of the settlement are that Woodard & Curran would add 160 hours of repair engineering services to its existing agreement with Oakland and that Pratt & Sons would replace the problematic 1,700 feet of two six-inch pipes with 1,700 feet of one 12-inch pipe.

Pratt & Sons said as soon as all parties had signed the legal paperwork that it could start work, Nielsen said.

Repairs would likely take about two weeks to complete, he said.

Once completed, the sewer will redirect treated wastewater dumped into an impounded portion of Messalonskee Stream into Waterville’s collection system.

Because of air blockages, Oakland has continued using its treatment system that was built in the 1970s, even though its license with the state to operate it expired months ago.

Nielsen also briefed the council that Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc. has agreed to buy assets of Kennebec Valley Gas Co., the firm planning to build a natural gas pipeline in central Maine.

In December, the Town Council unanimously approved a tax break for the portion of the project in Oakland.

Under the agreement, for the first decade Oakland would annually receive about $20,000 in new tax revenue. For the ensuing five years it would annually receive $40,000.

After year 15, 100 percent of the property tax revenue would go to Oakland.

Nielsen said that Eric Earnest, Summit’s chief operating officer, said Summit’s project would be larger and that the route of the pipeline would change.

“Their application differs from KV Gas and at this point many things are uncertain,” Nielsen said.

“They told us they hoped to do construction in 2013. There will need to be changes made to the agreement but I can’t tell you what they’ll be.”

In other action Wednesday night, the council awarded the town’s 2012 paving project bid to B&B Paving of Hermon for $166,425.

The council also agreed to purchase equipment for public works from HP Fairfield for $69,518 and awarded a bid for a police cruiser to Quirk. With a trade-in, the 2013 Ford Interceptor will cost $25,746.


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