The town of Farmingdale is holding a mandatory meeting for potential snowplowing contractors Tuesday night, about four weeks after the Board of Selectmen and the previous contractor, Ellis Construction, agreed to end their contract.

The winter road maintenance contract has a been toxic issue for the town, frequently criticized by a small group of residents ever since the board awarded it to Farmingdale-based Ellis Construction a year ago. The Board of Selectmen revised the winter road maintenance contract after voiding the agreement with Ellis Construction in hopes of avoiding some ambiguities in the last contract that led to a few of the disputes.

The cover sheet of the contract even includes language stating that bidders shall not take advantage of any ambiguities related to the contract and are responsible for informing the town of any ambiguities.

One of the previous contract’s gray areas — whether the contractor is responsible for supplying a bin of sand and salt at the Town Office — is clarified in the new contract. The first 25 cubic yards of material is included in the contract bid, but the contractor will be reimbursed for any additional material needed.

As of Friday, three contractors had taken out bid packets: Ellis Construction, Farmingdale-based E.C. Barry & Son and McGee Construction in West Gardiner. All three have won the winter road maintenance contract previously.

E.C. Barry & Son had plowed the town’s nearly 27 miles of road for six decades before the town put the contract out to bid for the first time in 2003, awarding the contract to McGee Construction. Ellis Construction was the most recent contractor, plowing the roads for the last four winters.

Ellis Construction won the three-year contract last year with a bid of $487,500 over three years.

The mandatory pre-bid meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Town Office. Bids are due before 5 p.m. Sept. 10.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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