OAKLAND — The plan to fix up the 2-century-old Old School House on Church Street in Oakland will go on, despite high levels of lead found in the building’s paint.

“We are determined that this little schoolhouse will be our project,” Oakland Area Historical Society member Kelly Roderick said Wednesday night at an Town Council meeting.

While Roderick said the lead paint was a problem, the society is looking at possible, cost-free solutions. Roderick has contacted four companies who do lead paint removal training. While one said no, another asked to see the paint report.

The society also is asking the surrounding community to help fix other parts of the house. Alberta Porter, president of the organization, is asking a number of local business owners for advice, and potential community service work. Now the society is talking with Foster’s Tree and Landscaping to see what can be done about overhanging trees on the property, although any removal of trees stemming from Norm Vigue’s property next to the building would need his permission. Once that’s done, they can start work on the rusty roof.

“We’ll start with the roof and work our way down,” Porter said during the meeting.

The Town Council also approved, 4-0, the placement of a granite memorial bench donated by one of the families of the victims of November’s quadruple murder-suicide, where Herman DeRico shot to death sisters Amy DeRosby and Amanda Bragg and Bragg’s boyfriend, Michael Muzerolle. It will be placed at Oakland Beach, near where the shooting took place.

In other matters from the meeting, the sewer department budget of $535,251 passed, 4-0. The budget total is 0.6 percent greater than last year’s, mainly because of projected increases in contractual services, such as telephone service and electricity, and small increases in training funds and water company readings funds. The department also is putting cameras into the system on Oak Street and Water Street, where Boyd Snowden, superintendent of the department, suspects there are inflow and infiltration problems. If anything is found and needs to be fixed, the department will work out the costs of the project versus how much the town would save and go back to the council to ask for money for the project.

The Oakland Public Library put a bid out for repairs to the back of the library building, where cement is chipping off and posing a tripping hazard. Somerset Stone put in a bid for $11,400 and a plan to replace the cement with pavers that can be easily replaced, which Town Manager Gary Bowman recommended and the council approved, 4-0.

The council also voted unanimously, 4-0, to switch banks for the municipality, from TD Bank to Camden National Bank, which merged with the Bank of Maine in October. The contract with Camden National will last five years and offers lower fees and higher interest rates.

“Camden National is the clear-cut winner,” Dough Mather, the town’s finance director, said during the meeting.

Bids for the town’s audit services also were presented at the meeting. Ron L. Beaulieu & Co. won, 4-0, with a low bid of $4,800 and strong recommendations. State Paving was award the paving work for the town the third year in a row, with a bid of $58.75 per ton.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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