FARMINGDALE — More construction work has been booked, as selectmen have signed off on four more bids for road projects.

Selectboard Chairman Jim Grant said the recent flurry of contracts being awarded should slow, however, with the coming of fall and end of construction season on the horizon.

“I think we’re pretty at the end of it right now,” he said.

One large paving project on Northern Avenue, which Grant estimated would cost $100,000 to $125,000, drew no bids earlier this month. He said it would go back out to bid this winter, and contractors should be able to schedule it for the summer on 2019.

“The contractors and the paving contractors are right out straight right now,” he said Monday. “It’s getting down to the end of the year and everybody is trying to cram everything in, including us.”

The Kennebec Journal previously reported that, as well as a lack of bids, problems had arisen with projects done years ago, and changes in work to reduce inconvenience for property owners have caused a backlog of roadwork in Farmingdale.

Selectmen awarded a contract Aug. 22 to Buckfield-based D&D Excavating Inc. to dig ditches and replace culverts on Northern Avenue, Blaine Road and Peacock Road, based on its bid of $76,362.40. Farmingdale-based BHS Inc. also bid $79,217 on the project.

Three other contracts were signed by selectmen Aug. 22, for a total of $24,160. All three jobs were awarded to Excalibur, a contracting company operated by Tony Barry, of Farmingdale. The projects are ditching and driveway culvert repair at 286 Bowman St. and the upper portion of that street, driveway culvert replacement at 10 Littlefield Lane and driveway culvert work on Tyrawley Road.

BHS submitted bids totaling $42,300 for the same three projects; and McGee Construction, for $93,500, according to bid sheets obtained from the Town Office.

Grant said he was taken aback by the higher bids on the projects. A $10,500 bid from McGree on the culvert replacement at 10 Littlefield Lane was almost four times higher than Excalibur’s $2,750 bid that was accepted.

“I can’t explain the spread in bids,” he said. “There’s times we have that, and we can’t for the life of us understand why the bid was so high.

“That’s why we put that line in (the proposal that said) we have the right to refuse any and all bids,” Grant added.

Town Clerk Rose Webster said earlier this month that about $230,000 was carried over from budgets in the last two years, along with some state money to improve roads. The total money available for roadwork, which includes the $271,000 Highway Department budget approved in June, is $500,000. About $162,000 is available in a reserve account for drainage work.

Selectmen are scheduled to meet next on Sept. 5.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

[email protected]

Twitter: @SamShepME


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