RICHMOND — For the third time, Richmond officials will seek bids from a contractor to clean up a property in town.

Richmond Town Manager Adam Garland is expected to start advertising this week for contractors to bid on the job of clearing a list of items from 640 Alexander Reed Road, the property of David Smith.

Richmond elected officials, who have been frustrated by the lack of action, would like the items removed no later than March 31.

In October 2017, Richmond officials secured an order from a Sagadahoc County court authorizing them to remove some vehicles and other equipment from the property.

No one responded to a request for bids that went out in the summer of 2018. The second, issued earlier this fall, drew interest from two companies: Ford Enterprises for $20,000 and Bob’s Auto for $28,000, as well as debate from town elected officials about whether either company could complete the work for the price stated.

After speaking with the bidders at a selectmen’s meeting, they decided the companies could not.

David B. Smith

This time around, Garland said, the bid package includes detailed specifications on what items are to be removed, which mirrors what’s in the court order, as well as a sample contract. The successful bidder will have five days to complete the job.

Richmond elected officials have been frustrated about their inability to follow through on the court order.

“We have to do this or pull the ordinance off the books,” Selectman Robert Bodge said at Monday’s selectmen’s meeting. “We have a decision to make and an ordinance to uphold.”

Smith’s property of about 100 acres is located in the town’s agricultural zone. On it are vehicles, tanks and scrap items and materials that he sells. Some are visible from to Alexander Reed Road.

While the court order requires that nothing be within 50 feet of the road, the town’s setback requirement is 25 feet from the road.

In an interview earlier this year with the Kennebec Journal, Smith said he’s been selling materials from his property since 1987. He has said that what’s asked for in the court order and what the town ordinance says don’t match and that conflict needs to be resolved.

Several of Smith’s neighbors have said they don’t have a problem with his property.

While the court order, which carries with it a fine for not complying, did not decree a deadline for the removal of vehicles and other items, Garland said if the town fails to take action and allows the fines to continue to build, the town might be considered negligent.

After some discussion about a reasonable deadline, town officials settled on the end of March.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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