BOWDOINHAM — Selectmen have given the owner of the Bowdoinham Recycling Barn three options for moving forward with structural issues that caused the town to close the building.

The town has leased part of the three-story barn on Post Road for its solid waste and recycling operation for 30 years. After the town hired Calderwood Engineering to inspect the building over the summer, the barn was deemed the barn unsafe and closed to the public in September. The state fire marshal’s office also inspected the building and cited a number of deficiencies.

Residents are now taking recycling materials to the public works department but the town has suspended curbside recycling pickup.

Tuesday, selectmen voted unanimously to send a letter to barn owner David Berry, outlining his options.

One option is for Berry to make repairs to the barn by the end of January so that, pending inspections by Calderwood Engineering and the state fire marshal’s office, the town can resume recycling operations in the barn by March 1, 2021.

The other option is for Berry to reduce the rent to reflect the fact that the town is only using the barn for equipment storage. The current lease expires in June 2021.

If Berry can’t agree to either option, the town will terminate the existing lease and remove its equipment from the barn until Berry and the town can agree on a new long-term lease, the letter states.

Lisa Wesel, a member of Bowdoinham’s solid waste and recycling committee, asked selectmen to comment on a letter Berry sent selectmen Tuesday offering to pay for the improvements Calderwood required to reopen the barn.

“We are in negotiations with him as to a path forward,” said Selectmen Chairman David Engler, who wouldn’t comment further on those negotiations.

Berry also declined to comment while negotiations are ongoing.

The letter provides a specific list of improvements that need to be made by Berry, including a temporary structural fix to the south wall, fixing a concrete floor in part of the building and keeping the roof clear of snow. Calderwood found that the roof is not strong enough to support the weight of snow in the winter.

Additional upgrades would need to be made by the fall of 2021 for a future long-term lease, including the full structural repairs to the roof and south wall as recommended by Calderwood or another structural engineer.

If Berry agrees to make the improvements, the town will take responsibility for some of the work, including increasing the weight-bearing capacity of the second and third floors.

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