NORRIDGEWOCK — Riverfront enhancements were a topic of discussion this week as the Select Board explored ways to address Norridgewock’s needs while bettering the town and welcoming more visitors.

The board discussed several matters Wednesday night, including placing permanent speed tables on Depot Street, looking at the town’s contract regarding fire station repairs and livestreaming future meetings.

Selectmen discussed enhancing Oosoola Park, which is also equipped with a boat launch on the Kennebec River, but does not offer a safe swimming option for families looking to enjoy the park and river.

“There are probably 75 families within walking distance that have no place to swim,” board Chairman Matthew Everett said. “Oosoola Park is a focal point. We should move these onto the committees and work to accommodate more people.”

No decisions were made on how to move forward. Instead, ideas discussed at the meeting are to be included in a memorandum to the town’s TIF committee for consideration, according to officials.

Selectmen also discussed buying a shed that compliments the gazebo and playground at the property, which could be equipped with security cameras and offer internet access.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Town Manager Richard LaBelle said of the discussion. “It will be something that goes back to the TIF committee in the form of a memo, and ask them to explore opportunities.”

SPEED TABLES

Selectmen have also approved installation of two permanent speed tables on Depot Street. One of them would replace a temporary speed table in front of New Balance. A location had yet to be decided for the other speed table.

LaBelle said the additional speed table near New Balance is in response to an increase in vehicles speeding past the factory, where several pedestrians have almost been hit at the crosswalk.

“This stems back a few months where we had near hits with pedestrians at New Balance, with folks coming down Depot Street as a bypass of a major intersection, speeding down through,” LaBelle said. “In the last year or so, we had a collision with a pedestrian and a motor vehicle, so we’ve been working to try to address that and work cooperatively with New Balance.”

After working with New Balance and placing a $500 temporary speed table, the consensus was the speed table had helped slow many motorists. The funding for the speed tables comes from the town’s Road Improvement Reserve account.

The temporary speed table, which has to be removed from Depot Street, has not been relocated, although officials are eyeing another through-street in town.

A public hearing is scheduled for the July 21 meeting, at which a discussion on placing the temporary speed table on Stanley Street is expected to be discussed, according to LaBelle.

The temporary speed table must also be removed during the winter for road maintenance, LaBelle said.

FIRE STATION

The board unanimously authorized LaBelle to contact the town’s lawyer to see what action should be taken next regarding a contract between the town of Norridgewock and Blane Casey Building Contractor Inc.

The town’s fire station at 22 Upper Main Street was built in 2015. During the winter of 2018 and into 2019, officials noticed the fascia trim had begun rotting.

LaBelle told selectmen that after meeting with vendors to resolve the issue, he found “the problem is we’re not getting a prompt-and-timely response to the point where I wonder if we’re just being ignored.”

From a municipal perspective, he said, they have a duty to see the contract through. Members of the Fire Department met with contractors in May, during which they were given an estimate on the price of the facade repair and told it would be done “in a reduced time before June 4,”

LaBelle said the “needle has not moved” since that meeting in mid-May, and several emails sent to the contractor in recent weeks have not received responses.

“Since taking occupancy of the building, especially on the north side of the station, the (trim) has rotted and flaked away. They’ve been trying to work with the engineer and contractor to remedy that within the warranty period, whether that’s through enforcement of our contract or their working through manufacturers or suppliers in order to remedy the situation,” LaBelle said in a telephone interview.

LaBelle asked board members for their thoughts, including on the possibility of taking legal action.

“I think that we have been extremely, extremely patient with Mr. Casey in regards to this,” Everett said. “This is just taking way too long. I think we’ve done the nice thing for someone who is in our community, who is local, but I do think at this time, the best thing to do is to consult an attorney.”

The board unanimously agreed with Everett on this and told LaBelle to seek legal advice.

LIVESTREAMING MEETINGS

Selectmen also decided to begin livestreaming their meetings July 21 on Facebook and through Zoom.

To allow for greater participation from the community and in the interest of transparency, the board discussed the rules for selectmen when it comes to livestreaming meetings.

Links to the Zoom meeting will be shared with the agenda, according to LaBelle, who said selectmen may participate remotely only if they are ill or otherwise unable to attend.


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