PITTSFIELD — The Town Council this week set a public hearing for a $1 million loan for sewer work as part of the town’s upcoming Main Street infrastructure project.

The town ordinance would allow for a loan up to $1,069,000 from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund for the project. However, the town has already gotten a $500,000 grant for the work, so the loan will likely not be for the full $1 million.

The sewer work will focus on several areas near Main Street, including downtown near the intersection of Main Street and Somerset Avenue, Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The Main Street project is being done in conjunction with the Maine Department of Transportation. The latest schedule from the department indicates that construction for the project will begin in the spring of 2023 at the earliest, Ruth said.

“Probably the most complicated project that we’re ever going to do is the Main Street project — it’s got so many moving parts, but it’s all coming together,” Ruth said.

The council set a public hearing for the loan for its next meeting on March 1.


In other business, councilors heard from Fire Chief Bernard Williams that he has received new guidance indicating the town can use American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay for self-contained breathing apparatuses for the fire department.

The town had previously looked into using the money for the breathing equipment but was told the equipment could not be purchased with the ARPA money. Instead the council planned to use a loan to pay for the new equipment. The $180,000 cost was meant to be part of a $1.25 million loan that would also be used to pay for paving and bridge and culvert work in town.

Bickford said he was frustrated to hear that the ARPA money couldn’t cover the cost, and decided to continue to pursue the issue with state and federal officials. And it paid off, as he said he had gotten new guidance this week that meant the funding can pay for the equipment.

“So essentially that $180,000 that we had set aside before for the (breathing equipment), we don’t need to go to the bond bank for now,” Mayor Michael Cianchette said.

Councilors agreed that given the new guidance they would like to revisit what the ARPA funding can be used for.

The council also approved the transfer of a small patch of land back to the Pittsfield Woolen Yarn Co. that is located in the middle of property the company owns at 164 Center St. The parcel is just over 1,000 square feet and is surrounded by property owned by Pittsfield Woolen Yarn.

The town came to own the parcel in a land swap in 1997, when the town deeded another section of land to the company.

The issue came up because Cianbro is buying the property from Pittsfield Woolen Yarn and wants to have the 1,000 square feet included in the purchase.

Councilors had no objections to the transfer and approved it unanimously.

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