MOUNT DESERT — The town will pay Hedefine Engineering & Design of Ellsworth $13,180 to design structural renovations to the bait house the town owns in Seal Harbor and to handle the bid process for the construction work.
The 22’ x 30’ bait house, which sits on 0.05 acres of land, is near the end of Dodge Point Road. It was donated to the town by an adjacent property owner many years ago to be used by local fishermen, and it is still frequently used.
But Public Works Director Tony Smith told the board of selectmen in December, “Some of the posts that used to be on the ground, holding the building up, are two feet off the ground. There’s rot, but it can be saved.”
Earlier last year a representative of Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services, the town’s insurance carrier, conducted a routine inspection of some of the town’s properties, including the bait house. The town was subsequently notified that, in order to maintain insurance coverage on the building, a structural evaluation was needed to identify deficiencies.
The selectmen voted Dec. 3 to have Smith hire Hedefine to conduct the evaluation for $2,100. Hedefine determined that the wooden posts holding up the bait house must be replaced and the floor of the building needs to be shored up to meet the current building code. Other recommendations include door, window and handrail repairs and installation of an electrical subpanel.
Hedefine’s preliminary estimate of the cost improvements is about $127,000.
Smith said Hedefine will complete its structural engineering design work as soon as possible.
“We are going to attempt to solicit competitive bids from building contractors to construct the renovations in time to go to town meeting with bid pricing,” he said in a Feb. 14 memo to Town Manager Durlin Lunt.
“If we are not able to meet the cutoff date for the [town meeting] warrant, we will include an engineer’s estimate of costs prepared by Hedefine in the warrant article.”
Eero Hedefine, president of the engineering firm, said in a letter to Smith that, if voters authorize spending for the project, “the actual work would occur in the fall of 2019.”
Hedefine’s fee for structural design and bid administration services will come from the town’s Buildings and Grounds Reserve Account, which has a current balance of about $38,500.
At Smith’s request, the selectmen authorized spending up to $15,000 — $1,820 more than Hedefine’s price quote — to cover “any unforeseen costs that might aris