MOUNT DESERT — A contract for planning and designing a major makeover of Main Street in Northeast Harbor at a cost of $245,000 has been awarded to a partnership of three engineering and architectural firms.
The Board of Selectmen approved Public Works Director Tony Smith’s recommendation to award the contract to Brewer-based engineering firm CES Inc.; Richardson & Associates, a landscape architectural firm in Saco; and Hewett & Whitney Engineers in Winthrop.
CES, which is the lead firm for the project, and Richardson & Associates last year developed a preliminary plan for the Main Street project for the town’s Village Center Planning Committee.
Smith said in a memo to Town Manager Durlin Lunt that committee members agreed that the two firms “provided us with excellent guidance and concept plans.”
At the May 2 town meeting, residents authorized the town to issue bonds of up to $274,000 for engineering and design services for the Main Street project.
On July 3, the selectmen authorized Smith to use, at his discretion, the $29,000 difference between the amount voters approved and the contract price to cover “unanticipated expenses that might arise during the design phase.”
Smith said CES plans to start work immediately and to bid the project out in time to go to the 2018 town meeting “with a firm construction price for consideration by the voters.”
A preliminary estimate of the cost of construction was $1.6 million.
The selectmen also have authorized the town manager to sign a contract with the James W. Sewall Company of Old Town for consulting and management services for the broadband expansion project in the Pretty Marsh area. Sewall’s fee is not to exceed $11,250.
The project will extend broadband internet access to 325 potential customers along nearly 26 miles of roads at an estimated cost of about $700,000.
Voters at town meeting authorized the town to issue bonds for half of that amount, with the understanding that cable company Charter/Spectrum would cover the other half.
In late May, ConnectME, the state agency that promotes universal availability of broadband service in Maine, awarded Mount Desert a $100,000 grant to help pay the town’s share of the cost of the Pretty Marsh broadband expansion.
Sewall said in its proposal that it would assist with “project management, design and cost containment and ensure accurate mapping in the expansion project … .”