Sidewalk again a go, fire aid deal is inked

TREMONT – Selectmen on Monday renewed their commitment to building a sidewalk along the Tremont Road from the Flat Iron Road to Clark Bridge.

Voters at the 2012 annual town meeting authorized town officials to apply for a grant to pay a portion of the cost of constructing the sidewalk and to put aside $45,000 for the town’s share.

Interim Town Manager Dana Reed told selectmen the town did get approval for the grant in the summer of 2012. However, due to funding cuts, the town never received any money from the Safe Routes to School program.

Now, the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) believes there again could be money available.

Reed said he learned this last month in a meeting with MDOT representatives held to discuss the rebuilding of a section of the Tremont Road. But before going through the process of seeking funds, the MDOT would like selectmen to reaffirm their commitment to building the sidewalk and funding a portion of the costs, Reed said.

Selectmen gave the project their approval in a 4-0 vote.

In other business, selectmen voted 4-0 to authorize the town’s fire chief, Keith Higgins, to sign a mutual-aid agreement with Acadia National Park.

Higgins explained that the Tremont firefighters had some issues with earlier versions of the agreement drafted by the National Park Service. Although not totally satisfied with the latest deal, it is workable, he added.

“I don’t think it’s going to get any better,” Higgins said.

One advantage the agreement offers is that it alleviates the town from liability for fires that start in town and spread to the park, Higgins said.

“It’s like a cheap insurance police for us,” he said.

Selectmen and Reed nearly are finished with a budget to present to voters at the May town meeting. Reed said he would work out the final changes and present a budget summary at the board’s March 23 meeting.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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