Lab technician John Littlefield prepares to analyze sludge samples at the sewage treatment plant in Northeast Harbor.

Town spending $519K on wastewater improvements 

MOUNT DESERT — The town will spend $518,848 on improvements to the Northeast Harbor Wastewater Treatment plant and the wastewater pump stations at Gilpatrick Cove and on Manchester Road. 

A majority of that amount, $322,279, will be covered by state funds left over from wastewater projects completed between 2014 and 2018. That leaves a balance of $186,569.  

The Board of Selectmen has approved Public Works Director Tony Smith’s recommendation to cover that amount with funds from the town’s wastewater capital improvement reserve fund and a separate sewer and pump stations capital account. So, no new tax money will be needed. 

Smith said in a July 27 memo to Town Manager Durlin Lunt that he had solicited bids from four contractors for the improvements, but only one, TBuck Construction of Turner, submitted a bid, and it was for $876,521. 

“This amount exceeds the available (state) funding…and is more than we want to spend at this time in general,” Smith said. 

Given that, he said, “We are going to postpone the wet well replacement at the Manchester Road pump station. This provides a cost savings of $415,673.” 

TBuck’s bid was modified accordingly. But the budget for the project includes an additional $38,000 for Olver Associates to provide construction contract administration and inspection services and $20,000 for contingencies. 

Smith said in his memo to Lunt that three of the four construction companies from which he solicited bids were “too busy with other work and were feeling the effects of the labor shortage that many businesses are faced with.” 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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