Paving costs to stay steady in Houlton

Gloria Austin, Special to The County
12 years ago
    An offer to hold the line on paving pricing was welcomed by Houlton town councilors Monday during their regular meeting at the town office.

    Leigh Stilwell, public works director for the town, said last year three companies bid on the hot-top asphalt mix contract with Steelstone Industries of Houlton at $85.95 per ton, followed by Lane Construction for $106.10 and Alan Trombley Construction, $90.35.

    Steelstone Industries offered to hold the 2011 bid paving price for this season. The council authorized the  acting town manager to waive the bid process and accept Steelstone Industries’ offer to keep prices steady.

“With the price of asphalt products in the last year, this would be a very good opportunity to capitalize on,” said Stilwell.

Council John Fitzpatrick noted the council had done this a few years ago. “The price held and it paid off,” he said.

The council also approved the town manager to apply for the Transit Bonus Program through the federal Urban Renewal Initiative Program and to sign all documents pertaining to the application.

“This has been done for the last seven years to assist Aroostook Regional Transportation System (ARTS),” said Interim Town Manager Cathy O’Leary. “It is a pass-through from the state and requires no matching funds from the town.”

“It is always good to be able to support the ARTS bus,” said Council Sue Tortello. “It gets a lot of use in this area. There are a lot of people who rely on that as their form of transportation.”

The last item on the brief agenda was the approval of the Credit Enhancement Agreement for Shiretown Investments Inc. in the tax increment financing district.

“The state has approved the Shiretown Investments TIF District, which covers the County Yankee project,” explained O’Leary. “We look forward to the opening of the new store.”

Cleary added that there have been improvements within the TIF District since the town council approved it about four years ago.

“There is a lot of investment going on here,” he said. “It is good to see.”

The first reading of an ordinance authorizing ATVs to operate on designated town roads was read, with a public meeting set for Monday, April 23.

“This ordinance, as written, allows for the public to use town roadways to access ATV trails,” said O’Leary. “Exceptions are streets in the downtown district and state roads.”

Excluded streets include those bordering the downtown district such as Kendall, Broadway, Military, Water, Prospect streets from Mechanic to Summer Street. State roads excluded include Route 1 (North Street), Route 2A (Bangor and Military streets) and Route 2 (Smyrna Street/County Road).

The next item was the introduction of establishing a Roads Account funded by annual appropriation determined by the council each year during budget deliberations.

“This deletes the ordinance that was associated with the road recovery program and establishes a new ordinance for council to set an amount each year,” explained O’Leary.

Cleary said the first reading of this ordinance will be Monday, April 23 with a public hearing set for Monday, May 14.

In other business: Council approved renewal of liquor license to Shiretown Health Club and Lounge and Shiretown Inn and Suites.

The next town council meeting will be on Monday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m.