Oxford hears updates on Transfer station, beach

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Selectman Chairman Floyd Thayer listens to discussion at the Nov. 15 Board of selectmen's meeting.

OXFORD — Town Manager Butch Asselin told the Board of Selectmen at its November 15 meeting that damage from the transfer station fire earlier this month has been estimated at between $60,000 and $70,000.

The cause of the November 5 fire at the Oxford Town Transfer Station on Smith Street was presumed accidental.

A temporary office will be set up at the site and bins will be placed on the outside of the damaged building while work to repair the damage is done. All public access to the damaged building will be prohibited during that time.

Asselin said that the compactor will not be allowed to be left full again and debris in the compactor will now be shipped off site twice a week to prevent further problems.

The town’s insurnace policy will cover repairs except for a $1,000 deductible.

In other news, the board appointed ten residents to an Ad Hoc facilities Committee. The committee, which will also include Selectman Chairman Floyd Thayer and Selectman Scott Hunter will study the current state and adequacy of municipal buildings, including the Town Office. Asselin will serve as a non-voting member.

The Ad Hoc Committee will make a recommendation about the future of the town buildings. If a new town office is recommended, for example, it will have to be bonded and will require a town meeting or referendum vote. The report is not expected to be ready for annual town meeting or election next June.

Selectmen approved the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Pismo Beach Committee which calls for all beach users to display a transfer station sticker if they park in the Pismo Beach parking lot. Guests of residents or taxpayers are allowed to use the beach but must also display a transfer station sticker or special permit from the Town office if they are not walking to the beach.

Anyone walking into the beach area will be able to use the facility. Committee members say ball players and their families, using the playing fields at the beach, should also be allowed to use the beach during tournaments. There will be no fee for any patron of the beach.

The board accepted the donation of $400 from James and Pauline Perkins to be used toward a town signs announcing Oxford is a Military Friendly Community. The signs will be designed by the town and be placed below each of the current Town of Oxford signs located at town borders. Maine Army National Guard Sgt. Nathan Grace, Town Manager Butch Asselin and Commander Rick Nugent of the Anderson Staples Post 112 American Legion. signed documents at the November 1 board meeting that established the covenant.

Towns and cities across Maine, like Lewiston, Houlton and Augusta, have signed covenants to become Military Friendly Communities. The designation shows military members that the community actively supports military in part by placing a designated, volunteer point of contact in the community who will be available to direct military personnel to services they may need.

The board awarded the bid for the Pottle Field ADA restroom for $32,200 and septic system for $11,579 to 1st Construction and Excavation.

Board members also ok’d a proposal by MBP Consulting to design a new gate for the east sluice at Thompson Dam for $$8,900. The board was informed that the Thompson Lake Dam is not in immediate danger of failing, but the lower boards that regulate the flow of water are bowing and need to be replaced in the future.

The town’s cable contract with Spectrum is in the hands of the town counsel for review, said Asselin. A few areas, that have less than 20 residences, will not be eligible for a hookup, but officials are looking at grant money that may pay for the extension.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net