Park, public safety eyed as possible tie-ins

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OXFORDTown Manager Butch Asselin told the Board of Selectmen at its Dec. 7 meeting that additional time will be needed to determine if a satisfactory agreement can be reached with the owner of a local mobile home park to convince him to tie into the $28.5 million wastewater treatment plant.

The wastewater treatment plant, located near the corner of Routes 26 and 124,  is currently running at about 20 percent of its design capacity. Larger businesses such as the Oxford Casino and Hampton Inn are already tied into the system along with others, but officials hope for more tie-ins to not only make the system work more efficiently but to help offset costs.

“We’re quite a ways away from it,” he said of efforts by he and project engineer Brent Bridges, senior vice president of Woodard & Curran, to finalize an incentive package. Officials feel some sort of incentive will be necessary to convince the out-of-state owner of the Oxford Pines Regency park on Skeetfield Rd. to spend thousands of dollars necessary to tie the 150-lot property into a pumping station that will be paid for by the town.

The project would allow the town to use more than $400,000 in unused grant money left over from construction of the wastewater treatment plant. The money must be returned unless it is used to extend the project that is now winding down after nearly five years.

The only other nearby large customer base would be WalMart and they have also been clear that they do not want to go to the expense of an estimated $1.5 million on their end to tie in, said Asselin.

Selectman Scott Hunter suggested that the Public Safety Building on Route 26 could be tied in for an additional six or so customers.

In other news,  selectmen voted unanimously at the Dec. 7 meeting to set a special town meeting for Jan. 4 when voters will consider a plan to adopt a 180-day moratorium on operations related to retail marijuana establishments after concern was expressed by residents and officials about the establishments of the recreational marijuana-related facilities in Oxford.

An ad hoc committee has been meeting for several months to determine how to deal with the  retail marijuana issue. In late November, the committee agreed to develop an ordinance prohibiting retail marijuana establishments in town for 180 days and to bring it to a town vote.

Selectmen also:

  • voted unanimously to appoint Peter D. Cushman to the Budget Committee.  Cushman will serve with other members of the board to review the FY 2019 budget, beginning in April. Selectmen Chairman Peter Laverdiere said the 11-member Budget Committee still needs four more members. Interested volunteers are asked to see Town Clerk Beth Olsen for an application.
  •  recognized the volunteer work of the Oxford Baseball Softball Association. The Association was presented a citation for its efforts to raise money for the program, operate the Snack Shack, improve and maintain facilities and other efforts. “Your efforts did not go unnoticed,” said Laverdiere who defined the volunteers in the group as people who have compassion and self sacrifice.
  • voted unanimously to accept a $100 donation from Butch and Lauren Asselin in memory of Karen Tibbetts and another $100 donation from Peter and Beverly Laverdiere in memory of Tibbetts. Police Chief Jon Tibbetts’ wife recently passed away. The donations made in memory of Tibbetts will be used by the  Oxford Fire and Rescue. In an unrelated donation, selectmen also accepted a $150 donation from Bernard and Joyce Reiner for Keep Oxford Warm.
  • agreed to transfer $39,560 from the Reserve Fund for the partial roof replacement at the Public Safety Building and approved the transfer of $20,650 from the Reserve Fund to relocate the base radio system. The base radio station will be relocated from the old water tower to the Hampton Inn roof to provide a stronger signal, said Fire Chief Gary Sacco. A second system exits in the north section of town. The transmitter receiver will connect to the stronger of the two signals at the time it is in use.

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