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Francestown

Scoby Pond Bridge, Town Hall restoration underway

Select Board hires Meridian Land Services for wetlands permitting process, for a cost of $7,500

  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • The Planning Board finalized its Capital Improvement Plan recommendation to be voted on at Town Meeting. The main focus this year is on the restoration project for Town Hall.
  • The Planning Board finalized its Capital Improvement Plan recommendation to be voted on at Town Meeting. The main focus this year is on the restoration project for Town Hall.
  • The Planning Board finalized its Capital Improvement Plan recommendation to be voted on at Town Meeting. The main focus this year is on the restoration project for Town Hall.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.
  • Ice still covers a majority of Scoby Pond on Wednesday afternoon in Francestown.

FRANCESTOWN — The Scoby Pond Bridge and the Town Hall projects got underway last week, following decisions made at the Select Board meeting on March 31.

Heritage Commission member Maureen VonRosenvinge spoke with the board on March 31 about the warrant article to restore the clock faces to the Old Meeting House, as well as outside repairs and painting to the peak of the Town Hall, according to Town Administrator Mike Branley. The board agreed to put down $2,500 as a deposit for a lift to begin this work.

With regard to the other warrant article for the total restoration of Town Hall, Branley said the town is still in the meeting stages. As far as designs and planning for the project are concerned, Branley said architect Michael Petrovick is still working with beginning artistic drawings. The board plans to meet with Petrovick and VonRosenvinge for more information about the bond and project on April 15.

The public hearing for the purchase of a bond for the restoration is scheduled for May 6.

The town’s road agent, Gary Paige, also met with the board on March 31 to discuss hiring a contractor to conduct the wetlands permitting and surveying for the Scoby Pond project to replace the bridge.

The process must be completed prior to any construction to ensure the project meets all requirements established by the Department of Environmental Services as it relates to the waterway, Branley said. He could not say how long this work will take.

Paige presented the board with two contractor options for the wetlands permitting, including a quote from CLD Consulting Engineers, a firm the town hired for multiple past bridge projects. Their services would cost $15,168, Paige said.

The board voted to go with the other option, Meridian Land Services, a New Hampshire company, which would cost the town $7,500. Paige said at the meeting that either company could begin working immediately, and the board voted in favor of hiring Meridian.

Once the wetlands permitting stage is completed, Paige will need to go before the board again to discuss sending out requests for proposed solutions, Branley said, essentially asking for contractors who are willing to propose ways to replace the bridge. The bridge on the Scoby Pond outlet was built in 1997 and is currently on the Department of Transportation’s red list of bridges requiring replacement, according to Paige’s statement at the Feb. 11 meeting.

A replacement over the outlet would not require a big, state bridge, Paige said at the hearing. His current thought is to have a timber-frame bridge installed, which could last 40 to 60 years.

The total amount of required funds voted on at Town Meeting for the replacement bridge was $110,000. The money for this project would come directly from a withdrawal of reserve funds, so it will not have direct tax impact.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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