Faulty paving investigated in Warren
Warren — Selectmen voted unanimously to meet with a paving contractor, engineering firm and town attorney to discuss faulty asphalt used on town roads.
Interim Town Manager Glenn Aho led the discussion Sept. 4 on how it was discovered that Vaughn Thibodeau and subcontractor Wellman Paving had been using an incorrect mix of asphalt on work done to Highland Road and Patterson Mill Road.
Twenty core samples were taken at random of the work that had been done to the 3.4 miles of road. Of those samples it was found the asphalt content was less than the state's minimum requirements. According to Aho, thickness failed in three of the 20 samples as well.
The asphalt content — if correctly mixed — binds together longer. Visual inspections were conducted when premature cracking was discovered.
"That and missing equipment [a 10-ton roller] didn't add up," said Aho.
Selectman Ed LaFlamme made the motion to set the meeting with Thibodeau and Wellman Paving, Gorrill-Palmer Consulting Engineers and town attorney William Kelly to discuss the data and work out a remedy.
"It's irritating that if these faults hadn't been there, we never would've known," said Selectman Dan Davey. "There's a certain amount of trust," he added.
The town has been billed $174,909 for the work done, but has paid only $87,500 to date, according to Aho.
The meeting date has yet to be determined.
The selectmen also set a policy on dumping of trash on private properties.
Aho suggested there needs to be an effort made to identify the owner of the trash, and report it to the sheriff's department.
The policy set is to allow private property owners to make two trips free of charge to the transfer station per year. After that, it will be up to the town manager to decide if the policy is being abused.
Since the resignation of two town office clerks the end of August, Aho reported he has conducted a series of interviews for replacements.
In the meantime, the board has decided to appoint bookkeeper Sherry Howard as interim clerk.
The board also is in the final stages of its second round of town manager interviews. The field of 28 applicants has been narrowed to three prospective candidates to replace Aho.
"I hope all the selectmen can make next Wednesday's meeting and we will narrow the field to one," said board Chairman Doug Pope in an email Sept. 5.
Pope noted they will still need to negotiate a contract, so he is not certain when the announcement will be made.
Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
594-4401 ext. 125
Beth rejoined Courier Publications' news staff in February 2013. She previously worked at The Courier-Gazette from 1981 to 1990.
Her coverage area includes Warren, Union, Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington, and Thomaston and RSU40.
Beth has a passion for photography, and a degree from the University of Maine at Augusta, in affiliation with the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport.
Aside from photography, Beth enjoys running and walks along the waterfront, as well as other outdoor activities. She has a daughter, Claire, who is 13.