New year of resolution in Warren

By Beth A. Birmingham | Jan 09, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Chairman Doug Pope acknowledges fellow selectman Arnold Hill's 77th birthday during the regular meeting Jan. 8 in Warren. Pope, whose term on the board expires next month, is not seeking reelection.

Warren — Auctioning the Brick School, rifle range cleanup, and correcting faulty paving issues were a few of the topics discussed at the Warren Board of Selectmen meeting Jan. 8.

After acknowledging the 77th birthday of long-time selectman Arnold Hill, chairman Doug Pope delved into the lengthy agenda.

Among the items of interest were two of the town's ongoing troublesome areas — the brick school and the rifle range cleanup.

Brick School auction

Town Manager Elaine Clark noted that the zoning of the Brick School has been corrected. In an ad proposed by Tranzon Auction Properties of Portland, the property was indicated as being commercial, but has been corrected to residential.

She has been working with town attorney Bill Kelly on the title and deed recommendations.

With the only access road to the cemetery also running to the Brick School property, the town will have the right-of-way, but will not necessarily be obligated to maintain the road, according to Clark.

A walk-through was held Jan. 7 — with two interested parties attending. Clark said 10 people have taken packets of information regarding the 44 School St. property.

At a special town meeting Nov. 7, residents voted to auction the Brick School to the highest bidder as part of an out-of-court settlement with businessman Robert Emery.

The building at 44 School St. has been at the center of controversy in the town since 2010 when Emery had an agreement to purchase the property and planned to work with CRC Health Group to establish a methadone clinic there.

Warren had entered into a conditional settlement agreement with parties involved in a dispute over the sale of the brick school, according to a document posted Oct. 1 on the town website.

The proposed resolution of the dispute involves auctioning the property and dividing the proceeds of the sale as follows: 15 percent will be taken right off the top as a buyer's premium to the auction company; costs of advertising will be reimbursed to the town; the remaining 60 percent will go to the plaintiff Robert Emery Jr. through his company Vixen Land Holdings LLC; and 40 percent will go to the town.

The settlement agreement will fully and finally resolve the legal dispute, and states that "no party admits any wrongdoing."

The auction is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23, at 10:30 a.m.

Rifle Range cleanup

"We are cautiously optimistic," said selectman Ed LaFlamme regarding the resolution for the rifle range cleanup.

An update from the Department of Environmental Protection Jan. 7 outlined a draft contract with Triumvirate Environmental — the successful bidder chosen to initiate dismantling and recycling of the fiber material at the former Steamship Navigation rifle range.

The draft contract provides, in part, for:

— site mobilization within 30 days of finalization of the contract

— a site walk with DEP and the Warren code enforcement officer within 60 days of site mobilization

— the processing of fiber material at a series of specific increasing rates at different points in time following the initiation of site mobilization, and the documentation of the removal of specified tonnages

— submission of monthly progress reports documenting volumes of material processed

— completion of processing of the approximately 27,000 tons of fiber material in roughly 30 months.

"Triumvirate plans to initiate site mobilization as soon as possible following finalization of the contract," according to the update sent by Melanie Loyzim, director of the Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management with the DEP.

"She said she would wave pom-poms with the first board that comes out," said LaFlamme of a conversation with Loyzim.

Of four bids submitted for the project, Triumvirate was the lowest bidder. They were a no-cost bid to the state.

Triumvirate is proposing to take the uncovered materials, extrude it, and produce composite lumber products. Triumvirate came in with a proposal to work on site. They will put up temporary structures, and will extrude the carpet material, produce the lumber and sell it.

Paving repairs requested

Five areas of resurfaced pavement have been identified as needing repair after selectmen requested an investigation of faulty paving done by Thibodeau Paving.

A site walk occurred on Dec. 23, and the areas were reviewed for repair in the spring.

The contractor's warranty will extend for one year from the date repairs are made. The town sought the advise of S.W. Cole to confirm deficiencies, especially with regard to the quality of the mix used.

The town is awaiting a settlement agreement which will include reimbursement for expert fees (S.W. Cole) and attorney's fees.

Other business

The selectmen also set an initial budget meeting with the Finance Committee to be held Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. at the town office.

All budget meetings are open to the public, and community members are encouraged to attend.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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Staff Profile

Beth Birmingham
Staff Reporter
594-4401 ext. 125
Email Me

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 14.

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