L.G. Whitcomb Landscaping LLC of Morrill was awarded the contract to complete the Union Block Streetscape Improvements Project in Thomaston at the March 11 Board of Selectmen's meeting.

Of the two bids received, Whitcomb's was the lower one, at $399,273. Farley Inc. of Rockport bid $444,700.

Back in August, the town accepted a $250,000 Northern Borders Regional Commission Improvement Grant Agreement to help with the cost of the project. The final phase of the project, which began in 2010, is estimated to cost $530,000 — 47 percent of which will be covered by the grant.

The improvements are expected to attract new businesses to fill vacant storefronts and allow access to new office space on the upper floors.

Other phases of the project since the design phase have included relocation of gas storage tanks, renovations to the alleyway, rebuilding the sidewalk on Beechwood Street, installing underground conduits, a new storm drain system and the current Safe Routes to School construction.

Pollution Control Superintendent John Fancy held several meetings with the owners and operators of the facilities in the business block in an effort to get the project finished.

Based on those meetings, one change to the plan is to have garbage pickup done from the parking lot, instead of from Star Street. This will entail tearing up the granite curbing, at a cost of $17,000, and reconfiguring that space.

Fancy noted that work has been scheduled to begin as soon as the end of March in order to meet the projected completion date — before July 4.

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