Work on approved projects will soon be seen around town, according to Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell.

She told the Select Board May 5 that she expects the installation of new LED street lights to begin May 25, and wrap up around June 12.

The installation of the new energy saving street lights is the culmination of a long project, supported by the entire town from the conceptual phase to voter approval of financing, she said.

The town acquired approximately 295 of its street lights from Central Maine Power in October 2019 for around $30,000, eliminating the annual cost of leasing the light poles. The cost of the LED conversion is just under $139,000. The energy use of LED lamps is less than conventional street lights and will produce savings. Caler-Bell has estimated that in four years the acquisition and conversion costs will be paid off through savings from owning the light poles and lower energy costs. The move to convert to LED street lights was initiated by the town's Energy and Sustainability Committee.

Construction will begin in about two weeks on improvements to parking lots in the heart of downtown, on Mechanic and Washington streets, according to Caler-Bell. Work on the sidewalks around the lots and the retaining wall between the two is also part of the project.

Scaffolding will be set up around the town office and Opera House building in mid-June, when work on brick walls and gutters begins. The brick walls will be repointed and bricks replaced as needed, on the building's Washington Street side and on the opposite side, which faces an alley. Gutters will be replaced and an ice dam prevention system installed.

The Select Board approved bids at their April 21 meeting of $158,174 for the brick work and $93,150 for work on the gutters. The money for the work comes from Opera House capital improvement and reserve accounts, with $15,000 from contingency and $15,000 from an energy conservation account.

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