The bids ranged from $402,535 to $617,617. Purchasing officer Joseph Tamburrino told the board that he will pass along the bid packages to SVE, the designing engineers, for review. SVE will let the board know if the packages meet specs by Friday, July 20. Board members plan to meet early next week to vote on the bid award.
Tamburrino, who was tasked with looking into the question of hiring someone, possibly SVE, to oversee construction of the bridge, told the board that the cost might be prohibitive, and that the state does not consider it necessary.
Board member Earl Holtz expressed concern that even a small deviation from specs could cause the bridge to fail its final inspection by the state. No further action was taken.
Design engineers for the Old County North bridge submitted two alternative designs, one using a wooden deck, one using a precast concrete deck. Estimated costs were $110,500 and $141,900 respectively. The firm, Holden, also cited costs for stripping lead-based paint from the existing steel girders. Doing the job on site would cost $40,000; taking the girders to be stripped at a properly equipped facility would cost “a lot less,” Tamburrino said. Three to five days would be needed to do the stripping off-site.
Edee Edwards had questions regarding the comparative longevity of the concrete and wood designs. Edwards would need that information to do a life cycle analysis of the ultimate costs to the town. Tamburrino will ask the engineers.
Load capacity is also a question. The wooden deck design would have an eight-ton capacity; with the addition of steel bracing, capacity of that design could be increased to 22 tons. Neither the board nor Tamburrino could spot a specific figure for the weight capacity of the concrete deck design. There are only three houses on the far side of
the bridge, but many logging trucks use it, paying a nominal fee for excessive weight. Tamburrino will get the weight figure from Holden. The board hopes to meet with Holden next week to discuss the designs.
Holtz reported on his visits to potentially hazardous river debris sites with USDA and state agents. Of the two sites along Green River Road, one was rejected because limited accessibility would make removing the debris far too difficult. Officials have not yet decided whether debris from the other Green River road site should be burned or hauled away. There are two areas of blow-down along Hale Road, one above the bridge and one below. There is also a small bridge that once led to a house; that bridge is in danger of collapsing and could threaten town bridges downstream.
Bids will be required for the debris removal job, which the USDA, the funding agency, wants to see finished by the end of August. But bid requests cannot go out until the USDA decides on specs. “We’re all waiting on Drew Adam,” said Holtz.
The town has been reimbursed by FEMA for nearly all work done to date, barring only $400,000- plus for repaving. The Reed Hill and Deer Park road bridge replacements are the only major projects outstanding.
In other business, Greg Marguet asked whether the town might ask property owners whose land contains gravel deposits if they are willing to sell gravel to the town. Tamburrino told Marguet that the owners would have to get a state permit to operate a gravel pit. The permit costs $50,000, said Orrin Isles, and is required for anything that could possibly be construed as a sale.
Marguet also asked if it would be possible to pre-qualify part-time employees to be hired in emergencies. “Brad (Rafus, highway supervisor) has a list of people with CDLs,” Tamburrino responded. Those licenses require up-to-date physicals and random drug tests and must be renewed every few years. Everyone on the list is qualified and ready to go if the town needs temporary workers. Town policies, said Edwards, allow the town to hire temps for up to six months, with no benefits. Work done by temps is covered by the town’s insurance.
Constable Len Derby reported that he is not currently enrolled in training at the Vermont State Police Academy. Derby has been told that he cannot enroll before next December, because “the exam has to be revised.” So Derby’s duties, authority, and pay will be limited for the coming year.
In his capacity as animal control officer, Derby reported that there are about 15 unlicensed dogs in town. Several of those animals do not have up-to-date rabies vaccinations. Derby is working with town clerk Patricia Dow to get the dog owners into compliance. For those who cannot afford the going price of rabies vaccinations, veterinarian Ben Dow has offered a clinic price of $30. Derby will try to determine whether the town faces liability issues for unlicensed, unvaccinated dogs.