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East Warren market paving tabled

Town officials in Warren voted in favor of tabling until spring a paving project that would make the East Warren Community Market an official park and ride. Warren Department of Public Works director Barry Simpson discussed the grant-funded project with select board members at their November 9 meeting.

Last March, following several meetings and one public forum, select board members approved using $21,700 in state grant funding to repair the lot at the East Warren Community Market using stay mat and without installing lighting, in order to designate it an official park and ride.

The town accepted a bid from ST Paving to complete the project. Simpson told select board members that he had had several conversations with salespeople at ST Paving and inquired about getting on the schedule for completing before Thanksgiving.

"It keeps getting put off and put off and put off," Simpson said.

"Right now they say by the end of November. That kind of project, I don't care what it is, is very weather dependent and it is certainly freeze dependent. Digging up frozen ground -- that's not going to work," he continued.

Select board chair Andy Cunningham suggested telling the paving company to push the work back until spring. Simpson said he had spoken with road foreman Ray Weston about the possibility of the highway department doing the work.

"I asked Ray if this was something he could do, and he said one of the premises of these grant projects is to employ people that aren't necessarily otherwise occupied," Simpson said.

Select board member Anson Montgomery said, "Well ST Paving is otherwise occupied, so...I'm a little disappointed about this, I wanted to get another bid. It was all rush, rush, rush. We got rushed into the culvert thing, rushed into this; we need to take an extra moment to look at these projects."

Cunningham said, "If the money isn't going to disappear, we can get three bids. I'm in favor of pulling back at this point; they haven't performed."

Town Administrator Cindi Hartshorn-Jones suggested that the town include a clause in the contract that indicates a finish date and subsequent fines if the work isn't completed on time.

Town officials voted to table the project until spring until such time as it can be put back out to bid.

Cunningham said, "I don't see a drawback to wait; it's just a parking lot that will be a little rutty until spring."

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