WALDO — The Select Board has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, April 12, at 6 p.m. in the Community Hall to discuss remedies for the town’s dirt roads, which were the principal subject of an hour-long discussion preceding town meeting March 26.

The board also scheduled a special town meeting for Monday, April 18, at 6 p.m. in the Community Hall to act on two proposed ordinances. One measure, a cost recovery ordinance, would establish a program of recovering costs from insurance companies for the Fire Department’s emergency responses. The other would formalize a six-month moratorium on commercial solar development to provide time for the town to develop an ordinance governing the development of large-scale solar arrays.

The Select Board has obtained a draft commercial solar development ordinance from the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, but indicated some details need to be worked out in conjunction with the Planning Board.

Former Selectman Herb Harnden attended the meeting to ask when garbage pickup would resume on the dirt roads. First Selectman Kathy Littlefield said at town meeting and reiterated Monday that she had stopped the contractor from taking the heavy trucks over the muddy roads for fear of softening them further.

Harnden said the town should put trash pickup out to bid. “When I was on (the board) we didn’t bid it once in 10 years,” he said, maintaining that there are other companies with smaller trucks that can traverse the muddy roads. “…I think the taxpayers are due to have it put out to bid.”

Both Harnden and Kellie Jacobs, town treasurer, commented on the cessation of mail delivery for several days, ostensibly because of the muddy roads — but Jacobs said she also was told at the Belfast post office that they were short-staffed right now. “So which is it?” she asked.

About the roads, Harnden said, “In my opinion, there’s some things that can be done to make it a little better so that maybe the mail truck can go down.” He said for two years Road Commissioner Alvin Winslow used a farm tractor with a scraper blade and made the road “a lot better.” But now, he said, “Al doesn’t do it.”

“If he went out there and showed people that he was trying to fix … the potholes,” he said. “…They’re little ponds. November, before winter, the road was full of potholes. Should’ve been graded.

“We could ask for $2 million, $3 million to fix the roads, but for a thousand bucks we could make them a lot better right now. And the mail truck could have come down, and the garbage truck could have come down.”

He told the selectmen the roads were not the responsibility of “anybody sitting at that table.” According to an email from Maine Municipal Association, he said, “the only responsibility you three have is the purse strings.

“We have an elected official who’s the road commissioner. He should have been up front answering those questions (on March 26), not the three of you. It’s not your responsibility. That’s his job.”

In other business, Littlefield reported that she has been exploring grant funding for town road reconstruction with the offices of U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd Dist. The most promising possibility for the town’s needs, she believes, would be Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds, but projects would have to be shovel-ready. A representative from Golden’s Lewiston office “is anxious to meet with us,” she said, possibly as early as next week.

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