January 6

Farmingdale contractor: State is burying local sidewalks

Dispute to be discussed at closed door meeting Monday night, according to Ellis Construction.

By Paul Koenig pkoenig@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARMINGDALE — Representatives from the state Department of Transportation and the town’s plowing contractor are meeting Monday night with the selectmen to discuss ways to prevent state plows from pushing snow on to cleared sidewalks along Maine Avenue.

Maine Avenue in Farmingdale, also called U.S. Route 201, is maintained by the state. The winter road maintenance contractor, Ellis Construction of Farmingdale, is required to clear sidewalks within 24 hours after snowstorms.

But the plow trucks from the state have been pushing slush from the roads back on to the sidewalks after they’ve been cleared by the contractor, Angie Ellis, president of Ellis Construction said.

The 6 p.m. meeting at the town office will be conducted in executive session, meaning the public isn’t allowed to be present and votes can’t be taken during the closed door meeting.

Ellis said the construction company, which held the winter road maintenance contract the last three winters, has encountered more problems with state plows moving slush on the sidewalks than in past years. She said the state has sometimes left a snow bank between the road and sidewalk in the past and has continued that practice on other roads.

“I don’t know if it’s just because we’ve had so much snow that they really have no place to put it themselves,” Ellis said.

The state has already seen more than 3 feet of snow this winter, according to the National Weather Service, and the season officially started only about two weeks ago.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Doug Ebert said the selectmen agreed to act as mediators for the meeting. He said he doesn’t expect the board to take any vote after the executive session.

“It’s been an issue in the past, and now we’re trying to get it resolved between the two parties,” he said.

Ellis said she’ll attend the meeting on behalf of the company.

A spokesman for the state transportation department couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Paul Koenig — 207-621-5663pkoenig@centralmaine.comTwitter: @paul_koenig

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