China selectmen act on town manager resignation; summer work

by Mary Grow

In addition to acting on Town Manager Dennis Heath’s letter of resignation (see The Town Line, May 28), China selectmen used their May 26 virtual meeting to review bids received for summer work and award those they decided were necessary.

Heath had divided the bids into topics, as follows: materials, such as sand and gravel (one bidder); mowing, subdivided into cemeteries, ballfields and town properties (four bidders); and paving, subdivided into two categories, a per-ton price for asphalt and a price for chip seal (six bidders).

For materials, selectmen consulted Public Works Manager Shawn Reed, who said some of the bidder’s prices were “pretty decent” but others above current market prices. Board members voted unanimously to reject the bid and in future not to ask for materials bids, but let Reed shop.

For mowing, selectmen rejected bids from one out-of-town contractor, with appreciation for his interest, and awarded all three mowing jobs to low China bidder Colby Rumpf, doing business as Rumpf’s Backyard Services.

They awarded the contract for asphalt paving to Pike Industries, next to lowest bidder, recommended by Heath and endorsed by Selectman and contractor Wayne Chadwick.

Selectmen awarded the chip seal contract to All States. Heath said the process will be used on part of South Road, outside Weeks Mills village. Chip seal, he explained, lays a protective coating over a paved road that should make the paving last longer.

Reed said using chip seal has been discussed for two or three years, as he began hearing that other towns had tried it with good results. It needs to be applied on a very smooth road, he said, and China has lacked suitable roads.

Heath assured selectmen chip seal is not the same as the fog sealant that the state highway department tried in Rome in the fall of 2019, which was said to have made the road slippery and caused accidents.

The only other decision selectmen made May 26, besides the usual bill-paying, was to approve installation of a holding tank to replace a malfunctioning cesspool at a Fire Road 49 property. Codes Officer Bill Butler said he had approved; state approval is also needed.

The next China selectmen’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 8. As of May 26, Heath and selectmen plan an open meeting in the town office meeting room.


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