Cumberland council awards bid for Route 88 work, OKs higher trash-bag fees

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CUMBERLAND — The Town Council on Monday accepted a bid from Storey Bros. Excavating for improvements to Foreside Road (Route 88).

Six councilors supported the decision, while Councilor Shirley Storey-King abstained.

The company’s $3.79 million bid, plus construction administration and inspection as well as paving and construction contingencies, sets the project cost at $4.15 million.

The council also previously voted unanimously to authorize borrowing $4.1 million for the project, an amount $400,000 less than what the panel had approved last December. The drop in anticipated cost should reduce the impact on next year’s bond payment by about $30,000 to $35,000, Town Manager Bill Shane told the council.

Voters last month narrowly rejected a referendum that challenged the council’s decision to float a bond, 941-915.

The project is due to begin in late June and finish by July 2011. The work includes drainage improvements from the Falmouth town line to about 600 feet east of Teal Drive, and shoulder widening from the Falmouth town line to Schooner Ridge.

Earlier in Monday’s meeting, after a hearing that drew little public comment, the Town Council voted 5-1 (with Councilor Jeff Porter absent) to raise Cumberland’s trash bag fees effective June 1. The price of 20-gallon bags will increase to $1.50 from $1 and 33-gallon bags will rise to $2.50 from $1.50. The changes bring Cumberland’s fees in line with those in surrounding towns.

Councilor Mike Perfetti, who cast the dissenting vote, said he preferred raising the 33-gallon price to only $2.

“We’re effectively trying very hard to get people to recycle,” Councilor Bill Stiles said, explaining that if more of Cumberland’s waste stream can be recycled, “the more beneficial it is to the atmosphere, and to the town, because it costs us less on tipping fees to handle the recycled material.”

Cumberland’s trash bag fees have been the same since its pay-per-bag program began in September 2005. Residents are not charged per-bag fees to dispose of recyclables.

As part of its vote on the bags, the Town Council also supported a $10 all-day pass to the town’s brush/compost facility effective immediately. Shane said the pass would be particularly beneficial for people who only use the Compost Pad one day in the spring or fall, but have multiple loads of brush or leaves.

The Town Council also voted unanimously to appoint Brian Bickford director of community education and recreation. He succeeds Bill Landis, who was honored Monday evening as Citizen of the Year by the Cumberland/North Yarmouth Lions Club.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.