Fairgrounds roof bid expected to get OK from Topsham board

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TOPSHAM — The grandstand at the Topsham Fairgrounds may finally get a new roof this year.

The Board of Selectmen was expected to vote Thursday on a bid received by the Sagadahoc Agricultural & Horticultural Society, which owns the Fairgrounds.

Williams Construction submitted the lower of two qualifying bids, about $45,000, which an interview team and the Historic District Commission recommended selectmen accept. The Waterville company has an “outstanding background in historic projects,” Assistant Planner Carol Eyerman wrote in an April 10 memo to the board.

The work should run through June and July, she noted Tuesday.

The roof replacement had gone out to bid last summer, but the Sagadahoc Agricultural board opted to postpone the project until this year to solicit lower bids and allow more time for construction. Bids at the time ranged between about $40,000 and $55,000, board President Leon Brillant said at the time.

The roof was last replaced in the 1980s, according to Marilyn Hunter, the fair’s director of entertainment and marketing. There are gaps in the shingles, allowing daylight to penetrate, Eyerman noted.

The Board of Selectmen in June 2018 approved using a nearly $25,000 federal Historic Preservation Fund Certified Local Government grant to pay for much of the work. The town applied to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission for the funding.

With the total project to cost about $56,000, the balance will be paid through volunteer in-kind donations of time and money by the Sagadahoc society. Town staff will also donate a small portion of in-kind time for program coordination, record maintenance, and to produce signs that credit the government for the grant.

The grant terms require the project to be completed by Sept. 30.

Alex Lear can be reached at 780-9085 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

The grandstand roof at the Topsham Fairgrounds is due to be replaced this year.

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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.