Topsham Fairgrounds postpones grandstand roof replacement to 2019

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TOPSHAM — The board that owns the Topsham Fairgrounds has postponed replacing the grandstand roof until next year to solicit lower bids and allow more time for construction.

The project had been scheduled to begin in mid-September and wrap up in December, with a deadline for contractors to submit bids two months ago. But the Sagadahoc Agricultural & Horticultural Society board recently opted to put the project on hold, and seek new bids in January.

“It was just getting so late in the (construction) season, and we’re going to see if we can get some more bids on it,” board President Leon Brillant said Oct. 10, noting that three offers had been submitted. “I think we might get better bids.”

Bids ranged between about $40,000 and $55,000, he said.

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

The Board of Selectmen on June 21 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; confirmation of the funding came in July.

With the total project to cost about $56,000, the balance will be funded 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 production of signs that credit the government for the grant.

The grant terms require the project to be completed by Sept. 30, 2019, a deadline that Brillant – the Republican candidate for state House District 54 – expects to be met.

“It should be no problem,” he said.

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

Replacement of the grandstand roof at the Topsham Fairgrounds has been postponed until next 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.