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Selectmen move forward with Main Street engineering proposal

September 08, 2021
MEREDITH The town is moving forward with an engineering study of Main Street as part of an overall project to revitalize Main Street.

The Greater Meredith Program's Economic Development Committee recently restarted with ideas for strengthening the community. One of these is revitalizing Main Street from the Route 3/25 intersection to the railroad tracks by Middleton Lumber, including looking at a number of funding and grant options available for such a project.

An engineering study will be required before any concrete plans can be made. During the Aug. 16 selectmen's meeting, Town Manager Phil Warren said he got a copy of an engineering proposal for with a fee proposal. He said it seems like most of the leg work has been done on this already.

"I've reviewed this; it appears to me all of the work has been done in putting this proposal together in my opinion I don't see what would benefit the town to do this exercise again," Warren said.

Selectman and Economic Development Committee co-chair Jeanie Forrester said the committee met the week before to discuss this project.

Forrester said committee decided that the study will cover 3,000 linear feet, the entire length of Main Street. She said the proposal includes the estimated fees for topographic data, deed research a survey right of way, and other details.

They also found the survey would cost $48,000 and funding could dome from an expendable trust fund for Main Street unless there's another option. Warren said it's better to use that ETF since that was its original purpose.

The proposal has also been examined by Community Planning Director John Edgar.

"We need to do this work one way or the other, it hasn't been done," Forrester said.

Selectman Nate Torr asked if this process is going to repeat other studies done a few years ago. Forrester said while the town has had some survey work done, a thorough study of Main Street hasn't been done. Warren said an analysis was done on town parking spaces with review of layouts and some of the utilities.

"It's a starting point; it's not repetitive work," Warren said. "Nothing underground has been done. That's been a huge piece of this to me. It's good information to put towards this, but it's not redundant."

Torr said the utility systems underground are "massive." Warren said this is why looking at the utilities is going to be a big part of this.

Warren said he would recommend the town be put in contact with VHB Engineering for this project.

The selectmen agreed by consensus to put $48,000 toward this study.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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