April 07, 2020

Bangor cleanup may hit $750,000

BANGOR — The cost of last week’s ice storm could pinch the pocketbook of the city of Bangor to the tune of $750,000, City Manager Edward Barrett said Monday night during the City Council meeting.

The evening’s agenda was put on hold while Barrett and various department heads brought councilors up to date on the work of public works crews, firefighters, police and other employees during the past week.

Bangor is working on a synopsis of how the storm affected the city and what it will cost to clean it all up as part of the state’s application for federal disaster relief. Barrett hopes Maine communities — including Bangor — will be reimbursed 75 percent of their costs.

Equipment, materials, overtime and other items so far have reached the $150,000 mark, Barrett said, and by the time the cleanup is finished in four to six weeks, the cost should be as much as three-quarters of a million dollars.

Public Works Director Arthur Stockus said his employees worked 70-95 hours apiece last week, and supplies used included 1,200 tons of salt and 2,500 cubic yards of sand and salt.

Where trees and power lines were down, he said, crews could not get through to clean the streets as they would have liked, with the result that some streets have been narrowed by snow and ice. A schedule has been developed to clean up the streets and sidewalks, and then to clean up debris.

Police officers have begun to canvass areas of the city that are still without power to check on the well-being of people in those homes, Chief Randy Harriman said. Fortunately, he said, law enforcement problems have been low during the storm period.

Fire Chief Jeffrey Cammack’s crews have been working on everything from taking an inventory of trees and lines that were down to performing emergency medical services at the shelter at the Maine Air National Guard Base.

Many of the people who went there had medical problems, he said, and four were taken to hospitals. The stress of the storm and being out of their homes was difficult for some of those who had been ill, he said.

Barrett and the city councilors praised the city employees who had worked so hard to keep things going in recent days.

During regular business, the council:

Appropriated $10,000 for research and advocacy efforts promoting an east-west highway from Calais through Bangor, down to Newport and across to northern New Hampshire and Quebec.

Passed a measure supporting new construction that is resistant to radon, an odorless and colorless gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in rock, soil and water. The resolve also urges current homeowners and landlords to test their buildings for the gas, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Set April 14 as the date for a special election to fill the unexpired council term of Charles Sullivan, who died in early December. The term will run until the November election.

Renewed the juvenile curfew ordinance through Dec. 31, 1998. The ordinance has a sunset provision and must be reviewed each year.

Designated Feb. 14-15 as Remember the Maine Days, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, Cuba. Activities will be held in Bangor and Brewer that weekend, historian Ryan King told the council.

Proclaimed Jan. 29 as TimeStoppers Day in Bangor, coinciding with the week of the reopening of Bangor Public Library. A time capsule will be buried in May in connection with this day.

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