July 02, 2020

Town continues manager contract Guimond has held post for 7 years

FORT KENT – Donald Guimond has been town manager for seven years this month, and he seemingly will have the time to celebrate at least another anniversary on the job next December.

The town council on Wednesday night unanimously approved his annual contract for another year.

“It’s signed, sealed and delivered,” Guimond said of the annual contract Friday morning. “It was seven years ago this month that I started in this position.

“It’s still interesting, after all these years,” he said.

The town, however, still has an unfilled position, and it may remain that way for another three months.

Charles Rudelitch, who was Fort Kent’s economic and community development director for three years, left his position Dec. 22. It could be March by the time the position is filled.

The council accepted a new job description for Rudelitch’s position. Applications for the position will be accepted until Feb 2. The job could remain open into March with the review of the applications and personal interviews.

The only other business at the short post-holiday meeting was the receipt of a Norsun Co. option for a wastewater treatment contract with the town. The town and the company have been negotiating since October.

Norsun, a packer of cooked and frozen vegetables, is still operating under a contract that expired in October.

The sticky point in the negotiations has been the amount of biological oxygen demand, or BOD, solids the firm will be allowed to dump into the municipal wastewater treatment system. BOD is a measure of the strength of the wastewater coming into the plant.

While both sides agree to a 600-pound daily average, on a 30-day rotation, they are at odds on allowable BOD amounts for high days, called spikes.

The present contract allows the company 1,500-pound spikes. The town would like the spike amount to be lowered by 400 pounds, to 1,100 pounds. The company, while it is willing to drop the poundage, would like a maximum allowable spike of 1,250 pounds.

“We are looking to lower the amount of BODs, minimizing spikes to the system,” Guimond said. “Whatever is agreed upon will be lower than the spikes allowed in the past.”

Lowering the amount of allowable spikes increases the efficiency of the system and lowers operating costs.

Negotiations will continue after the new year.

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