Naples generator under repairs; roads being paved


By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Anyone who has lived in Maine for awhile knows you cannot get anywhere without roads.

Or, without a good backup generator for that matter.

Recently a generator for the Town of Naples quit working properly. So, one town employee has been in contact with the generator powers that be to get the town a good deal on short notice.

The generator should be back in working order soon.

On Monday, the Naples Board of Selectmen approved approximately $3,000 in funding for what is considered a necessity.

“This is important. If there is a disaster, this building” is an American Red Cross certified Emergency Shelter, said Selectman Bob Caron II.

Selectmen voted unanimously to repair and maintain the generator, using $2,300 from a maintenance account and $1,000 from the Emergency Management Account. With this vote, the board entered into a five-year maintenance plan with the company providing the service.

Public Works personnel Steve Merkle explained to the board what had happened and why the cost was a necessary one.

“A couple weeks ago, we had problems with the generator. It went out,” he said.

“When I asked, I was told it was taken care of by an outside agency. The quotes in front of you are from [a] Cummins [Power Generation certified dealer.] They had a contract in 2012. That was when it expired. That was the research I found out in the last week or two,” Merkle said.

The cost estimates “are all the same. The issue is” whether the town goes with a one-year, two-year, three-year or a five-year plan, he said. The costs decrease with the longer plans, he said.

“You inspect the generator in March of every year. You do an inspection of all electrical components, test the system under load. It is something I cannot do. I don’t have the tools,” Merkle said.

He explained the particulars of the generator malfunction that happened earlier this month.

“The breaker was tripped. The main circuit breaker for the electrical motherboard,” he said.

While inspecting the block heater, someone “touched the hoses and they feed off the blockheater. Thankfully it didn’t run. If it started we would have blown the generator’s engine,” he said.

In other business, the board also addressed the autumn road paving list, which included a number of roads scheduled for paving. Many of those are interconnecting. So, once the paving season is wrapped up, the paved areas will meet.

Paving was brought up by someone in the audience who said he had been unaware that any paving was taking place until it started up on the road near where he lives.

Merkle has been in charge of the paving schedule. He said he will be working directly with the paving contractor and obtaining cubic yards of asphalt on a daily basis. Additionally, Merkle will send bi-weekly reports to the board members, he said.

“Every two days, I will send you guys a report. That way you are in the loop. I will get a truck ticket for each truck. Every time they get asphalt and bring it over, I will get a ticket from the driver,” he said.

A total of seven roads are being paved in the coming month, Merkle said. He added a fact most Mainers know — that is all weather-dependent.

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