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Home >Municipal Sand and Salt Building Program>Building a Salt/Sand Facility

Building a Salt/Sand Facility

This information is provided by the MaineDOT as a guideline for a municipality or county to follow when it is in the process of planning, designing, and constructing a facility.

These guidelines are typical to most facilities being constructed by Maine towns and cities, but some variances do occur depending on the local needs and desires. All facilities must follow State law in 38 MRSA, Section 451-A, subsection 1-A and MaineDOT Guidelines which state that "the Department shall review and approve plans and specifications... prior to issuing any reimbursements" AND the Department may reimburse municipal and county governments... provided that the plans for the facilities receive approval from the department." If funding is available, all reimbursements will be made in a consistent and timely manner, based on the priority set by the DEP. In addition, faster processing of payments will be assured as long as the process is followed and proper documentation is received by the MaineDOT.

  1. Read MaineDOT "Guidelines" and talk to MaineDOT Community Services Division at 624-3270. A packet of information is also available.
  2. Visit several building types in the area and talk to operators/owners about pros/cons of their building (domes, arches, wood frame, etc.)
  3. Decide town’s preferred style and size
  4. Call MaineDOT and get list/advice on design/architect companies*
  5. Call companies about estimates or RFP’s for design/inspection services
  6. Decide on/hire design firm
  7. Submit detailed engineering and final plan to MaineDOT for review and comment
  8. After MaineDOT response, make necessary adjustments and advertise project
  9. Award contract and commence construction
  10. Periodically inspect and document contractor’s work and expenses while project proceeds. Be sure to separate MaineDOT-eligible expenses from overall costs
  11. At time of FINAL completion, building must be inspected and MaineDOT must receive a final inspection report from a State of Maine licensed Architect or Registered Professional Engineer (with stamp) documenting that the completed facility meets its intended purpose of groundwater protection and that it meets all applicable building codes and other regulations.
  12. Submit all necessary documentation to MaineDOT

* State law found at states under Section 1254 that a municipality MUST hire a registered Professional Engineer (PE) for any public work that costs over $100,000 or "creates an undue risk to public safety or welfare" while under construction or when complete. Most sand/salt buildings will cost over that amount and therefore a registered PE is necessary for the design of the facility. However, if your facility will cost less than that, it is still highly recommended that the town hire a registered PE for the facility design. Usually, the PE costs are 10% or less of the entire project cost and it's money well spent to ensure quality and longevity of the structure and the best long term use of taxpayers' money.

* Some towns consider NOT hiring a design/architectural firm. The belief that "we can build it cheaper and better" is common. The MaineDOT discourages this practice for several reasons because some towns have actually suffered structural problems in their "homemade" buildings and have compromised their State reimbursement. A sand/salt facility is a public facility which provides long term benefits. Local and state funds must be spent responsibly. MaineDOT Guidelines state that:

  • "the MaineDOT strongly recommends that any building be certified as meeting all applicable building and safety codes by an architect or engineer licensed to practice in Maine"
  • "the MaineDOT recommends periodic inspections by a State of Maine licensed architect or engineer during construction"
  • "in order for the Department to participate in the cost of a building, the plans and specs must have been certified as having met all applicable building codes by a State of Maine registered architect or engineer."


This page last updated on 6/27/13