Courthouse fire protection projects discussed


FARMINGTON — Following an unexpected visit to the Franklin County Courthouse from a State Fire Marshal representative last Friday, the county has some projects to undertake over the next two years.

Based on compliance and previous work done at the courthouse, the Fire Marshal “politely requested us to address these issues,” said Greg Roux, courthouse custodian. The alternative would be a letter demanding the work be done to bring the courthouse closer to compliance with state fire codes.

The first priority is an alarm system, something that the state may be willing to pay half the bill on, he said.

A second wall needs to be erected to isolate the stairway leading up to the Superior Court room. A wall and door was previously created on the other end of the first floor hallway.

The third project includes replacing 14 office doors with fire doors, he said. The doors could be left open by a magnetic attachment that would release and close them when the alarm went off.

Providing what he called a high estimate of $50,000 for the three projects, Roux suggested the alarm system would cost about $25,000, the doors about $15,000 with another $2,500 for the wall and $8,000 for someone to help him complete the work. 

If the state will pay half for the alarm system, it could bring the estimate down to about $40,000 for the county, he said.

While the projects can be done over two years, the alarm system should be done while the state is willing to help, he explained.

Commissioner Gary McGrane moved to recommend to the county budget committee that $15,000 should be added to the budget for the fire alarm system. Commissioners unanimously agreed.

The committee was scheduled to meet later in the day to work on the county budget for the coming fiscal year.

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