Info session tonight on building project

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RUMFORD – Residents will have two chances to learn about a proposed $2.9 million building and renovation project for the Municipal Building and Fire Station beginning with a 6 o’clock informational session tonight.

The meeting takes place in the Municipal Auditorium.

Townspeople will vote on the proposal during the annual town meeting on June 5.

Town Manager Steve Eldridge said the project is designed to correct more than $2 million in violations cited by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration during inspections in January.

The remaining money would pay to build about 15,000-square-feet of additional space for two fire truck bays and add more room for the police department. The building project would connect the two adjacent buildings.

Architect Jim Reuter of the Bethel firm of Smith Reuter Lull will present the building-and-renovation plan. Eldridge will present a PowerPoint presentation on the conditions in the exiting police department.

Violations cited by the two agencies include lack of exits from the police department, courtroom and second floor, and Municipal Auditorium, and from the second floor of the fire station. Stairwells don’t meet codes and many sections of both the Municipal Building and the fire station lack fire walls.

“People think it’s a very simple thing, but it’s not,” Eldridge said. “The issues here are about public safety.”

When the plan was unveiled last week, some objected to the nearly $3 million project, suggesting that renovations be made only to meet code requirements.

Eldridge said a plan that would do just that will also be presented at Tuesday’s meeting.

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