LIVERMORE FALLS — Selectmen are to blame for problems with the fire station rebuilding project, not Fire Chief Edward Hastings IV, Selectman Tom Barker said at Tuesday night’s board meeting.
Barker said he was tired of residents criticizing Hastings. He said selectmen haven’t shown a willingness to lead and have put too many of the responsibilities on Hastings’ shoulders.
“On this issue, I won’t stand beside Eddie, I’ll stand in front of him,” Barker said. “That means if they’re going to attack him, they’re coming through me first.”
“I’m not looking to blame anyone for anything,” Hastings said.
“I wanted you to know that someone was defending you,” Barker responded.
Despite the project’s cost overruns and the bitterly cold weather, work is progressing. Cross-bracing has been put in place, the first coat of paint has been applied, sheetrock is being installed in the bathroom, and ceiling tiles will go in next week.
Additionally, the heating system will be operational by the middle of next week at the latest, interim Town Manager Stephen J. Gould said.
Gould said in speaking with contractor H.E. Callahan, it was noted there are moisture problems with the floor in the front of the station.
“The moisture underneath the cement continues to permeate the cement because there’s no barrier between the ground and the cement,” he said. “There’s a process they do where they seal the floor and the moisture cannot get to that glue.”
Selectmen discussed doing a different kind of floor than proposed, but Hastings discouraged it. He said the floor was under warranty, and if there were problems within the warranty period, H.E. Callahan would be back to repair it.
“What if we don’t do the floor at this time?” asked Selectman George Cummings.
“It would highly depend on what you want left of your reputation with the taxpayers,” Hastings said.
He said he would ask if a side door at the station could be replaced with a new one, because the wood around the frame was rotting.
“I bet we’d pay as much to replace the old door as it would be to buy a new one,” Hastings said.
Selectmen discussed the application process for grants.
“Can we go after grants silently, without town approval?” asked Chairwoman Heather Bronish. “Can we research and apply for grants?”
Barker said he believed a consensus of the board would be appropriate to let town officials research and apply for grants.
Barker said a device for football training has been left on the town recreation field. field and he’s concerned about a snowmobile hitting it. He asked if Area Youth Sports owned it.
Selectman Nixon Ortiz, who serves on the AYS board of directors, said it didn’t belong to the organization.
“I just didn’t want to hear of someone flying into it,” Barker said.
Livermore Falls Town Office. (File photo)