Town to address OSHA violations


RUMFORD – Work will begin soon on bringing much of the Municipal Building and possibly the fire station up to code following action taken by selectmen last week.

Contracts were awarded to Waugh’s Mountain View Electric of Rumford to repair electrical problems at a cost of $13,889 and to the Bethel firm of Smith Reuter Lull to provide conceptual design work for architectural needs at a cost of $9,320.

Both contracts are in response to violations discovered by a recent inspection by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as to long-term plans for architectural modifications, Town Manager Steve Eldridge said on Friday.

He said corrections to violations discovered at the public works garage have already been made.

Those at the Municipal Building are greater.

Included among the electrical work are repairs or installation of outlets, breaker boxes and panels, rewiring of the clock tower and installation of lighting in the fire escape stairs in the auditorium.

The architectural firm will design a plan and estimate costs for such things as additional egresses for the auditorium and main floor of the 1916 building, emergency lighting, and OSHA required signage. The construction of a second egress in the auditorium will allow use of balcony seating in the historic hall, said Eldridge.

The firm will also design options for moving the auditorium elevator and for connecting the Municipal Building to the adjacent fire station. Whether such a plan will ever advance is not certain, said Eldridge.

He said the project could lead to a merging of the dispatching centers for the police and fire departments. Right now, each dispatch for their individual departments.

He said an architectural plan to meet OSHA requirements must be in place within two months, according to agency directives.

Selectmen established an ad hoc Building Committee to work with and provide direction to the architects. Comprising the eight-person committee will be Eldridge, selectmen Jim Thibodeau and Mark Belanger, Public Works Director Andy Russell, police Chief Stacy Carter, fire Chief John Woulfe, Code Enforcement Officer Richard Kent and a Rumford resident.

Anyone wishing to serve on the committee should contact the town office.

The first meeting will be held during the week of April 17.

In other matters at the board meeting:

• Eldridge said town officials will meet with representatives from the Maine Department of Transportation on Monday to discuss a road project along a portion of Route 108 that accesses the entrance to the town’s new business park.

• Selectmen did not object to a two-day furlough for an inmate, as requested by probation officer Michael Downs. The unnamed inmate, who has been granted two-day furloughs in the past when he lived in Peru, is serving time for aggravated assault and assaulting a police officer. Downs had brought the possibility that he may present furlough requests before the board at an earlier meeting. This is the first furlough since he told selectmen that he would be making a request.