WATERFORD – Selectman Whizzer Wheeler told eight residents at Wednesday’s selectmen’s meeting that the Bureau of Labor Standards had found “$7,000 worth of boo-boos on our part.”

The town has been fined $700 for each of 10 safety violations the bureau found, ranging from poor wiring in the town garage to a fire extinguisher that sits on the floor instead of being mounted on the wall. Wheeler said the cost to the town to bring its buildings up to safety standards will be significantly more than the $7,000 fine.

The Bureau of Labor Standards originally gave the town an Aug. 31 deadline to do the necessary work, but selectmen requested, and were granted, a one-month extension. The bureau agreed to talk with the selectmen informally, which Wheeler said “leaves the door open for eliminating the $7,000 fine,” if all work is done.

In other business, Selectman Norman Rust reported that the Cross Street bridge is missing some bolts, and “the state has turned their back to us” when asked to help fix the problem.

Cross Street, less than half a mile long, runs between Sweden Road and Waterford Road just north of Bear Pond. The two larger roads meet less than a mile farther north of Cross Street. Because of this, the state has ruled the bridge unnecessary. If the town were to repair it, it would be responsible for the full cost.

The bridge has a weight restriction of 3,000 pounds, but residents have told selectmen that large trucks sometimes cross despite the restriction.

Rust said he has spoken to attorneys with the Maine Municipal Association about closing the bridge. In order to do so, the town must take certain steps. First, abutting landowners must be given notice. A public hearing must be held, after which the selectmen can give and order to discontinue the bridge. Then, the order must be approved at a town meeting.

Selectmen agreed to begin the process of closing the bridge. A previous order to discontinue the bridge was defeated at the 2004 town meeting.

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