RUMFORD – After realizing at Thursday night’s board meeting that three vacant apartment buildings with serious health and safety violations are owned by the town, Rumford selectmen agreed to have them removed.

Selectman Mark Belanger motioned that the town seek bids to demolish three-story buildings at 92 Maine Ave. and 107 York St. It was OK’d 5-0.

Regarding the last property at 49 Oxford Ave., Belanger motioned to have Town Manager Len Greaney work with an abutter who said he’d like to buy the property, tear down the large building and create a parking lot, but keep and fix up a one-story building to code on the same land.

Selectmen OK’d that 5-0.

Mexico-Rumford fire Chief Gary Wentzell brought the matter before the board. Within the past few weeks, he said he has been inspecting vacant buildings in Rumford. The three buildings mentioned, he said were the worst of the lot.

“These are obviously dangerous and posing a serious threat, and they should come down,” he said.

Regarding the 92 Maine Ave. property, Wentzell said pipes in it broke a few years back, flooding rooms.

“In two of the rooms on the second floor, the walls are just black with mold. We went in there and before we could get out, it was affecting us. When the pipes broke, it upended the oil furnace, so there is also oil contamination on the floor,” he said.

Two of the buildings have asbestos siding that will need to be properly handled. The York Street building has also caught fire twice, Wentzell added.

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