RUMFORD – A suspected leak in an underground fiberglass fuel line at the Public Works garage is expected to be fixed soon.

At Thursday night’s board meeting, selectmen hired lone bidder Precision Tanks Inc. of Jay for $9,680 to fix the pipe between the tank and the pump and replace the island, which contains pumps for regular gasoline and diesel fuel. If the state requires more extensive work around the diesel area, the company will do that for $19,360.

A Rumford Public Works crew will do the excavation work, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will inspect the project.

Town Manager Len Greaney told selectmen that shortly after two new fuel pumps were installed last year to provide diesel and gasoline, the gasoline pump wouldn’t fill with fuel to get it started.

A subsequent check revealed sand in the pump filter, which in turn, led an inspector and Greaney to believe that the tank’s fiberglass fuel line may be leaking.

A diagnosis this week confirmed that suspicion, prompting Greaney to send the project bid specs out to five suppliers. He said the Public Works Department has money in its capital improvements account to cover the work.

Greaney also told selectmen that he hoped fuel hasn’t been leaking into the soil due to the line break. Otherwise, the DEP could possibly fine the town if contaminated soil is found, thereby increasing the cost of the project.

Selectman Robert Cameron asked how much Rumford might have to pay for environmental issues, should contaminated soil be found. Greaney and other selectmen told him that is unknown, because they don’t yet know if the pipe is actually leaking fuel.

In other business, selectmen agreed with Greaney’s plan to avoid dumping snow into the Androscoggin River this winter during the snow removal process.

Last winter, the DEP fined the town $5,500 for dumping snow into the river’s canal system from Canal Street. This winter, the town will establish two snow dumps: one off Rumford Avenue and the other behind the Public Works building on the other end of town.

Area private contractors will be allowed to use the Rumford Avenue snow dump first, until that fills up. Then, they will have to use the second site, although Greaney, responding to a selectman’s question, said he must figure out a system for which the gate into the Public Works lot would be unlocked. After hours during the week, the gate is locked.

The board OK’d a request for $400 by River Valley Chamber of Commerce Administrator Cherri Crockett to have special T-shirts made for both summer and winter for 14 volunteers who man the town information booth overlooking Pennacook Falls.

Cameron asked Crockett to show selectmen the design planned for the shirts, which Crockett sought to set the volunteers apart from town visitors and tourists. He said he thought it was a good idea.

Selectmen learned from fire Chief Gary Wentzell that Rumford is the only town in Oxford County that has yet to complete the E-911 addressing of its streets.

He advised that it would be a lengthy process using a geographic information system to correctly identify town streets on paper for emergency dispatchers.

For example, Wentzell held up two pages of names that contained a lot of misspellings and had an Andover road incorrectly located in Rumford.


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