RUMFORD – Two of three tenants ordered out of a tax-acquired, town-owned apartment building on Waldo Street after the holidays now have until February to comply with the eviction notice. The third, however, must leave her second-floor apartment within a few days.

That’s the word Town Manager Len Greaney gave to selectmen Thursday night, responding to a question from Selectman Brad Adley.

Greaney said that at a hearing Thursday, a judge gave the third-floor tenants at 438 Waldo St. until Feb. 9 to leave and ordered the first-floor tenant out by Feb. 1.

“They all agreed they will move out by then. It’s been handled by the judge,” Greaney said.

The second-floor tenant, who uses a wheelchair, did not attend the hearing, he added.

“We’re continuing to use as much compassion as we can,” Greaney said of keeping heating oil and electricity in the building throughout the eviction process.

Town officials ordered the tenants out Nov. 21 and 24 due to safety code violations in the building. They were given a month to get out, but because of the holidays, Greaney extended the deadline until Jan. 3. That came and went, forcing the hearing.

In other business, Selectman Frank DiConzo asked people to refrain from posting negative comments about Rumford, selectmen and town officials on Internet blogs.

A blog or Web site log is a personal online journal which is frequently updated and intended for the general public.

DiConzo warned town employees that they shouldn’t be blogging if all they were doing was posting negative comments about municipal government matters. No blogs were identified.

Board Chairman J. Arthur Boivin asked DiConzo why he continued to read town-related blogs if he didn’t like what was being said, then told him to just ignore the blogs.

Greaney joined in with DiConzo, briefly, asking bloggers in general to be factual when commenting.

DiConzo said one blog contained “a lot of misconceptions about why Rumford selectmen dropped discussing regionalization” with neighboring Mexico.

“This board pushed for advertising to get a committee going and one person stepped forward. Mexico did nothing . . . It’s not a dead issue. Rumford feels it can look at this and get a committee going. I think it’s very important to get citizens to weigh in on this,” he said.

Fire Chief Gary Wentzell and Code Enforcement Officer Rick Kent will continue inspecting apartment buildings for code violations this month.

A request by Kent for permitting software was tabled until the board’s next meeting Jan. 22, because Kent was absent Thursday night.

A scheduled discussion about emergency medical services was also tabled at Greaney’s request to the Jan. 22 meeting.

Parking on Knox Street was reduced to one side only during the winter, after selectmen unanimously OK’d placement of a no parking sign.

After a lengthy executive session about a personnel matter between the town and Public Works Superintendent Andy Russell, selectmen unanimously agreed that Russell could return to work as the superintendent Tuesday, Jan. 13.

“He’s been out five weeks on sick leave,” Greaney said, declining further comment.

He said Russell, who has worked for Public Works for 20 years, became the superintendent in 1993.



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