MECHANIC FALLS — The Town Council amended the zoning and land use ordinance to comply with state law on bedbug control and building codes and standards.

The town’s existing ordinance held the owner of rental properties responsible for “insect and rodent” control in any building with more than one unit and placed responsibility on the tenant in a dwelling that has just one unit.

With the amendment approved after Monday’s public hearing, in the case of a bedbug infestation, the responsibility for a rental unit in any building falls upon the building owner.

Upon notification, the landlord is given five days to inspect the unit for bedbugs and, if they are found to be present, given another 10 days to contact a pest control agent.

The landlord bears all expenses.

“It’s pretty hard on landlords,” Councilor Bob Small said.

Town Manager John Hawley noted that whether the town incorporates it as part of its ordinance, the state law is the state law and the town has to enforce it.

“We have no choice,” Councilor Dan Blanchard said.

The council also, after a public hearing, repealed the town’s current building codes and voted to adopt the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code, which will be enforced effective Dec. 1 of this year, as required by the state for all towns with a population of 2,000.

The council also amended the local land use ordinance to permit home occupations and child day care in residences that have an accessory dwelling unit.

Hawley noted that many residents may have experienced delays traveling though the downtown. The culprit is the sewer department project to repair the sewer line along Lewiston Street.

The water department is also in the area working on a separate project to fix the problem of the leaky main that crosses the Little Androscoggin River behind the Legion Hall.

He also reported that the crossing project should cost far less than early estimates.

The original plan, which called for replacing the 12-inch pipe, was estimated to cost about $200,000 – but the water department came up with an alternate solution, which inserts an 8-inch pipe within the existing leaky pipe.

Officials hope that money earned from wood harvested from the department’s property off Winterbook Road will cover costs for the much simpler alternative, and accomplish the work with the $33,000 the harvest brought in.

Noting that a number of residents who had questioned the lack of municipal involvement in the Maple Grove Cemetery controversy, Hawley explained that the town has no jurisdiction over the cemetery. He said he had checked deeds for the property and learned that John Marshall, in 1886, had given the land to the Maple Grove Cemetery Association.