RUMFORD — Police Chief Stacy Carter will meet soon with a contractor to continue converting part of the station’s cellblock into workstations, a kitchen and a shower for officers.

Rumford Police Chief Stacy Carter stands next to the department’s cellblock area, which is being renovated for workstations and a kitchen for officers. (2018 Rumford Police Department photo)

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 last week to approve a bid of $83,550 from Lakeside Concrete Cutting of Newport to do the work. John Pepin, Peter Chase and Chris Brennick voted in favor of the bid and Mark Belanger and Jim Windover voted against it.

“I’m glad it got approved,” Carter said Thursday. “I wished it had been unanimous.”

He said the eight cells for prisoners were probably installed when the department was formed and haven’t been used for years because the department went from a 72-hour holding facility to a six-hour facility.

“Because of the change in staffing, not having a desk sergeant, we no longer really house prisoners,” Carter said. As a result, when an officer arrests someone who can’t make bail right away, the prisoner is taken to Oxford County Jail in South Paris.

Looking to use the estimated 200 to 300 square feet of unused space, the chief said the plan includes retaining one holding room for prisoners and creating an area for workstations for officers.

“Right now, they’re sharing a computer and it’s not efficient for them to get paperwork done,” he said.

The shower, which is probably as old as the holding cells, is being replaced.

“It’s kind of in an open area and, with having a female officer now, we have to petition that off and create some privacy and make the shower ADA compliant,” he said.

A small section of the jail area will be used for a kitchen for officers.

“Right now, the officers really don’t have much,” Carters said.

This year’s construction comes after public works employees removed part of the jail area last year.

Because of the noise and dust expected during this year’s demolition, Carter said he asked that it be done evenings and weekends to lessen the impact on the District Court upstairs and officers at the station. The build-back will be done weekdays.

Carter said he has budgeted for engineering and architectural costs, with any leftover money covering some expenses. The rest will be covered by the municipal building capital account.

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