Oxford town office open after plumbing, furnace failures

OXFORD — Oxford’s municipal center reopened Tuesday after a series of system failures forced its closure last week. The selectmen’s meeting scheduled for Jan. 20 was cancelled and will be held on Feb. 3 instead, at its regular time.

Following the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, town employees returned to work Jan. 18 to find that pipes in the employee bathroom had frozen and burst. There was significant water damage in to the ceiling and walls. Leaking water ran out into the hallway, damaging the floor, and down into the basement. When the damage was discovered the basement had a few inches of standing water.

The frozen pipes led to the furnace malfunctioning and causing faucets in other parts of the building to freeze.

According to Town Manager Adam Garland, it was not until Thursday that Servpro was able to schedule clean-up of the damage. With no running water or facilities the office had to remain closed all week.

He said that even though the furnace repairs were done right away on Jan. 17, the breakdown had a domino affect that led to more problems. The unit’s controller failed first; once repaired then a safety switch gave way; next wiring had to be replaced; and then between Sunday and Monday morning its fuel pump broke.

Garland said when he checked the building Saturday all was working and when police checked Sunday everything was in order. But when employees arrived for work Monday morning the heat was out again.

The town has initiated an insurance claim and is reaching out to construction contractors to repair the damage. Garland said for the time being only one employee bathroom is useable.

Garland noted the irony of town business to make a decision on a temporary headquarters had to be delayed by the office closing.

With the selectmen’s meeting having to be rescheduled, two items on their agenda have been moved to future dates.

School Administrative District Superintendent Dr. Monica Henson had been expected to attend the Jan. 20 meeting; her appearance has been rescheduled to Feb. 3.

Oxford’s Historic Preservation Committee was supposed to meet with selectmen about the Oxford Meeting House on Jan. 20; that presentation will take place on Feb. 3 as well.

The agenda can be downloaded from Oxford’s website (https://www.oxfordmaine.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif6746/f/agendas/agenda_01-20-2022_1.pdf).

 

 

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