A Maine Department of Labor fine Whitefield is facing for violations of safety regulations during roadwork could potentially be $2,000, but the town is requesting an abatement, selectmen said at the Whitefield Board of Selectmen’s Tuesday, Nov. 8 meeting.
Road Commissioner David Boynton was ordered to cease roadwork in late September after a complaint was made to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about insufficient signage and flaggers.
Selectmen have said the Maine Department of Labor investigated the complaint and found additional areas where town roadwork was non-compliant with safety regulations.
The primary violations involved the lack of flaggers and signage to announce lane closures for the roadwork, Whitefield Board of Selectmen Chairman Dennis Merrill said. Signs have been ordered and walkie-talkies may be needed for flaggers to communicate with each other, he said.
Through swift action to address the violations, the town is hoping to receive an abatement of the $2,000 fine the Department of Labor proposed in its final report on the inspection of town roadwork.
The town’s response to the Department of Labor report has been prepared in addition to the abatement request, Merrill said. The town has also arranged an inspection of all municipal buildings to identify and address any other potential safety hazards, he said.
In other business, the audit of the 2015-2016 fiscal year is complete and, as of June 30, 2016, Whitefield has a surplus of $955,951, according to the Nov. 1 meeting minutes.
Town auditor Marc Roy, of Berry, Talbot, and Royer, recommended that the town retain enough surplus to cover 75-90 days of operating expenses, and proposed reviewing policies for the management of surplus and revenue streams.