Franklin Countys First News

Burst pipe closes New Sharon town office

The New Sharon Town Office

NEW SHARON - A burst pipe in a back room flooded the town office building with hot water and steam Tuesday afternoon, resulting in the building's immediate closure.

According to information released by Board of Selectmen Chair Lorna Dee Nichols, the pipe burst shortly after noon Tuesday, sending hot water rushing into the building. No one was hurt in the incident, but the building is currently closed.

Nichols said that the main switch to the furnace had been turned off, with technicians expected to examine the furnace and associated equipment Wednesday morning. One possible complication is the asbestos material incorporated into the pipes, which may require abatement prior to repair. Electricity running to light fixtures in the affected room will be turned off Wednesday as well.

"We are thankful no one was seriously hurt or injured," Nichols said in an email, "and are asking all of you to please stay out of the building until we can determine what next steps need to be taken for the safety of employees, elected officials, volunteers and the public."

The building that stands as the town office was built in 1950 to serve as the local high school and was purchased by the town after the district consolidated.

Town officials will check with the town's insurance provider, Kyes Insurance, about the possibility of setting up a temporary town office space or a trailer. Town officials will also reach out to surrounding towns to see about securing locations for residents to process new vehicle registrations and other day-to-day operations. New Sharon does have online registration services through Rapid Renewal, which will continue to work for preexisting vehicle registration renewals.

Nichols said that town officials would release new information as it becomes available.

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