Putrid smell closes Athol Town Hall

  • Contributed PhotoAthol Town Hall.

For The Recorder
Saturday, February 17, 2018

ATHOL — About 14 employees in Town Hall were sent home Thursday morning when an old trap in the 100-year-old cast-iron sewer main in the basement backed up and emitted an odor only a plumber could ignore.

By mid-afternoon, Town Manager Shaun Suholski was still onsite awaiting the arrival of Hohengasser Plumbing & Heating. He and a couple employees, including the code inspector, braved the putrid smell and completed some work. Suholski said the problem was detected during a morning meeting with the Housing Task Force.

“The building superintendent checked it out, and by 9:30 decided to send everyone home,” he said. “We hated to close the building, but couldn’t run the toilets or use the sinks.”

He noted the 6-inch running trap does not allow the proper use of a “snake” due to a bend in the pipe, and it occasionally releases a waft of odor.

“Now it’s trapping too much,” he said.

The Fire Department was brought in with a gas meter and cleared the area.

It is anticipated that repair work will be completed over the weekend and the building will be open, as usual, on Monday. The building is closed Fridays.

A meeting scheduled for Thursday by the Board of Planning and Community Development, which was to be held in Town Hall, was relocated to the large program room at Athol Public Library next door.