The construction of new buildings at the city sewage treatment plant is on hold after municipal officials learned that local permits had not been obtained.

City Manager Rosemary Kulow acknowledged that the construction of one building had been nearly completed. She said she was at a meeting on the status of the planned $2 million expansion of the treatment plant about five to six weeks ago when she noticed that a building was under construction.

Upon further checking, the manager said she learned that the building had been built without going to the code office, being reviewed by the planning board, or obtaining a building permit.

The manager said the treatment plant director is on vacation but she planned to have further conversations with him upon his return on how this occurred.

A 48-by-24-foot building on the southeastern corner of the treatment plant property off Tillson Avenue near the entrance to Spear Drive is nearly completed. Other smaller buildings are also planned along with equipment replacement.

The equipment replacement and interior work at the plant will continue but she has ordered a stop to construction of additional buildings.

An after-the-fact site plan application was filed by the treatment plant and was scheduled to be reviewed Tuesday evening, May 3. But the city manager said that meeting was canceled because of another complexity — the treatment plant is located within the Tillson Avenue district that includes design standards.

The city council will consider whether to amend the Tillson Avenue district boundaries to exempt the treatment plant. The manager said, however, that the city may require that buildings on the perimeter of the property be constructed in conformance to those design standards.

If the council agrees to amend the district boundaries, the treatment plant projects must still go before the planning board, she noted.

The nearly completed building is to be used for storage.