Press-Republican

Local News

January 17, 2013

Municipal building costs shoot through roof

(Continued)

After more than a year of construction and a series of increased costs, the Highway Department moved into the building in 2011.

Work on the town and judicial portion is now expected to be finished by this summer if the bid process moves forward in the near future, Whitford said.

WATER, INSULATION, MILDEW

News of the final cost, coupled by frustration with ongoing construction issues, prompted several residents to voice concern with how the project has been handled.

Dave Siskavich questioned why no one, such as a clerk of the works, independently monitored the work to identify and correct construction issues as the project progressed.

“Why would you not check and inspect the work?” he repeatedly questioned as councilors discussed issues with water quality, the wood-boiler system, insulation and mildew.

He urged the council not to “waste any more taxpayer money” until the work can be inspected.

“It’s about time the taxpayer came first.”

HEATING QUESTIONS

Later in the meeting, Whitford also recommended a part-time clerk of the works, an expense that would not be included in the latest financial numbers.

Councilors and residents also now question whether the boiler system — the building’s primary heat source — is adequate for the entire building, noting there have already been problems with its energy output and an increasing need for propane-heat supplements.

“(If) we can’t afford to heat what we’ve got, we need to look at how to heat it before we finish the building,” Chazy Lake resident Jeff King said.

He asked councilors to review the boiler specifications to determine whether the existing system is, in fact, adequate to heat the 11,800-square-foot building.

Whitford said a heat-loss calculation could be made to determine whether the system is suitable.

’UNFORESEEN ISSUES’

Pivetta said he, too, has been frustrated, but noted the past work and related decisions were made following research and input from those involved and entrusted with the project.

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