EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 12, 2013

Mayor: $350K needed to fix police station

Fiorentini considering filing lawsuit against roofing contractor, architect

HAVERHILL — Mayor James Fiorentini said the police station roof has deteriorated significantly since the building opened just six years ago and that he is considering filing a lawsuit against the contractor or the project architect.

"I'm infuriated we are talking about replacing the roof after just six years," Fiorentini said, adding there are also problems with the building's heating system.

The mayor said he plans to ask City Council for approval to spend up to $350,000 for a new roof next summer. The money would be in next year's budget and the work done in August, he said.

Fiorentini said the statute of limitations for filing suit against the contractor or architect may have expired, but that he's going to explore "legal remedies" anyway.

Police Chief Alan DeNaro said the building's roof and window sills constantly leak. He said estimates for a new roof are in the $250,000 to $350,000 range.

The police station isn't the only recently-completed project the city is on the hook for major repairs either.

The status of the police station roof came up at Tuesday's council meeting when the council discussed and passed the mayor's $780,000 capital spending and building maintenance plan. The money includes $35,000 to fix unsafe curbing and cement decking at the entrance to the high school. That work, which is also only a few years old, was part of high school renovation project.

School Superintendent James Scully told The Eagle-Tribune he identified the problem with the curbing shortly after he was hired as superintendent three years ago. He said he brought it to the attention verbally and in writing to the High School Building Committee and the project manager, but that he does not know what happened after that.

"I felt it should have been fixed at that time by the contractor because people were falling and getting hurt," Scully said.

At Tuesday's meeting, Fiorentini told councilors he would report back to them after he finds out who was responsible for the problem and whether the city has any legal recourse to recoup repair costs.

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