By Brian Messenger email@example.com
---- — METHUEN — A visit to the mayor’s office in recent weeks has come at a price — a workout.
With the elevator at City Hall out of commission for repairs since Oct. 15, residents and Methuen employees have been forced to hike up and down the Searles building’s many staircases.
Getting to Zanni’s third-floor office now takes a little more effort without mechanical assistance.
“I tell you, my knee is getting back in shape,” said Zanni, who spent some time on crutches earlier this year after a gardening accident. “A lot of people are climbing up and down these stairs.”
Methuen Public Works Director Raymond DiFiore said $37,464 in extensive elevator repairs and upgrades were completed last week. But the elevator can’t return to service until it passes a state inspection scheduled for election day on Tuesday at 7 a.m.
DiFiore said he expects the elevator will pass inspection. Initially, he said it wasn’t expected back in service until mid-November.
“This is almost a brand new elevator,” said DiFiore. “We finished it way ahead of schedule.”
DiFiore said the elevator simply needed upgrades and was never a safety hazard.
Without an elevator, recent City Council and School Committee meetings have been relocated from City Hall’s Great Hall to the Timony Grammar School. The last such meeting at Timony is scheduled with the School Committee Monday night, Zanni said.
DiFiore joked that City Hall has been more like a health club since the elevator went out of service.
“It’s good for you,” said DiFiore. “It keeps you in shape.”