EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 25, 2013

Plaistow upgrades town buildings

Town replaces roof, windows, gutters on municipal buildings

By Alex Lippa

---- — PLAISTOW — A leaky roof, rotten gutters and inefficient windows. That may sound like a typical spring to-do list and it is — for the town.

The town will be spending more than $100,000 for a new roof on the public safety complex, new windows at the courthouse and replacement gutters at Town Hall.

“It’s going to be a busy spring for sure,” Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said. “We’re happy that we’re able to get this done.”

First on the list is the new roof. At Town Meeting last month, taxpayers voted to spend $80,000 from an unexpended fund balance to pay for the roof. Work should be completed by the end of the week.

“We’re very pleased that we will be getting this,” fire Capt. Scott Vezina said. “There were several leaks and the drainage wasn’t working,”

The public safety complex, which house the police, fire and emergency management departments, was built in 1985. The roof finally needed replacing.

Next month, more work will be done across the street. Contractors will replace 17 windows in the building, which houses 10th Circuit Court.

“This helps with energy efficiency,” Selectman Daniel Poliquin said. “We rent the building to the state, so we hope to make them as happy as possible.”

The town agreed to spend $10,000 for the work at Town Meeting, but officials accepted a bid for $8,600. Fitzgerald said he planned to notify the successful bidder yesterday. The work will be done between May 21 and May 27.

Just this week, the town renewed the courthouse lease with the state for two more years. The town will receive $43,400 per year under the new agreement.

“We want to make sure that we continue to make appropriate investments in our facilities, and make it a safe place for judicial proceedings,” Fitzgerald said.

He said the new windows will complement the new air conditioning system, installed last year.

Finally, the gutters at Town Hall will be replaced. Voters OK’d spending $14,000 for that project. Fitzgerald said the town is just in the bidding process for the job, and hopes to get the work done within a couple of months.

Poliquin said a challenge is replicating the classic look of the old gutters.

“We want to put back the same type of gutters that were there before which keeps the historical ambience of the building,” he said.

Poliquin said after this work is done, there are minimal upgrades planned for municipal buildings in the near future. He said selectmen hope to get a new generator for the library, but hope to fund that through a grant.

Eventually, the town would like to upgrade the highway garage facility, as well as build a new police station, but those proposals have faced opposition from voters at Town Meeting.

“Those are also immediate needs,” Poliquin said. “But, we like to get the opinion from the taxpayers, especially on capital expenditures.”