EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

July 2, 2014

Letter: City needs to plan for building maintenance

To the editor:

So Haverhill’s Mayor Jim Fiorentini has decided to replace the roof of the police station using money that fell from the sky. The building is only 15 years old and the roof has been leaking “for years.”

I have a huge problem with this. A roof should last more than 15 years. It definitely should last more than 10 years. It would be interesting to see the plans and specifications for the police station and see how long the roof was designed to last. I’m willing to be that there is a major discrepancy in the expected life and the actual life. Wasn’t the work guaranteed as part of the contract? If not, then why wasn’t it?

Now, let’s look at Golden Hill Elementary School. The mayor assures us that there is a maintenance plan for the city owned buildings. Golden Hill opened in 1995. The school is now 19 years old and has seen a lot of use. Has the interior been maintained? Has any painting been done? What is the life expectancy of that roof? Heating system? Flooring? How about the parking lot? How long before that needs to be redone? So with the building approaching the 20 year mark, how much money has been set aside at this point to cover the cost of keeping it in good condition? I haven’t been in the building lately but I’m pretty sure it’s showing some wear. It will not be long before that building needs some serious work done on it. Has any money at all been set aside for this? Or does the mayor believe that a few hundred thousand dollars will fall from the sky for that?

For that matter, what is the status of all of our buildings? Is there a report that states the condition of each building, what maintenance is needed now or will be needed in the near future, and what that maintenance is expected to cost?

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