Wednesday’s sudden rainstorm created a downpour in the town clerk’s office at town hall due to a breach in the building’s roof. Facilities director Chris Burney said water was “pouring into the vault” through a hole in the ceiling due to a seam in the roof that “was wide open.” First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said the situation is “urgent.” The rain coming in can be seen in the video that was taken by Vanderslice.
Town officials had previously been notified the roof needs to be replaced but this was a new development.
Burney and Vanderslice made their comments at a special meeting of the Police HQ/Town Campus Building Committee on Aug. 2 at town hall also attended by committee co-chairs Patti Temple and David Waters.
According to Burney, the section of the roof in question is about 1,000 square feet and he said it can be replaced without affecting other areas. He expects the cost would be about $30,000 to $50,000 and will get specifications and then put out a request for bids.
“We put a temporary patch on it today,” he said, “but it can’t stay because of the age of the existing roof. The rubber patch will not last through the winter. … My guess is we’ll be doing it in September.”
Vanderslice asked Temple and Waters to call the special meeting because she wants to bring the matter to the attention of the Board of Selectmen at its meeting Monday, Aug. 6. She would like the board to agree to give her authority to execute a contract “in case we can get it done earlier than later, because if we get another rainstorm we’ve got the same issue.” Normally, the building committee, which does not meet again until Aug. 21, would present a contract to the selectmen, but Vanderslice wants to put this matter on a fast track.
“The cost of what’s in that room being destroyed or duplicated is huge,” Vanderslice said of the vault, which holds the town’s vital records such as land records, birth and death records, and more. Although the records could be scanned electronically, original paper copies must be maintained by state statute. In addition, she said, they must be in town hall or stored somewhere easily accessible.