Repair work ongoing at town hall

Town Facilities Director Chris Burney has begun a multi-step process making emergency repairs at town hall.

Burney told the Board of Selectmen April 2 that the repair, demolition and cleaning work began March 29 and continued through the weekend. Office furniture was moved out, into trailers parked outside, and some staff members, such as those from the Finance Department, moved to Comstock Community Center.

Demolition dumpsters were also placed outside the building. First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice’s office, as well as other offices in the suite adjoining hers, were included in the repairs. She had to vacate her office for a couple of days.

The problem was multi-pronged, and included sickening odors from rodents, which were living above the ceiling tiles and in the insulation, and disconnected heating and ventilation ducts, among other issues.

“It must have been a mouse on steroids,” Finance Director Anne Kelly-Lenz said of the rodent odor problem.

Burney confirmed that there were many rodent droppings above the ceiling in different areas of the building.

The work included removing insulation and ceiling tiles, cleaning the affected areas, and cleaning the carpets below. By Monday, the odors were gone and the repaired areas were fresh.

As of Tuesday morning, there was no full estimate of the costs involved, according to Vanderslice.

Funding is from savings in other areas, she said.

Burney expects to continue the work throughout the building, but not all at once.

Vanderslice praised Burney for marshaling the repair crews so quickly.

“If I went to war, I would want Chris Burney to be my general,” she said of the facilities director.