Adams taps reserves for police station roof repairs, legal costs

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ADAMS — Add the police station roof to the town's growing list of infrastructure woes.

The Board of Selectmen on Wednesday approved a transfer of $3,000 from reserves to pay for temporary repairs to the station's leaking roof — a short-term fix to a roof that was supposed to last longer.

The building, renovated in the late 1990s, has sprouted leaks throughout the main building roof and specifically near the skylights in the newer, front of the building, according to Police Chief Richard Tarsa.

"All four skylights are leaking," he said.

Having had two knowledgable contractors inspect the building, Tarsa believes improper installation of the roof to be the root of the problem.

"It is a very good roofing material if it is properly installed, but what we have discovered recently is that the seams were not really put down the correct way," Tarsa said.

Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco warned the board, which unanimously approved the transfer of funds, that the leaks would result in facility damage if not properly addressed. The current shoestring budget used by the police department couldn't absorb the $3,000 in repairs, Mazzucco said.

"It's the best we can do right now and we'll see how it works," Mazzucco said.

Town Hall also needs a new roof, Mazzucco said, and the town is facing millions more in road and other repairs. Mazzucco estimated that to complete a capital improvement plan would require an investment of millions every year — money the town doesn't have.

"Our facility needs are enormous; our road needs and our sewer needs are completely unaddressed," Mazzucco said. "It's going to be a struggle next year, like most years, just to keep cruisers and plow trucks on the road."

The board also approved several other reserve fund transfer requests: an additional $15,000 for the town administrator's legal services and $2,000 for the town administrator's executive assistant overtime.

The legal services account was budgeted for $15,000 in the previous fiscal year, but required a $35,000 midyear transfer to stay afloat. This year, the town budgeted $11,000 and required a $15,000 midyear transfer from reserves.

Still, Mazzucco expects to spend $26,000 on legal services in the current fiscal 2016, a significant savings from the $50,000 spent in fiscal 2015.

Halfway through the fiscal year, the town has spent $42,000 of its reserve fund, leaving a balance of $133,000.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.


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