NEWFANE—During the April 20 regular Selectboard meeting, the condition of the Newfane town office’s roof made itself readily apparent when rainwater started dripping on Selectboard member Michael Fitzpatrick’s head.
“Mike’s getting dripped on. It’s an emergency situation,” said Selectboard Chair Todd Lawley.
Selectboard member Rosalind Fritz noted the slates from the roof have been falling down, and “there’s quite a collection of them.”
Selectboard Administrative Assistant Shannon Meckle said she will contact roofer Asa Goodband for his expertise.
Meanwhile, the town continues to face issues plaguing the entire building.
At the April 20 meeting, Gunther Garbe of the Town Hall Committee recommended the Selectboard form a task force to “come up with a comprehensive plan of what this building needs” to repair its exterior.
Garbe said he received estimates between $16,000 and $80,000, depending on whether the work includes “lead abatement, removing clapboards,” and other tasks.
On March 23, the Selectboard held an emergency meeting to “observe the reported mold problem in the Town Office,” according to the meeting minutes.
The Selectboard voted to remove the building’s carpet, but “it became obvious there were other issues detrimental to the work environment” elsewhere inside the town offices, said Selectboard Vice-Chair Carol Hatcher.
Many of those issues were noted in a survey that Meckle created and distributed to Newfane Town Office staff.
“We, as a team, let’s just do the simple things first,” suggested Fritz, mentioning dusting, lock repair, and checking the air ducts as priorities.
The Selectboard made and passed a motion “to hire a company to come in and do air-quality testing inside the town offices,” and Meckle will follow up with companies providing this service.
“There’s a lot that needs to be done to make this a safe, clean, and healthy environment for our employees,” said Hatcher. “They all do great work,” she said, “and we should take care of them.”