A special meeting of the Board of Township Trustees, Newbury Township was called to order at 7:02 p.m., November 30, 2011, with all members present. Purpose of this meeting was to discuss issues relating to repairs needed to the fire station roof. Mr. Snively read a statement outlining the history of the relationship between the members of the Newbury Volunteer Fire Department and the Board of Township Trustees, noting the close and cordial relationship between the two bodies, and noting the very dedicated and cost-effective service that has been provided by the Fire Department over the years. The goal of tonight’s meeting is to define the size and scope of the problem, timeframe to address the problem and means to pay for addressing the issues relating to the fire station roof and leakage issues which have been identified as primarily due to hail storm damage sustained to the fire department roof earlier this year.
The fire department provided three bids for roof repairs including installation of a truss roof structure over the existing flat roof. The John G. Johnson Company submitted a bid of $193,891; Hummel Construction submitted a bid of $190,000, and Snavely Construction submitted a bid of $254,700. It was noted that the Snavely bid included costs to install a temporary membrane covering over the existing flat roof to protect it during the upcoming winter, which would allow for construction of a new truss roof next spring. It was also acknowledged that these costs do not include insulation, which will ultimately be needed. The trustees noted that all of these quotes were well in excess of the original $150,000 estimate, due to details involved in the actual construction not considered in the original estimate. It was recognized by the trustees and fire department representatives that the overall project total will probably approach $250,000 when the costs of insulation and architectural services are factored into the total costs of construction.
Ms. Blair said that $33,400 is available from the insurance company as a cost to replace the current flat roof, which can be used toward either replacement of the existing flat roof or toward a new truss roof. Further insurance proceeds will become available to deal with interior damage when the specific extent of this damage is known. A general discussion was held regarding the pros and cons of replacing the existing flat roof with a new flat roof or replacing the flat roof with a new truss roof, and various options to finance the project were discussed as well. The fire department representatives present expressed confidence that they could provide the majority of the money needed to proceed with construction of a new truss roof; Mr. Lair indicated that the township currently showed $57,899 as available in the Fire-Other account, if the fire department had no current project depending on use of those funds.
The trustees brought up the issue of the fire department initiating insurance billing for ambulance runs, stating that revenues from this process would offset real costs currently being incurred for this service, freeing up fire department resources to help cover other operational costs, plus ongoing needs to maintain the building and equipment. Various members of the fire department expressed reservations about insurance billing, stating their opinion that residents might not be as supportive of the fire department for future fire levies if insurance billing was initiated. It was noted however, that almost all other fire departments in the county do follow an insurance billing program to help support the financial needs of their departments.
Chief Zimperman asked the Trustees for their opinion regarding the roof alternatives presented, and each trustee expressed their strong support for going ahead with the truss roof design. Mr. Snively agreed to review various financing options for legality with APA Susan Wieland , and Mr. Lair said he will speak to Middlefield Bank about the possibility of securing a line of credit for possible use should costs escalate. Ms. Blair said that she would work with Karen Endres to prepare the required zoning permits so that building permits could be obtained. This meeting was adjourned at 8:16 p.m., upon a motion by Mr. Skomrock, a second by Ms. Blair, and a unanimous affirmative vote.
Wed, December 14, 2011
by Ann Wishart