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Braintree councilors to review additional Community Preservation request for former Union School building

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  May 7, 2012 02:15 PM

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A few weeks after Braintree Town Councilors put up a fight about appropriating additional Community Preservation money toward a historical project, they will be asked to do the same at yet another property.

The project at the former Union School on Washington Street, currently occupied by the American Legion, was initially appropriated $27,000 from Community Preservation money in 2011 for the restoration of the roof.

Yet when work began, and the asphalt shingles were removed, the contractor discovered extensive rot of the plywood beneath the roof.

As a result, the project will cost $500 more than previously appropriated.

The work was finished in January, but the contractor has yet to be paid for the additional labor.

“I explained to [the contractor] we only had $27,000 to do the roof, but for the $500 we had to go back before the council, so he’s waiting to be paid for that,” said Christine Stickney, Director of Planning and Community Development for the town.

According to Stickney, the work was unavoidable.

“The wood was all rotted. He had nothing to nail the new roof to,” she said. “It wasn’t the entire roof, just sections of it.”

The American Legion post is used for community uses and the grounds are used to host different events throughout the year, Stickney said.

The request comes close on the heels of another added-on appropriation. All Souls Church requested an additional $4,410 on top of a previously allocated $82,500 to put snow guards on its roof restoration project.

Although approved, the appropriation didn’t come easily, with councilors on the Ways and Means Committee having continued the discussions on the subject from April 24, and then debating the issue for 45 minutes on May 1.

Councilors were mainly concerned that the church would continue to come back to the town for small increments of money for maintenance, and were concerned about the historical deed restriction signed with the group.

However unlike All Souls Church, the town owns the Union School building, and so the issue of supporting its renovation needs may not prove as controversial.

Stickney hopes the appropriation sails through with a yes vote, and said the councilor’s main concerns regarding All Souls Church was more a means of having the right documentation that objecting to Community Preservation projects.

“I think it’s just a matter of understanding what the Ways and Means Committee would like to have for information,” Stickney said.

Councilors will discuss the appropriation at the next Ways and Means Committee meeting and will make or reject the additional appropriation during the full council meeting on May 15.

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