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December 4, 2012

Essex fast tracks firehouse roof repairs

ESSEX — The town’s selectmen have placed the Fire Department roof repairs, approved at a special Town Meeting last month, on the fast track.

In November, voters approved by acclamation a plan to allocate $15,000 from the town’s free cash account to carry out repairs on the station’s roof.

The bid to replace and repair the roof has been open since Nov. 28, with a deadline of 10 a.m. on Dec. 12, officials said. The bid has been posted on the town website, at Town Hall and in the Massachusetts Central Register.

Brendhan Zubricki, town administrator, said the town had not received any responses to the bid as of Tuesday — though he added that’s neither surprising nor worrisome.

”Normally, we get a majority of response on the last day or the next to the last day,” he said.

Zubricki also made a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen during its Monday night meeting to sign off on a contract on Dec. 13, outside of a regular meeting, in order to expedite the process, and the board accepted his recommendation.

Essex Fire Chief Dan Doucette said Tuesday that the roof has not been holding up well at the station, which was constructed in the 1970s. While the leaky roof does not pose any safety concerns, Doucette did have other issues with it.

“Water could leak into a computer or electronics,” Doucette said, adding that the first signs of leaking came last spring.

According to the scope of work statement, issued on behalf of the town, work is urged to begin as soon as the contract is awarded. In addition, the statement indicates any contractor must provide the town with a 50 percent payment bond and an insurance policy with a $1 million limit that must name the town as additionally insured.

The document also states that each contractor must state, in writing, the work will be completed by Dec. 28.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at

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