Selectmen Approve Net Across Rafters of Multipurpose Room

CHESTER – To guard against breakage of the screws that are holding on the new roof of the multipurpose room (MPR), the board of selectmen has authorized the installation of a net across the rafters.
The decision is predicated on concerns from the recreation department about balls popping on the protruding nails and the discovery of one broken nail on the gym’s floor. Voters approved the installation of a new roof at Town Meeting and selectmen went with a different type of roof construction that did not require ballast, but did require hundreds of screws to hold the roof down. The ends of those screws can be seen from the gym floor, and meetings between them and sports balls have not ended well for the balls.

At a previous meeting, as reported by the Tri Town Times, the idea of a net was floated by maintenance liaison selectman Rich LeBlanc, but generally the board said that while that solution would prevent balls from popping, the more serious concern about screws falling to the floor would not be solved.
Selectman chair Steph Landau and vice chair Jack Cannon said a more solid type of ceiling would be a better alternative.
At their Thursday, Nov. 3 meeting, LeBlanc presented a letter from the company that installed the roofing. It sidestepped any responsibility or explanation for the screws breaking and included a quote from a netting company.
The letter from Skyline Roofing explains that the screws or fasteners in question cannot be cut as they are integral to the roofing system. It states that while in theory a screw could break from a ball striking it, they had not heard of such an occurrence.
LeBlanc presented a quote for the installation of a net and went into great detail about what the net was made of and how it would be installed. Cost for the net was $1,712 plus freight of $157.
“I don’t think you could put up a roof for cheaper than that,” said LeBlanc.
Landau said the project needed to be done, as not only could the roof damage the sports equipment but if the fasteners break, the roof could also be damaged.
Selectman Joe Hagan questioned whether the netting would catch a screw.
LeBlanc said it would not but added that the screws are not supposed to be breaking.
The board approved $1,900 for the project.
In other business:
• LeBlanc and maintenance man Tony Amato think they have the solution to repeated high bacteria counts in the water coming from the well at the community center at Wason Pond.
During the summer the well on site has, for years, routinely ran afoul of monthly water testing. Lately Amato has taken on the work of testing the well and bleaching it, and according to LeBlanc, the work is time consuming.
In an effort to address the difficulties, the two had Skillings and Sons Inc., the firm that drilled the well in 2009, visit the site. According to LeBlanc, the company dropped a camera down the well and found that where the steel well casing meets stone, water is seeping in. This could be where the bacteria is coming from.
Skillings suggested installing a sleeve to seal that gap.
The estimated cost for the project is about $2,600, but LeBlanc and Amato figured that with all the time spent there during the summer on water testing and well treating, that cost could be paid back in three years.
The board members present, Steph Landau and Joe Hagan, were in favor of letting Skillings install the potential fix.
LeBlanc explained that once the sleeve was installed and no bad tests were found for three months, they would come back and further seal it.
The board unanimously approved $2,700 for the project.
• The board awarded a contract for winter snow removal work at the transfer station to Ted Scott. He was the low bid of three, and came in at $5,400 for the job. The bids for the work recognized that much of the cleanup work to be done this year will be handled by a new skid steer tractor that voters approved for the transfer station at last Town Meeting.

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