Sunday, September 7, 2014

Whose Job Is It?

Back when it was still the plan to construct a new building for the senior center beside the 1853 church building that has served as the Hudson Youth Center since the 1930s, questions were raised about the structural integrity of the 160-year-old former church. The City hired Crawford & Associates to evaluate the building, and in April 2012, their report, which identified four areas of concern and made recommendations for addressing the problems, was presented to the Common Council.

The Council followed up by hiring Morris Associates to provide an estimate of the cost of the recommended repairs, and $35,000 was written into the 2014 budget to pay for those repairs. The work, which requires constructing scaffolding within the building, was meant to be done in this summer, when Youth Department programming moves up to Oakdale Lake and the Youth Center is closed. It's now September, the Youth Center is due to reopen tomorrow, but the repairs to the building have not been made.

No one seemed to have given much attention to this rather critical project until last Wednesday night at the Common Council Youth & Aging Committee, when Stephanie Monseu, from the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, explained that she has been wanting to expand the circus skills courses she teaches at the Youth Center to include more physically challenging aerial skills and for that she needs rigging, but rigging cannot be installed until the cracked purlins that support the roof rafters have been reinforced and the plaster underneath the tin ceiling has been evaluated and repaired. 

Council president Don Moore reminded the committee that the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, of which he is one of the three members (the others are the mayor and the city treasurer), allocated the money needed for the project and opined that it was not his job to contract the work. According to Moore, "The [Youth] Department needs to come forward and undertake the project." George Bednar, recreation supervisor and interim director of the Youth Department, said that "emails were sent out indicating when I wanted the work to be done," but he didn't say to whom the emails were sent. He added, "This is something Woody [Commissioner of Youth Gerald Wood] has to get on."

Quintin Cross, who was in the audience, asked what the long term effect might be of the work not being done this summer. Moore seemed to think the delay would have no negative effects, but in April 2012, when Dan Proper, of Crawford & Associates, presented the findings of the structural evaluation, he recommended that the corrective action to reinforce the cracked purlins and their connections to the timber trusses be completed before the 2012 winter season began. Two years later, the winter season is approaching again.

No comments:

Post a Comment