Northampton DPW to fix hole in floor of run-down barn
CAROL LOLLIS Richard Parasiliti, the highway superintendent at the Northampton DPW stands in the bay that used to house the plow trucks and other large equiptment but because of a hole in the floor they now need to be stored outside. Hole is in background and is about 4 1/2 feet deep. Purchase photo reprints »
NORTHAMPTON — The Department of Public Works received $50,000 from the City Council last week to repair a 4-foot hole in the floor of a run-down maintenance barn that houses sanders and plow trucks.
The barn’s concrete floor is hollow underneath and part of it collapsed last January when the wheel of a DPW truck poked a hole in an area that is not reinforced.
DPW Director Ned Huntley said his crews will work weekends this fall to repair the hole and fill the voids under the floor with concrete.
He said it’s important to finish the project as soon as possible so that the city doesn’t risk damaging expensive equipment by leaving it outside like it had to do last winter.
Having DPW crews make the repairs instead of putting the project out the bid will save about a year in getting the work done. “It’s a little bit unusual, but it’s enough of the type of work we do that we can do it efficiently,” Huntley said.
The council last week agreed to transfer $50,000 from a $150,000 appropriation it made in 2008 to acquire state Department of Transportation land next to its headquarters on Locust Street.
The land includes a salt shed that the city would have replaced with a new one, but Mayor David J. Narkewicz has nixed the deal because of potential liability to the city. In addition to the salt shed, the property at one time housed a landfill.
Instead, part of the money already appropriated will go toward repairing the run-down maintenance barn.
The council also transferred $23,800 for land survey and legal services associated with accepting public ways.
Huntley said additional work at the maintenance barn is needed, particularly for hollow areas under the barn’s mechanic bay. There is so much mold under that section of the building that an outside expert is needed to help address the problem, in a project Huntley estimates will cost $120,000.
Meantime, construction of a new DPW complex on Locust Street will be the focus of an expanded special building committee Narkewicz is forming.
The City Council in 2010 appropriated $800,000 for the design of the new DPW complex, which would include a new city maintenance garage, fuel depot and administration building.
The mayor put the estimated $25 million project on hold earlier this year, saying the city can’t take on such a financial burden.