HAMPSTEAD – Last year a leak in Town Hall became an issue again. Repairs had been made to the roof and cupola over the past decade but nothing has worked to stop the leak. As a result, Selectwoman Priscilla Lindquist suggested that Joe McSwain and his Mid-Maine Restoration, Inc. (MMR) be asked to provide a bid for repairs to stop the leak.
MMR and McSwain presented the Board of Selectmen with a bid for four steps to deal with the cupola, which is the cause of the leak. The board accepted the first three steps last year and they were completed; this week MMR is working on the cupola to finish the project.
When the issue was raised last year, Lindquist said she favored awarding the contract proposed by McSwain because the leak is causing damage and previous efforts to correct the situation have failed. At the time, Chairman Sean Murphy expressed doubts about awarding the contract to MMR because the board didn’t go out to bid and the proposed cost of the four-step project would be $15,430.
Lindquist countered by saying the job had been bid out and work done on several previous occasions, all with no success. MMR is in the restoration business and has worked in town on several similar issues, and has a known success rate, she said.
Selectman Rick Hartung said the job should be awarded to MMR because of the town’s past experience with the company but suggested doing only the first three steps outlined in the MMR proposal in 2013, with the fourth and final step in 2014.
After a lengthy debate, the issue came to a vote, with Lindquist and Hartung voting to award the contract to MMR with the stipulation that the first three steps amounting to $11,600 be done in 2013 and the final step take place in 2014. MMR agreed to the stipulation.
In 2013 MMR cleaned the pigeon guano out of the cupola, at a cost of $1,520. It then applied an EPDM membrane to the roofing area at a cost of $5,230. EPDM – the acronym for ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing material – is described as a rubber roofing membrane system. The third step involved reflashing the cupola base to the main roof at a cost of $3,820. That meant the total cost for the work done last year came to $10,570.
MMR is back at work now to complete the project and complete the fourth step – preparing, repairing as needed, caulking and painting the cupola at a cost of $4,860.
MMR suggested the weathervane should be taken care of as well, and suggested a few options. One option was to paint the weathervane with high-quality gold paint. Another was to gild the weathervane with 23 karat Italian gold over German sizing. McSwain said gold leaf lasts longer and looks better than gold paint but is more expensive.
As the Town Hall is in the Historic District, the Historic District Heritage Committee made the decision to go with the more expensive gold leaf.
MMR will also clean, scrape, prime and repaint the secondary portions of the weathervane. This decision added $1,360 to the project’s cost.
The total cost of steps one through four without the weathervane’s additional cost came to $15,430, the original proposed contract amount, but when the weathervane work is added, it increased the total cost to $16,790.