Exeter puts facilities in focus with revenue measure

City identifies $53,900 in annual maintenance costs for facilities in the general fund, $170750 in one-time repairs

By Paul Myers

EXETER – Some of Exeter’s most needy facilities came under light two weeks ago when the city council heard the latest from the general fund revenue measure committee.

City manager, Adam Ennis, noted the major repairs for the primary facilities that are partially or fully funded by the city’s general fund. The most serious repairs were identified in the city administration-police department building.

Ennis said that the sun has beat down on the wood paneling the west and south side of the building. As a result the wood has been weakened, but because of moisture that creeps in, rot has also set in. Ennis added that hired contractor, Jim Wood, who helped identify facility conditions, managed to easily knock off some of the paneling by just pressing his foot against it.

Wood also identified in adequate HVAC ducting throughout the building.

“That building has been chopped up, and rooms have shifted for years. You can tell where the ducting has been ripped apart, cut apart and moved from here and there,” Ennis said.

As a result rooms throughout do not get an equal level of air conditioning. Some are freezing while others become hot. Ennis said the front portion of the administration office that faces C Street needed a window unit to supplement the amount air conditioning the room gets.

Wood suggested that the city hire an inspector for termites as a just-in-case measure. City councilman Frankie Alves asked how serious the threat is and noted that the city may have to adjust if it turns out they have to tent the building for extermination. Ennis said that Wood was not confident that there are termites but wanted to be sure before repairs were made. And Ennis said that there are other options to get rid of termites before tenting is necessary.

To repair the wood paneling on the side of the building, Wood suggested the city either paint the side as a protective coat, or stucco the building. But each comes at a different cost.

“It’s about $80,000-90,000 to probably stucco it, or you can pay $25,000 to $30,000 painting it every five years,” Ennis said.

Not as bad as the city administration and police department buildings, but still in bad shape, is the corporation yard for the public works department. Ennis said that Wood identified the overlapping metal and fiberglass sheets that are the roof of one of the buildings. Wood said that the fiberglass lets light into the building and should be replaced. If nothing else than because someone could fall through.

In addition, he found electrical infrastructure in need of replacement and three rolling doors that cannot open because they don’t have the equipment to fix them. The most outstanding repair is to an entire side of a building. Ennis showed in a picture to the council a considerable hole to a metal building. Although, the building is used for storage.

Other buildings like city hall and the fire department all had electrical repairs needed. In city hall the city realized the need to fix massive water damage that forced them to cut out half of damaged drywall. Ennis added that there are not safety switches for the bay doors. And there are broken tiles on the roof.

In all the city determined that they would need approximately $53,900 per year to keep up annual maintenance and $170,750 in onetime repairs. The largest chunk going to the city administration building and police department worth $106,700.

Overall, Ennis said that he was surprised there wasn’t a greater need for repairs.

“Jim and I kind had the same response…we were both surprised there he didn’t find even more stuff. But there are some things there that if we don’t start working on them they are going to get worse and more expensive,” Ennis said.

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