Town Hall work coming to an end

Months after pieces of Bethlehem Town Hall crumbled onto cars parked below, town officials said the work to repair the building is nearly complete.

In March, a portion of the parapet wall at the town’s headquarters crashed down onto several parked cars. No one was injured, but the town was forced to come up with a patchwork plan to keep more damage from being done.

The most visible repairs were related to the crumbling parapet walls, and the clear damage that was done when pieces of the exterior broke away from the building. However, crews conducted a “rigorous analysis,” according to Supervisor Sam Messina, to determine what else had to be done.

The town initially approved $475,000 worth of work for the building, including the emergency repairs and additional work. However, Messina said the final total for repairs came in at $345,000. The initial bid for the work at Town Hall was $318,000, but when crews began their work on top of the building, the price tag went up.

“When they went up there and did their due diligence and research, there was some additional components that we had to do, so that’s how we got to $345,000,” Messina said.

In addition, the town spent $61,000 on emergency repairs before approving the work that was completed this month, according to Messina.

Along with the needed work to the parapet walls, Messina said they were able to fix some lingering problems related to the building’s infrastructure.

“The entire roof over the clerk and police department was done,” said Messina. “We had substantial leakage into both our courtroom facility and our police department.”

It’s an investment that led to many questions about why the town was not proactive in making repairs to the building on Delaware Avenue. The emergency repairs were brought up numerous times during the town’s preparation of a budget for 2012, with officials warning about the high costs of emergency repairs compared to maintenance work that could be conducted when the proper preparations are made.

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