ADAMS, Mass. – The Cemetery Commission will ask engineers to scale down the refurbishing of the Bellevue Cemetery Garage.
The Cemetery Commission met with EDM engineer Jeromy Richardson and architect Tim Widman to go over a report outlining three different options for the 50-year-old Department of Public Work’s garage and the commission agreed to look at a budgeted repair option.
"We have all the backup information and if you give us a dollar amount we can figure out the best strategy with that amount of money," Richardson said.
This project started last year when former Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco asked the Commission to consider using Cemetery funds to possibly install a prefabbed building to replace the two structures at the cemetery.
With the white storage shed at Bellevue on the verge of collapsing, the commission felt it was a good opportunity to possibly build additional storage off the current garage or build completely new.
The commission was working with $100,000 budget but quickly realized this may not be enough after seeing the report that outlined three options: revamping the current garage, revamping and adding onto the garage and a new building. All of these options were well over $100,000.
The commission quickly took the new build option off the table because estimates ran over $500,000, however, the two other options had the commission spending between $137,000 and $450,000.
But the EDM representatives said the building is structurally sound and their report is on the conservative side and can be modified to fit a budget.
"It is not insulated, it needs a new roof and we should replace the windows," Richardson said. "Should we replace the windows? Yes. Do we have to? No. We can still go through the value engineering phase and help you save money."
Richardson added that they can back out utility work, window replacement, and other things that although should be dealt with are not critical to the building’s operations. Widman said even the retaining wall, which they recommend replacing, could be scaled down and a simple regrading may do the trick.
Richardson said there is one crack in the building that will need to be fixed but said it can be repaired for a few thousand dollars.
Chairman Jim Taylor added that even if they update the current structure there will still be a storage issue without the while storage shed. He said they may need to budget in some kind of additional structure even if it is just a prefabricated shed.
Commissioner Fred Hobart still wanted to look at the possibilities of building new.
"No matter what we do to fix the old building it will still be an old building and I think we should build new," he said. "We may have to spend a little more money but in the long run, it would be more feasible."
Richardson said even if they were to pull out the bells and whistles and simply install a prefabricated building, the current cement slab would not hold the new building. He said a new slab would have to be put down and new construction would trigger code updates.
Richardson asked if it was possible to budget in upgrades and add on to the project as money replenishes.
Commissioner Bruce Shepley said the account they are drawing from will not replenish.
"That money has been there a long time and over the years has just been sitting there collecting no interest, so it will not replenish itself," he said. "We have what we have."
He added that optimally they do not want to run down their account completely and said, although he must check with the town accountant, after paying for the report they have about $80,000 to play with.
"If we go above that we have to go to the town and ask for money and there are greater priorities in town than a garage," he said.
Shepley said he would firm up a budget number for EDM to work with and Richardson said he would mark what the town could do on their own to save money in the secondary report.
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