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Moreau got $8,000 for $208,000 in Town Hall construction errors

Moreau got $8,000 for $208,000 in Town Hall construction errors

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MOREAU — Crisafulli Bros. has paid a small settlement with the town for expensive errors made while building Town Hall.

The errors cost the town more than $208,000. Crisafulli’s insurance paid $5,000. Absolute Fire Protection, which installed the fire suppression system that broke and caused a $150,000 flood seven months after Town Hall opened, paid $3,000.

Crisafulli Bros. was supposed to oversee Absolute’s work.

While the town mainly sued its contractors because of the flood in 2015, there was also a second flood, which was traced back to the wrong type of spigots used on the exterior of the building.

The town spent more than $170,500 on repairs from the two floods. It also spent $45,000 to plan the repairs to the attic fire suppression system and $36,000 on repairing it.

While $8,000 did not come close to covering the losses, Supervisor Todd Kusnierz said the Town Board was advised to settle after a discussion in executive session on Nov. 12, 2019.

“It would cost more in attorney fees to pursue than we could get back,” he said.

So the board voted unanimously in 2019 to accept the settlement, and it has now been paid.

The construction project did not have a clerk of the works to adjust the design in response to real-world conditions, which has been largely blamed for the problems.

Crisafulli Brothers Vice President Alan Ayers said his company simply followed the plans to the letter.

“In a public works project, we have to follow the design specs to a letter,” he said. “If there is some resulting issues with the system we installed, it’s a design issue.”

His company was supposed to oversee installation of the fire suppression system. In addition, the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system built by Crisafulli Brothers did not heat parts of the building until it was adjusted in 2018 — more than four years after the building was completed.

But an inspection performed by Rolf Jensen & Associates did not find design problems in the fire suppression system.

Instead, it described multiple construction errors. A number of bolts were over-tightened, one of which pinched a gasket that led to the flood. Other bolts were under-tightened, which meant they might not hold the pipes together.

In addition, the wrong type of joint was used throughout the system, the connector that inspectors use to test the system was not installed properly and pipes were not placed at the proper pitch, the inspectors said in a report.

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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