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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has approved spending up to $25,000 to remove the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system (HVAC) from the Department of Public Works Building in preparation for fixing the ceiling.
The village did not receive any responses to the request for bids to fix the DPW ceiling, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s June 10 meeting.
Rand Bates, director of public works, reported he had received several estimates earlier for fixing the ceiling, but the estimates did not include all of the components in the request for bids.
Bates wondered how the village board wanted to proceed.
“We did not get a bid because everybody is busy for the year,” he said.
A portion of the ceiling at the DPW building collapsed in March. Quick thinking by Bates kept the ceiling from collapsing onto the floor when he used the village’s end loader to prop up the ceiling.
The end loader is still propping up the ceiling.
According to a report by Larry Gotham, an engineer with Morgan & Parmley, Ltd., who was hired by the Municipal Property Insurance Company, “In conclusion, the ceiling collapse occurred as a result of the failed furring strip to truss connections. The allowable load capacity of the nails was exceeded which caused the nails to pull out of the bottom chord of the truss.”
The Village of Colfax purchased the DPW building from Cedar Country Cooperative for $270,000 more than 10 years ago.
In the October 31, 2007, Colfax Messenger, it was reported the village board had accepted the low bid of $276,996 from J. Thiesen Construction out of Eau Claire to remodel the former warehouse into a building that could be used by the Department of Public Works.
The ceiling panels were fastened with only half as many nails as they should have been.
The village’s insurance policy will not cover the cost of repairs because of an “errors and omissions” clause.
Village Trustee Anne Jensen said she was still of the opinion the entire ceiling should be replaced instead of only the section that collapsed.
“I have no idea if — or who — will do it now. I wanted to get going on it right away,” Bates said.
Village Trustee Chad Berge wondered if there were any temporary measures that could be used to secure the ceiling.
Bates said the end loader is the temporary measure.
Several village board members, along with Bates, urged Berge to stop by the DPW building to see the ceiling for himself.
The June 10 meeting was Berge’s second meeting since being appointed to the village board.
The village’s attorney said an engineer would have had to say there was a problem with the ceiling, Niggemann said.
No one seems able to find a set of state-approved building plans, including the engineering/architectural firm that designed the remodel of the building, Bates said.
“I wish we hadn’t gone through all of this and had gotten it fixed right away,” Bates said.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously authorized spending up to $25,000 to take the HVAC system down in preparation for fixing the ceiling.
Bates said he would call the contractors who had given him estimates to see if they were willing or able to work on the repair.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a domesticated chicken license for Pamela Moen at 705 University Avenue.
• Approved a list of 48 bartender operator’s licenses. The majority of those on the list had licenses previously, although new names on the list included Chantell Phillips, Brooklyn Dresel, Roger Knutson and Hailey Prince.
• Approved alcohol licenses for Mike and Mark Nelson/Outhouse Bar; J&S Sales/Express Mart, Rondi DeMoe, agent; Kyle’s Market; Synergy Cooperative, Charles Brown, agent; The Blind Tiger, Nicholas Anderson, agent.
• Approve tobacco retailer licenses for Express Mart, Kyle’s Market, Outhouse Bar, Synergy Cooperative, Dollar General and The Blind Tiger.