SOUTHOLD, NY — Renovations are underway for the east side of Southold Town Hall, which was damaged after a frozen fire suppression system and a burst pipe sparked a flood in the buildingduring recent icy temps.
According to Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell, "We expect to be able to reoccupy that portion of the building within 2 weeks."
Although the town doesn't yet have final numbers, Russell said the expectation is that the cost will exceed $150,000 — all but $10,000 of which will be covered through insurance.
After the flood Russell said, of the damage, "The clean-up will be a large task." He reported damage behind office walls, as well as the need to remove trim and portions of walls. The rugs, ceiling, and insulation all needed to be removed.
In addition, Russell said, work was being done to identify areas where there was a need to replace pipes. File cabinets were relocated to the conference room after the flood, too, he said. "We are also doing an inventory of all documents and, so far, we haven't found damage to official documents," Russell said, immediately after the flood. "Primarily, damage was restricted to documents that are easily replaceable. The ultimate cost is not limited to building damage but equipment damage."
Belfor Property Restoration was hired to do the cleanup, Russell said.
Southold Information Technology Director Lloyd Reisenberg surveyed all of the IT computer equipment.
Southold Town Hall was closed for one day due to the frozen fire suppression system that caused the flooding, Russell said.
"We had about 2 inches of water on the floor and since it came from the fire suppression system located over the ceiling, we had damage in the ceiling, with tiles becoming waterlogged and falling," he said.
At Tuesday's Southold town board work session, Reisenberg said the town lost about $5,000 worth of equipment, not including the copier. The color printer, he said, also needs to be replaced.
"The big nut is the copier — it took a direct hit, with more water than the bay," he said, adding that the cost to replace the copier is between $10,000 and $11,000.
Once the town receives the new copier, the bills can be submitted to the insurance company, he added; the company also agreed to send a check for the copy machine so town funds did not have to be utilized for the purchase.
Reisenberg said the color printer was needed sooner than later; the cost was approximately $2,100, he said.
Jeff Standish, director of public works, also showed the board a diagram of where the water damage was located in the building, and where sheet rock and ceilings were being replaced and insulation and electric work was done.
He added that the goal was to find a solution so the pipe would not burst again, perhaps by moving the pipe further away from the elements in the attic, where it was currently located, with no insulation.
Standish said a dry system was pricey and for now, the plan was to move the pipe closer to a heat source; he added that since it's an older system, unless there was a decision to change it completely, the best option would be to keep it as is, even though there were challenges to keeping the pipe nearer to a heat source.
Councilman Jim Dinizio said every system, whether or not it uses an antifreeze such as glycol, needs maintenance.
Standish assured the piping is inspected twice yearly. In the instance of the recent flood, he said the pipe had broken in a thin area. "Things fail, unfortunately," he said.
Russell said there was a balancing act because although the pipe needs to be nearer to a heat source, it also has to be in the ceiling since it's a fire suppression system.
Standish said the pipe would hopefully be lowered a bit.
Patch photo by Lisa Finn.