More than 30 residents have expressed interest in serving on a committee that would recommend what to do to reopen the storm-damaged Penfield Pavilion and then take on the task of overseeing the reconstruction.
But reopening the popular waterfront pavilion, which has been closed since it suffered extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy last October, is more complex than originally thought, Tetreau said. "We're looking at what needs to be done to the foundation and how much needs to be restored and repaired. As the foundation sank and was scoured out, the building collapsed a bit and twisted, adding to the complexity of repairs," he said.
Tetreau said his administration's conversations with the town's insurance company over how much money the town will receive to repair the pavilion are ongoing. The town has a $500,000 deductible on the pavilion, but that doesn't mean the insurance company will write a blank check for an amount over that, Tetreau said. "The insurance company has their approach and their numbers, and we have our approach and our number, and we're trying to reconcile the two," he said. "Based on that, and how that comes out, there could be a few different options."
Tetreau said he'd like to have discussions with the insurance company done in a month, but "can't confirm that will happen."
"They have a number they'd be happy to give us. We're not sure we can do the repairs at that price," he said.
Tetreau said an engineering analysis of the pavilion also is ongoing, and if the estimate to repair the pavilion exceeds 50 percent of its appraised value, the Federal Emergency Management Agency would require that the structure be elevated. If it doesn't exceed 50 percent, the town would have the option to elevate the structure, but that would be "very expensive" and may not be covered by insurance if FEMA doesn't require it, Tetreau said.
Tetreau said determining whether repairs exceed 50 percent of the pavilion's appraised value will drive what the options are to reopen the pavilion. Dante Gallucci, chairman of the town's Parks and Recreation Commission, said last week that the pavilion's appraised value is $5.2 million.
"If it's over 50 percent, our options have shrunk," said Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey.
Selectman Kevin Kiley said the Penfield building committee would be unique in that it would not only oversee the pavilion's reconstruction, but would recommend what should be done to reopen it. Tetreau agreed, saying the committee would review options to reopen the pavilion, make a recommendation on what to do and then oversee the project.
The cost to reopen the pavilion likely will exceed the $1 million to $1.5 million included in this year's budget, which means the selectmen, Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting will have to sign off on the option chosen by the building committee, Tetreau said. He said reopening the pavilion likely will cost a minimum of $2 million, and while the deductible is $500,000, town boards would need to approve spending money over what was included in this year's budget. He said a hazardous mitigation grant might be available to cover 75 percent of costs not covered by insurance.
The selectmen discussed what should be in the building committee's "charge" and plans to review a proposed charge at its next meeting, set for 4:30 p.m. next Wednesday in Sullivan-Independence Hall. "We can try to get something finalized by next week," Tetreau said.
Based on the selectmen's conversation Wednesday, the charge likely would be that the committee review options for reopening the pavilion using available reports and consider the needs of residents, neighborhood opinions, whether the pavilion should be elevated and/or moved farther from the shore, and FEMA regulations and flood zone maps in making its decision.
"This committee is much more than a building committee. That's my understanding of what we're contemplating here," Kiley said.
Vahey said the selectmen "want to keep the process moving, but in a way responsible to this community and the environment."
The selectmen appeared to agree that seven to nine residents should serve on the building committee.