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New Penfield panel launches effort to repair pavilion

Published 12:15 pm, Thursday, December 12, 2013

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  • James Bradley, right, was elected chairman of the Penfield Building Committee Thursday morning. With him is fellow committee memberKenneth Jones. Photo: Genevieve Reilly / Fairfield Citizen
    James Bradley, right, was elected chairman of the Penfield Building Committee Thursday morning. With him is fellow committee memberKenneth Jones. Photo: Genevieve Reilly

 

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The chairman of the new Penfield Building Committee wants to "hit the ground running" when the group begins regular meetings in January.

James Bradley, who has served on several town building committees, was elected chairman of the nine-member Penfield panel at an organizational meeting Thursday morning. "I would ask, in the interim, that our committee members avail themselves of all the data," Bradley said.

The committee is charged with determining how to repair the Superstorm Sandy-damaged Penfield Pavilion, which has been closed since it was undermined by the storm's surge in October 2012. The panel will meet at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, beginning Jan. 9. The committee members are also scheduled to take a tour of the waterfront pavilion at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 20.

Among the options the committee will consider are repairing the pavilion; repairing and elevating the structure, or repairing, elevating and moving Penfield farther back from the water and toward the street.

"One question I always get is, `What's going on with Penfield?' " Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo said. "We want to get everyone up to speed" with information on the reconstruction project that was completed only a year before the storm, as well as what went wrong during the storm and what work has been done so far. "We have quite a bit of work to do, and a lot of information to get out to you."

Michelangelo and other town department heads were on hand Thursday to meet committee members, who were also informed of their responsibilities regarding the building committee process and the Freedom of Information Act.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau said $1 million was bonded for repairs to the pavilion last January, prior to learning the extent of the damage. "That initial project funding probably isn't going to be enough," he said. "We're also in the process of discussions, or negotiations if you will, with the insurance company and we can bring you up to speed as we go along."

The insurance coverage has a $500,000 deductible and town officials hope get its share of the deductible reduced with reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Of the $1 million that has been bonded, Tetreau said about $143,000 has been spent on hiring engineers.

Robert Bellitto Jr., a former Board of Finance member, was elected vice chairman of the committee and William Sapone was elected secretary.

greilly@ctpost.com; 203-556-2771; http://twitter.com/GreillyPost