RTM OKs committee to plan Penfield Pavilion repairs
A little more than a year after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on Penfield Pavilion, a building committee has been seated to begin repairing the shorefront building.
The Representative Town Meeting on Monday unanimously approved the committee's nine members, some of whom served on the first Penfield Building Committee, when it was rebuilt several years ago at a cost of more than $5 million. The members' approval, however, came only after the legislative body questioned the committee's charge. However, approval of the charge was not on the agenda and is not required.
"It says that the committee is to review and recommend options," said Eileen Jacob, R-9. "Does the committee have a timeline? Are they bringing forth multiple options?"
First Selectman Michael Tetreau said the town is currently still negotiating the settlement claim on damage to the pavilion with the insurance company, and once that is done, it will give the building committee the information it needs to set up a time line for the project.
The town has a $500,000 deductible on the building, and $1 million was bonded for repairs earlier this year, when it was thought the repairs would be simpler, Tetreau said. Should the insurance company decide the building is more than 50 percent damaged, then different Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations would kick in, affecting the repair options available.
Kathryn Braun, R-8, wanted to know if the committee would be seeking additional funding for the project, and Tetreau assured her that it almost certainly would.
Braun also said she thinks that flood mitigation should be "front and center" in the committee's charge, whatever design is chosen.
"Flood mitigation is an ongoing discussion," Tetreau said. He said while the committee is to take that into consideration, it is not the group's responsibility to devise flooding controls for the entire beach area. "There's a larger flood mitigation plan that's being formed for the beach area," he said, "but the purpose of this committee is to focus on Penfield Pavilion and not the flooding."
Kenneth Jones served on the original Penfield Pavilion building committee, and was also approved as a member of the new panel. "One thing that's important to know, the flood elevations have been changed dramatically," he said. "It's a very dynamic area, and something we all need to recognize."
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