Poland files suit over ramp Claim: Town Hall work ‘defective’

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POLAND – After paying $35,000 for a handicapped ramp and rear exit to the old Poland Town Hall, officials may have to pull down the work and start over.

The work by a Chocorua, N.H.-based company was so poor that the town has filed a five-page complaint in Androscoggin County Superior Court alleging breach of contract and negligence.

“The lawsuit is the last resort,” Town Manager Richard Chick said Thursday.

The town hired DCM Construction last March, signing a contract with the company to make the changes in the aging town hall, located beside the town office on Maine Street.

Work began in March and continued for about six weeks, Chick said.

The 5,700-square-foot town hall building has been used as a polling place for years. The work was meant, in part, to make it easier for people with disabilities to vote.

It was never completed, though.

“It’s very disturbing,” said Sandra Knowles, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen.

The work that was done was “defective,” according to the complaint.

“It’s certainly not up to code,” Knowles said.

Since the workers left, the town has tried to be patient.

“We offered to give the company more time,” Knowles said. “He was given a lot of chances. But this is town money.”

The Poland complaint is seeking unspecified damages, including court costs and attorneys’ fees.

The Sun Journal was unable to reach the New Hampshire contractor for comment.

The town has also had trouble reaching DCM Construction, Knowles said. On Dec. 4, Poland filed a formal demand for arbitration. There was no answer.

Knowles said the town hopes to receive some help from the state to offset the money it has already spent. The state is offering money to help some towns improve their polling places.

“It seems like we ought to be eligible,” Knowles said.

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