LIVERMORE FALLS — Town Manager Kristal Flagg said she told selectmen Tuesday night that the Maine Municipal Association has reduced the insurance coverage on the Fire Station, increased the deductible and removed collapse coverage.

The MMA saw a story in the Sun Journal in December outlining the deteriorating structural condition of the station that was reported in a preliminary engineering report, she said.

The deductible was increased from $2,500 to $10,000. The valuation of the building was dropped from $553,500 replacement cost to $114,694 cash value, Flagg said.

The association did give the town 90 days before the changes are implemented to see if Flagg can find other options or make the repairs. She may be able to come up with options but she didn’t believe any of the repairs could be made within that time frame, she said.

The firetrucks are covered under a different policy, she said.

She received the topographical survey but not the comprehensive study and cost analysis as of Wednesday.

Advertisement

In December, selectmen voted to allocate $6,500 for a National Academy of Building Inspectors inspection and associated cost estimate for repairs or replacement. The figure also included money for preparation of concept design suitable for obtaining a construction budget and a topographical survey.

The station was built decades ago.

After doing a preliminary investigation of the building in early December, engineer James Thibodeau said in his report that he suspects that more detailed engineering evaluations will reach a conclusion that it may be more cost effective to replace the structure with a new, pre-engineered building. It should be designed for current code compliance, moved 5 to 10 feet closer to the road and have truck bays facing toward Park Street.

He recommended a two-phase approach to evaluate economic feasibility for repairs versus facility replacement.

According to his initial report, the exterior block wall along the rear of the building, which serves as a primary bearing wall for the truck bay, is constructed of unreinforced concrete masonry block.

The roof structure in the rear truck bay consists of steel deck over widely spaced steel bar joists that bear onto the unreinforced rear block wall, Thibodeau, of Associated Design Partners Inc. in Falmouth, wrote.

Advertisement

“The wall has numerous cracks and visible bowing displacement,” he said. “Wall step-cracks extend past both rear building corners and reveal the likelihood of differential settlement of the back wall with respect to the sidewalls.”

The interior slab also shows evidence of differential settlement, and there is a significant crack running parallel with the rear bearing wall, he wrote.

Slab settlement is believed to be a function of subsurface soil erosion and is likely associated with the unstable embankment between the rear wall and railroad right of way, according to the report.

Thibodeau also noted there is evidence of significant corrosion along the top chords of the steel bar joists and on the underside of the metal roof deck.

“The amount of corrosion is a significant concern given that the bar joists are already suspected to be under capacity for current code compliance,” Thibodeau wrote.

Part of his preliminary conclusion is that given the numerous cracks and bowing, along with the unreinforced condition of the rear wall, he strongly suspects that a significant earthquake could cause catastrophic collapse or at least significant structural damage.

Significant snow accumulations on the roof is also a realistic concern, he stated.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.