FARMINGTON — Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday night to proceed with the original plan to put a new roof over the existing one on the Community Center.

Another option was presented at the June 25 meeting but a decision was tabled since Chairman Joshua Bell and Byron Staples were absent.

At that meeting, Thaddeus Gabryszewski of Lincoln/Haney Engineering Associates Inc. in Brunswick and Wesley Jordan of Sheridan Construction Corp. in Fairfield shared information about a snow melt system that could be more economical. The snow is turned into water, Gabryszewski said. This method is about half the projected cost of almost $1 million for the roof over plan, construction should take less time, he said.

A thin layer of plastic would sit on the roof with ballast to keep it from blowing off with the snow melt option, Jordan said. A boiler inside would melt the snow and could potentially heat other needs, he said.

The boiler would use 3,200 gallons of propane annually, a cost of $16,000 per year, Selectman Dennis O’Neil said.

The roof over option could reduce heating costs for the building, Matt Foster, director of Farmington Parks and Recreation, noted.


In February 2022, the board voted to use remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds for the roof. In July 2021, grant funds that could have been used to install an HVAC system to heat, cool and ventilate the Community Center had to be returned because the roof wouldn’t support the units.

In the late 1990s, a structural analysis of the roof determined it didn’t meet modern snow load requirements. A rubber membrane was installed to stop leaks, but nothing more was done due to the cost.

In 2023, bids to restore the roof were rejected due to their similarity and the almost $2.5 million cost.

Last February, Foster said a company, which he didn’t name then, estimated the cost for a new roof at $1.7 million and about $900,000 for the roof over plan. The latter had not been approved by engineers, he said. In March, the board approved using $20,000 from ARPA funds to determine the cost and scope of repairs.

“I think you guys pretty much touched on everything the other night,” Bell said Tuesday. He was told there were no updates on costs since the last meeting.

“The next direction we were going to take was meeting with the contractor, designer to move forward with design but then during the design for the $900,000 option they came up with this,” Foster said. Sheridan found this other option, felt there was validity to it and wanted to know which plan to move forward with, he said.


Both options require different work from the two companies, he said. “One requires a lot more from Thad and a lot less from Sheridan, the other requires more from Sheridan, less from Thad.” A decision is needed before designing and getting costs narrowed down, he noted.

Bell said he didn’t think the cost was worth it to melt snow.

“My biggest concern as far as urgency goes is the ARPA funding because I need to have a contract in place before Dec. 31 or we will have to pay that money back,” Town Manager Erica LaCroix said.

“That will hurt,” Selectman Richard Morton said.

A mechanical engineering piece is also needed for the roof over option and those costs aren’t known, LaCroix said. She said she didn’t think the snow melt option was proven, there were a lot of unknowns. “I thought the boiler they were talking about would heat the building, not be two separate boilers,” she said. “We are still going to need another boiler.”

Bell spoke of having the plan and numbers the next time Gabryszewski and Foster came to the board.

Gabryszewski and Jordan should be ready to move forward once a decision is known, Foster said.

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