Selectmen review town-wide property damage caused by snow
By Tom Phelan - Staff Writer
East Windsor - posted Mon., Mar. 21, 2011
Most of the snow has melted, but the damage it left behind is more evident than before. East Windsor’s Board of Selectmen got a snapshot of the extent of the damage at its March 15 meeting, as a partial list of the damaged properties was circulated for review.
Samples of Mother Nature’s destruction can be seen by just driving through town, but the list - which contains 35 properties - raised some eyebrows. According to the town’s building department, it is only a partial list, created cooperatively by their office, and other sources, and from property owners who called to supply information.
Of the 35 properties on the tally, 20 tobacco barns or sheds were listed as “collapsed.” Fifteen structures had roofs that were “compromised,” had “structural failure,” or in a complete state of collapse. A few properties had more than one collapsed or damaged structure.
Not all the buildings or structures were barns. Some were sheds, canopies, porches or fabric shelters. Sixteen of the entries were clearly identified as buildings that were used for some type of agricultural purpose.
East Windsor First Selectman Denise Menard later confirmed by phone that the list was not complete, but it did represent properties that had been reported to the state’s emergency management agency. Once the state has determined if the damage should qualify for financial help at the federal level, it can move on to the next step. At his point, Menard said she would be the “squeaky wheel” that keeps attention focused on the need for some assistance.
At the same meeting, the selectmen were presented with the town-side invoices for snow removal from buildings other than those used by the school system. Roofs collapsing in East Windsor and surrounding towns created a heightened sense of urgency to have roofs cleared to relieve any undue stress that had the potential for collapse .Four local vendors submitted invoices totaling $22,399 for their work removing snow from the roofs of town buildings.
“This is delightful, actually. For $22,000, we've got all these buildings still in place,” said Selectman John Burnham.
“I was holding my breath,” Menard quickly added. “I thought it was going to be a huge amount more than that.” The board expressed their satisfaction that the work was done by local vendors. Cost was kept down by using the Warehouse Point Fire Department to hoist snow removal equipment onto the roofs.