Town mulls joining class action lawsuit over roof work

Library roof shingles, installed in 2000, are showing ‘fairly serious curling and cracking’ 14 years later

DUBLIN — The Select Board met Monday and spoke with Bill Goodwin, a library trustee, about the state of the library roof and possible involvement in a class action lawsuit already taking place against a shingle manufacturer.

According to Goodwin, IKO Industries made the shingles, which were used in work done to the roof in 2000 and are already showing significant signs of decay. Goodwin and the board were not sure how to become involved in the lawsuit, but said they would be looking into it.

During the discussion, members of the board and Goodwin exchanged ideas about what could be done to discover the full extent of damages to the roof.

At Town Meeting, voters OK’d $30,000 for a new library roof and chimney repairs, but Goodwin said he didn’t want to do anything too time consuming or invasive before knowing the full extent of the problem. His suggestion was to spot-cut the roof in areas to determine if the membrane is still intact, and to see if the material beneath it had been exposed to moisture causing rot.

At this time, Goodwin said he believes that nothing will need to be done to the membrane.

The best option he added would be to look at the roof from the top down to determine if moisture had gotten beneath the shingles and caused ice damming during the winter.

“The roof was put on in 2000, and it’s showing fairly serious curling and cracking,” said Goodwin. “We haven’t experienced any water damage so far, but we want to be sure that we get things replaced before anything does happen.”

“Basically we need to determine, with more investigative work, if the problems are short-term or long-term,” he added.

Select Board Chair Sterling Abrams asked that Goodwin return to the board with an update on the status of the roof in about two months, when the snow has melted.

The board moved on to sign the official documents for the new tanker truck at the Fire Department, which was approved by voters at Town Meeting for a cost of up to $375,000.

Fire Chief Thomas Vanderbilt gave the board a department update and said the Fire Department’s vehicles were getting their annual state inspections; that the department would be holding its quarterly fire safety meeting; and that he had completed training for building triage for natural disasters.

In addition, Vanderbilt reported he had completed his EMT recertification, and is now able to administer Narcan, a stimulant administered through nasal spray and used to counteract heroin or opioid overdose.

According to Vanderbilt, right now Narcan can only be used by those members of the department certified at the right level, which is very limiting. He said the certification requirements should be lowered so more people can administer the treatment in emergency situations.

In closing he acknowledged a “cancer cluster” in firefighting, that is a large number of firefighters being diagnosed with the disease. He attributing it to new composite materials found in households, such as plastics, which when burned produce carcinogenic smoke.

Vanderbilt said he tells his firefighters, “Don’t breath the junk in and don’t wear dirty gear.”

In a brief interlude, board member Sturdy Thomas said he is encouraged by the new police Chief Stephen Sullivan. Thomas relayed to the board that he had recently heard that Sullivan had stopped during a storm to help a resident clear the snow from her property.

The board discussed some confusion about a bridge inspection that was hired out to a contractor. The contractor told Road Agent Brian Barden that after the Department of Environmental Services reconstructed the bridge, it is now 12 feet long. Barden said the contractor told him that anything past 10 feet must be inspected by the state, rather than independent contractor.

The board asked Barden to return to the contractor and get clarification on the subject, so they can determine their next step.

In other business, Barden presented a plot graph map to the board for verification of town roads. According to Barden, the town receives state Block Grant Aid, which is based on the total mileage of every road in town. Any towns with class IV and class V roads are entitled to the grant money, which can only be used for construction, reconstruction and maintenance of the town roads.

Hayden James can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or hjames@ledgertranscript.com.

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