Ti Armory faces cold winter

Legal dispute delays repairs to boilers

— A heated legal battle could keep the Ticonderoga Armory cold this winter.

An oil-fired boiler exploded at the building, which serves as home to the Ti Area Senior Citizens and the local youth commission, last April. The blast destroyed one boiler and seriously damaged another, leaving the facility without heat.

A subsequent legal dispute has prevented the town from making repairs.

“We have every intention of getting heat into that building,” Supervisor Deb Malaney said. “We’re doing to do our best to keep them (seniors and children) where they are. Besides, we don’t want to have an empty building with no heat through the winter. We’re concerned about the damage the cold could do to the building.”

The Armory also serves as home to the Adirondack Community Action Program nutrition site and as a community center. It hosts a variety of community groups and activities throughout the year.

The town’s insurance carrier has agreed to pay $93,119 to cover the replacement of the boilers and other damage. That’s the good news for Ti.

The bad news is the insurance company believes negligence on the part of the boiler installation company or the boiler maintenance firm caused the explosion. The insurance company wants to recoup its payment to the town from the responsible party. That means a lengthy investigation, which is still not complete. Ticonderoga can’t make repairs until the investigators are done studying the damaged boilers.

At its August meeting the Ti town board directed that a letter be sent to all parties with a September deadline for completing the investigation.

“We have to move forward,” Malaney said. “We can’t wait forever.”

Even if Ti gets the OK to start work on the boiler repairs, there may not be time to get the work done before winter.

The explosion exposed asbestos, which could take up to nine weeks to remove. It’s anticipated the installation of a new heating system could take another nine weeks. That’s up to 18 weeks — 4 1/2 months — which means the building may not have heat until the end of January.

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