MERIDEN — The city is seeking bids to replace the roof of the police department headquarters at 50 W. Main St.
Officials have said the project is long overdue.
According to a request for proposals posted on the city’s purchasing department webpage and dated Sept. 12, bids will be accepted until 11 a.m. Oct. 4. At that point, the received bids “will be opened public and read,” according to a posted legal notice.
City Manager Timothy Coon briefly addressed the matter at a City Council Finance Committee meeting in April, during fiscal 2023 budget deliberations. Coon had been discussing facility improvement requests from city departments through the city’s Capital Improvement Program.
A spreadsheet Coon shared at the time showed four requests related to the police department headquarters. It included $400,000 in funding recommended for the roof replacement.
“It’s been a leaking structure for a number of years and it really sprung a leak this past summer,” Coon said to Finance Committee members.
Mayor Kevin Scarpati this week confirmed his office had been aware of the roof leak issues, saying he learned those leaks impact multiple areas of the building, including offices.
“Our staff needs the proper tools to do their job and a safe and clean environment is one of them. This roof work is long overdue,” the mayor said.
Scarpati suggested in addition to the roof replacement, the city needs to ensure an effective building maintenance program is in place “to make sure any matters are dealt with swiftly.”
According to city property records, the current police complex was built in 1988. It was previously re-roofed in 2005, at a cost of $227,905.
City Councilor Ray Ouellet, who retired from the Meriden police department last summer after 25 years on the job, is familiar with the leaking roof issues.
“The roof has to be fixed. We get water in the basement, our locker rooms… it’s got to get done,” Ouellet said.
“When a good rain storm comes we get water in our basement,” Ouellet said. Sometimes, the waterflow is significant enough that portions of the building, like the gym, need to be closed.
Ouellet recalled after one storm, the city needed to hire a company to clean the areas impacted by water damage and mildew. Gym equipment, floor mats and other supplies all had to be removed and cleaned.
The issue, meanwhile, is ongoing, Ouellet noted.
Fellow City Councilor Bob Williams Jr. agreed, describing the roof as an “area that needs attention.”
“We have to take care of the people who take care of us quite frankly,” Williams said.
Other area municipalities have taken steps to improve their police departments’ facilities. In Wallingford, plans are underway to relocate the town’s police department to 100 Barnes Road.
In 2020, Southington completed a $418,000 project to replace the roof of that station on Lazy Lane.
In 2019, the town of Cheshire undertook a project to alleviate mold and air quality concerns in its police headquarters, by replacing its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.