Sensors may be cause of malfunctioning doors at firehouse

Published Mar 12, 2018 at 4:00pm

TOWN OF LEE — Nearly a year after an $88,900 contract approval for a Lee Center firehouse renovation, it is not yet finished and about $17,000 remains to be paid mainly because of ongoing problems with malfunctioning overhead doors.

Technicians’ efforts to correct the issues were reviewed at the town Board of Fire Commissioners meeting last week.

Also at the meeting, commissioners approved spending about $4,000 for upgrades to lighting and electrical fixtures at the firehouse, and approved buying about 10 replacement clips for pagers used by Lee Center Volunteer Fire Department members.

• Technicians with a subcontractor for the firehouse renovation project have been “still trying to work through” issues with the closing of overhead doors, which they think are stemming from door sensors, said fire commissioners’ board Chairman Brian Mandryck.

The project included reconfiguring four firehouse doors into three wider ones to better fit larger vehicles; Mandryck has said the new doors sometimes have not closed all the way and have reopened automatically when they are not supposed to. The doors have been closed manually in such instances.

Technicians believe the problems involve how sensors are receiving and sending signals for the doors’ operation, said Mandryck. Information may be crossing from adjacent doors, he added.

The commissioners’ board in January authorized payment of $72,293 of the total project cost of $89,548, and Mandryck said the board has “not made any additional payments.” M.J. Dakota company of Oneida is the main contractor for the work.

The board on March 31 last year approved a contract for the company. At a board meeting in November, then-Chairman Patrick Hetherington expressed concern about the project’s pace and said company representatives had indicated that weather-related issues had affected progress.

• The lighting and electrical fixture upgrades at the Lee Center firehouse include replacing some older fluorescent lighting with more energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights.

In addition, Mandryck said some ceiling fans that were not working will be replaced, to help drive warmer air back down.

• The purchase of about 10 replacement clips for firefighters’ pagers was less than $200 overall, said Mandryck. They will replace clips that were broken or worn, he noted.

Commissioners manage fire protection in the taxpayer-funded Lee fire district, and oversee the Lee Center Volunteer Fire Department. They also contract with the independent Lake Delta Volunteer Fire Department for coverage in the town’s southeast section.