Town Hall basement in final stage of repairs

North Attleborough Town Hall
North Attleboro - Plainville Rotary Club is seeking out this year's Rotary Club distinguished Service Awards Recipients

The Town Hall basement, damaged by flash flooding last September, is in the final stages of repairs, according to Assistant Town Manager Antonio Morabito.

The basement has been vacant after staff discovered a water leak on Sept. 11 caused by a series of flash floods that evening. Morabito said the Town Council chambers, elevator and Lenore’s Pantry were all significantly damaged, with approximately 10,000 gallons of water flooding the basement. According to Morabito, the cost of the damage will range from $120,000-$170,000, but an exact total has not yet been determined.

“It was too much water for the custodian to vacuum,” Morabito said. “We had to contact a company to pump out the water from the rooms and elevators.”

Staff began the deep cleaning of the basement from Dec. 4- 6. Morabito said the next steps in the repair process are air quality tests. If the basement’s air quality is acceptable, staff are expected to return furniture and equipment by January 2024.

“Once that is done, we can move back in,” Morabito said. “We hope to return by the first month of the year.

There were concerns among staff that the contaminated water in the elevator would create asbestos. A hygienics investigation by TRC Companies found none in the area, and work on repairing the basement continued. Morabito said the furniture in the basement, such as the town’s seal and equipment used by North TV, were all salvaged and moved by MassBay Movers.

“All the equipment and furniture was successfully moved out of the basement,” Morabito said. “The work was quick thanks to MassBay.”

Upon the basement’s closure, Town Council meetings were relocated to the James Rice Conference Room at the Woodcock Building on Morse Street. Lenore’s Pantry also halted donations due to a lack of storage space. Town Manager Michael Borg said the town’s insurance will pay for most of the Town Council chamber repairs but the council’s large table used for meetings will have to be replaced.

“We will have to get a new table,” Borg told the council. “The insurance should cover most of the damages. We want to get you back into the chambers as soon as we can.”