December 17, 2008

Senior center's heating system is failing

The Beals Senior-Community Center needs as much as $5 million in repairs to its heating system.

Public Works Director Walter Veselka said the city had to make emergency repairs to two sections of steam tunnel pipes at the senior center because they were leaking.

But it’s not entirely clear that the repairs are going to prove sufficient even for the short run.

Morris Laveiro, a public works commissioner, said a game plan should be in place in case the entire heating system crashes “which they predict it very possibly can.”

Another member of the public works panel, Frank Stawski, said a consultant warned the city two years ago about the risks there.

Mayor Art Ward said Wednesday there is “a longstanding problem” with the heating system that’s going to have to be addressed.

Veselka said the city has plans “to keep that system operational” but acknowledged it has significant problems.

He said, though, it wasn’t his role to make a contingency plan for the entire building should the heating system die.

Ward said that city leaders should talk with Peggy Sokol, the director of the senior center, “to make sure we have one.”

Sokol did not return calls Wednesday.

Veselka said the long-term fix is already part of the city’s five-year capital improvement plan, which lists likely projects that various departments hope to embark on.

The initial capital project list last spring included $2.2 million for upgrades to the senior center’s heating system, plumbing and other systems.

But officials did not include any money for it in the final project list approved as part of the budget for this fiscal year.

The tab for the repairs could run as high as $5 million, public works officials said.

City Comptroller Glenn Klocko said that some projects may be funded in next year’s budget if it can be shown that failing to do them soon would pose a danger to the public or to city workers. He warned that any requests would be scrutinized carefully by Ward, the comptroller’s office, city councilors and the Board of Finance.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

This news is outrageous. Peggy Sokol should resign. That will not occur, but the least that she could do is not chew gum when she presents her budget before the BOF.

Its Deja Vu said...

Don't worry, Mayor Kloko will solve the problem and Deputy Mayor Ward will continue to campaign and glad hand.

Anonymous said...

This is the result of no tax increases under Nicastro

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you let Nicastro put in people at the dept head level who are incompetent. Joe Wilson fought him hard on this to no avail, and this is the result. She should have been at every meeting demanding action. The seniors will come out in force, demand money, scream that there should not be a dime spent on education since they already got theirs, and the beat goes on.

apnea reigns said...

7:45PM - amazing that republicans can stay up this late at night.

Believer said...

typical blog messages, verbal barrages heaped on individuals instead of rendering of anything positive to the situation.
Only increases the belief that these blog sites prove to be lacking any substance.

Anonymous said...


2 B Expected said...

Ward said it was a long standing problem: What has he done about it???

Ward said the city leaders should talk with Sokol to see if she has a plan: Art are you not a city leader, THE city leader? Why haven't you asked for a plan???

Oh well, what were we to expect?

Anonymous said...

2 B Expected,

Do you honestly think this is the ONLY longstanding problem the City has? Did the Mayor not ask for help looking into the issue? If he said the City would pay to fix the heating system, you'd be the first one screaming about your higher taxes, other things that were more important, his lack of leadership....yadayadayada, but then again, what else could we expect?

Anonymous said...

Where is the leadership?

Why do we have a mayor?

Who is in charge?

Anonymous said...


Either you're a very confused individual or you're still pretty angry that Ward won....either way, it's a waste of time trying to change your mind, but hey - Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I supported Ward.

I worked for Ward.

I'm dissapointed in Ward.

No leadership!

Anonymous said...

I supported Ward (and will again).

I worked for Ward.

I'm really pleased with the job he's doing.

Looks like "leadership" is in the eye of the beholder....

Anonymous said...

Who breaks the tie?

Anonymous said...

Since when does a heating system cost $5 million? Cant they just outfit the rooms with room heaters and a/c to take care of most of the problem? They are under $2k each unit and work well.

I ? it said...

Someone is jerking someones chain!

But then, we should be used to it.

Anonymous said...

This administration is playing loose with the numbers: on the Senioor Center, with GASB 45, with the Rainy Day fund.
No wonder the confidence level is sinking.

Santayana said...

Deja Vu all over again.

Will Ward be another Nicastro: do whatever he has to to be reelected, even though it hurts the city?