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Selectmen to Consider Repairs to Abbot Hall Tower and Clock

Architects to unveil scope and cost of work next Wednesday.

The Abbot Hall clock tower has been a landmark for Marblehead residents and visitors for generations. Probably to no one's surprise, the 137-year-old structure needs a makeover, leak repairs, brick repointing and replacement of rotten wood.

The Board of Selectmen are scheduled to meet next Wednesday night to hear architects from McGinley Kaslow and Associates of Somerville present the results of their review and estimates on the cost of the work.

Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren postponed until the Selectmen's meeting revealing how much the repairs will cost or how extensive the repairs would be.

"The Selectmen will receive their first presentation on the issue at their February 13th meeting," Chelgren wrote in an email. "At that time the Architect/Engineer will attend in order to present their findings. As the Selectmen have not yet received a formal  presentation of the material, I cannot distribute it."

Realtor Jack Attridge with William Raveis Real Estate wrote on his Facebook page, All Marblehead, that the estimated cost of the repairs will be $2 million.

If accurate, that cost would have to be presented at a Town Meeting. It was unclear if the selectmen will present that proposal to the spring Town Meeting. If approved by the Town Meeting members, the town would solicit bids from construction companies to make the repairs. 

Funds for the $34,213 architects' contract were approved last spring at the Town Meeting.   

John Buba February 07, 2013 at 11:43 AM
“"Cost would have to be presented at a Town Meeting" sounds like code for OVERRIDE? It better not be. Otherwise here we go again: 1: Neglect Building maintenance so we can pay higher salaries 2: Wait for the building to fall apart like the Village School, Glover School or the drainage system 3: Go to town meeting with pictures showing how "desperate" the situation has become (even though those showing the pictures are the same folks we elected to keep this from happening) 4: Judy Jacoby gets up and gives a tearful plea for this important project. (So important that they spent zero monies in the prior years to PREVENT IT) We must break this cycle of Neglect -> Crisis -> Override and then back to neglect What did The Who say? "We won't get fooled again!".

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