Closed for Now: Siefert Ferry Terminal Building Closed Due to a Grading Issue

Thursday, August 9, 2012
By Cary Shuman

Though he was the lone dissenting vote to sending the matter of the abrupt closing of the brand new Norman Siefert Ferry Terminal Building at the Town Landing to the Finance Committee, Councilor Craig Mael said Wednesday that “it might be a good place for the issue to go.”

The Council voted 7-1 to approve Council Vice President Paul Varone’s motion to refer to the Finance Committee for the source of funding for $14,000 to correct the grading issue and allow for the redesign and reconfiguration at the ferry terminal building at Town Landing.

The building has some minor grading issues related to the foundation of the building. The incorrect measurements occurred during one of the phases of the building process.

Norman Siefert and his family attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building in June.  Both Congressman Edward J. Markey and Speaker of the House Robert A. Deleo have been credited with securing federal and state funds for the project. The idea for the building was conceived a decade ago but Town Manager James McKenna re-energized discussions and carried it forth to the finish line.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, Mael said further discussion of the corrective measures for the building is warranted to make sure a similar incident doesn’t occur again with a town construction project.

“We need to take an in-depth look to understand what happened, why it happened, and see if we can prevent things like this happening in the future,” said Mael.

The councilor said he wishes he hadn’t used the word “blame” while discussing the matter in open forum.

“I probably should have used a better terminology but I would like to see a broader discussion of all the elements,” said Mael. “I would like to hear from the architect and if it has to be done at a Finance Committee meeting, that’s fine. I want it to be a transparent discussion so we understand the issues we face when we move into a capital project and don’t have to run into those issues again.”

McKenna was able to obtain a reprieve from state officials so the building could reopen on Aug. 13. According to McKenna, all handicapped accessibility regulations have been met at the building.

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