Norwich public officials have concerns about the state of the Town's three emergency power generators. So much so that the Selectboard tripled the amount in the designated fund for that purpose, at last week’s five-hour budget meeting. At that meeting, the Selectboard cut most appropriations to designated funds. Adding to the generator fund indicates the level of concern.
The generator at at the new public safety building presents an odd issue. The generator works fine. But it is only wired for half the building. In a power outage, the police station stays dark. Go figure. Town Manager Herb Durfee, who took office after construction was underway, called the situation a “disappointment” with respect to the building design. Even if wired correctly, the new equipment is under sized to power the entire building.
Town Manager Durfee said: "[T]hough I'm frustrated the experts [such as the architect or contractor] didn't identify the issue, at this time, I can't really get hung up on pointing fingers. My focus is more on making sure that the building is properly wired with an appropriately sized generator to run the building, especially PD and the Emergency Operations Center.”
The other two generators are for Tracy Hall and the DPW garage. During the power outage in December, neither kicked on. By now, the service company likely has them operational again. For now. Both are on the “brink” was how the Town Manager described them to the Selectboard.