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Community Center deemed safe

But timing of repairs a concern for Nov. 2 election

Town Clerk Madaline Daoust said she would explore whether the Community Center polling locations should be moved to another building. (click for larger version)
October 14, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — For years, most residents have voted at the Community Center, but that may have to change.

As a result of a broken heating system at the building, Town Clerk Madaline Daoust said Wednesday she would explore whether she should find an alternate voting site for the Tuesday, Nov. 2 general election. Most residents vote at the Community Center, while some people in Precinct 2 vote at the West Street School.

"I will make some phone calls and see what is going on," she said.

Officials this week reassured residents on the building's safety. Community Center Director Michael Trombley, who oversees the building's operations, said the building is safe and will remain open. As for the possibility of asbestos being present in the facility, Trombley said the heating contractor, Johnson Controls, had not tested it, and whether it would is up to them, Trombley said.

Town officials said last week the heating system in the building had broken and they were working to replace it. They also said they were exploring whether a substance discovered in the building was asbestos. The building has remained open since the discovery. The town is obtaining quotes to replace the boiler, which could cost $18,000, according to Trombley. That, he said, would include necessary upgrades to the Town Hall's heating system, which Trombley said arose during discussion about the Senior Center.

With 16 days until the election, Daoust said there is little chance of finding an alternate site for voters. She acknowledged, however, that a school could be used, but she would first have to obtain permission from the school district. Other than that, Daoust said, the town may be out of luck in finding a new voting location. Even if one was identified, Daoust said there would be little time to notify voters.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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