Bitter cold damages Hayes offices

February 27, 2015

Shown above  is an artist’s rendering of the new Hayes Township Municipal Complex

Shown above is an artist’s rendering of the new Hayes Township Municipal Complex

By Rosemary Horvath
Correspondent

Winter weather has caused havoc at Hayes Township buildings.
Frozen pipes curtailed office hours at the Township Hall on East Townline Road for several days because the building had no running water. Even the phone and Internet service was down.

After pipes were replaced, on Tuesday frozen pipes burst at the Community Center on Grant Road causing a large section of the ceiling to collapse, township Supervisor Terry Acton said.
Damage estimate is between $8,000 and $10,000.

Hayes Township Supervisor Terry Acton pauses inside the former Civic Center where crews from JBS Contracting apply wall and ceiling insulation.

Hayes Township Supervisor Terry Acton pauses inside the former Civic Center where crews from JBS Contracting apply wall and ceiling insulation.

Instead of one pipe known to be frozen, there were multiple breaks in the system, Acton reported. Emergency service has been on scene.
Ceiling insulation has to dry out before repairs are made. “We’re on a tight schedule because the May 5 election is coming up,” Acton noted.
Tim Walters and Rick Fanslau, both with the township maintenance department, worked Monday to unthaw pipes at the hall. Acton was worried the problem might be under the asphalt parking lot.

The Grant Road property will come up for sale after the May election, according to plan.
Ackerman Heating and Cooling in Clare was repairing a pipe at the Grant Road location when more than one break was discovered.
Acton has been pretty upbeat Monday, talking about the township’s future and the building project.

Work crews with JBS Contracting were applying panels of insulation to walls and ceiling of the cavernous former Civic Center. The building’s bland and aging appearance will undergo a huge renovation and expansion this year and emerge as the Hayes Township Municipal Complex.
The gym area will be revamped and improved as a multi-purpose space.

A fitness area for people at all levels will be added. The old town hall will be razed and new offices added at one end of the complex and a licensed kitchen at the other end to accommodate all sorts of community events and functions.

Geothermal units and equipment for the underground wells have arrived for the heating and cooling system.
“We’re getting positive feedback even from the previous naysayers,” said township Treasurer May Rood, standing in front of an eye-catching architectural sketch posted at the Township Hall.

Rood recalled the commotion at board meetings talk of building for the future stirred.
Voters ultimately agreed to move forward with the plan. Basically, the township will replace inefficient, poorly functioning buildings with one complex housing various functions at the 17.5 acre township property, where outdoor recreational activities are offered.

The complex has a similar purpose as the newly opened MidMichigan Health Park-Harrison at 815 N. Clare Avenue. Housed under one roof are MidMichigan Health physicians and

Ceiling damage in Hayes Township offices

Ceiling damage in Hayes Township offices

services, the Central Michigan District Health Department services and the Michigan Community Dental Clinic.
The Hayes building will have a protected drive-up entrance for cars and buses to unload passengers safely.

Hayes also intends to designate the complex a “premier emergency shelter for Clare County,” as Acton described it.
Jerry Becker, the county’s fulltime emergency management director, said such a facility would have been used last November when sections of the county were hit with devastating windstorms.

“We lost power in half the county and opened the Lincoln Township hall as a shelter. We shuttled people out to Lake George,” Becker said.
Becker said the new facility in Hayes Township will have everything: backup power, cooking facilities, showers and toilets, indoor recreation.
“We can feed people in a large area and it will be a secured building,” he added.

Becker lives in the township and owns two commercial properties. He is a member of the township planning commission.

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