You will notice that we are making further repairs to the front steps. Last fall just before the frost set in (when the project was first completed) it was noticed that the slope at the landing of the steps was just about 7 degrees, which is not up to code. The greater slope was caused by the overall lowering of the elevation of the sidewalk to accommodate the code for the ADA pad at the corner of Lockwood and 9th. It was too late to fix it last fall to fix it. Meridian Contracting Services LLC, our contractor, recognized the issue on their part and agreed to come back in the spring to make the necessary modification to reduce the slope to less that 1 degree at the bottom of the stairs. The only way to accomplish that is by adding an additional step and repouring the concrete at the bottom of the stairs up to the sidewalk.
For full transparency, I wanted to share with all of you the total cost of the project already paid: $60,771. Meridian has agreed to make the necessary changes at their expense to make it right, including recoating the stairs to make it all match and repairing the places which have already rusted through. However, we did agree to pay an additional $3,153 to extend the handrails and form and pour the additional step. That makes the entire project cost: $63,924. I’ve been in consultation with the Finance Council throughout this whole process. I want to apologize for the major inconvenience of having half the stair out of commission this weekend and the other half out of commission next weekend – especially for our graduates this Sunday. It will be 10 days until the steps are fully open again.
I want to thank you all for generous donations that more than accounted for this capital improvement project. The funding came from our overage on CSA last year, which far exceeded the cost of the new boiler plus a few additional special gifts from parishioners for about $35,000. Know that our parish staff work hard to ensure that every dollar you give to the parish is spent wisely and prudently.
The new steam boiler for our parish church is being installed in the coming weeks by Weinkauf LLC. The contract with Weinkauf was originally signed by me back in May 2022. Unfortunately, due to supply chain issues we did have the boiler in Alpena until December 2022. At that point, it would have been impossible to install without severely damaging the plaster in the church as the church would have gone unheated for weeks. The new steam boiler is being installed now. The new water treatment system and circulating pump are also being installed along with fresh air ventilation into the basement. The vent can be seen on the Lockwood side of the church. The new boiler will be much more efficient and will be ready for heating our beautiful church this winter. We also discovered from the manufacturer of our Air Conditioner system that the units can be used as heat pumps down to 19 degrees. That is why we were able to shut down the steam boiler almost 6 weeks earlier than in previous years, saving in natural gas. The heat pump system is much more efficient that the steam boiler at above freezing temperatures, which is helping us realize some great savings. Once the project is completed, we will share with you all the total cost of the system upgrade. The cost has been paid by your generous gifts to the Catholic Service Appeal 2022 in overages returned to All Saints.
WATER SYSTEM AT HOLY CROSS CEMETERY
By this time, many of you may have noticed that there is no water at the spigots or sprinklers at the cemetery. This spring our maintenance team attempted to prime and start the pump and it failed. We are investigating with contractors, plumbers, and electricians the extent of the damage and the current condition of the pump. The pump is from 1958 and we have no records of any maintenance having been performed – although we would assume something has been done to is since then. Please be patient and encourage others to be patient as we do everything we can to restore the water to the cemetery grounds. Water is available at the cemetery chapel from 9 am to 1pm. However, you are encouraged to bring some water from home to water your plants. It doesn’t help that we haven’t had rain in weeks! Some people in our community have contacted us and have treated me and our staff inappropriately. I’ve asked our staff to be as kind and forgiving as possible, but they do not deserve to be treated like that by the general public. We are doing everything we can do restore the water.