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Commercial kitchen in town hall hits snag

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The grand opening of the newly-renovated Crawford Town Hall was held last July, but one phase of the project remains incomplete, and that's causing a lot of frustration and may cost the Friends of Crawford Town Hall $5,000.

FCTH president Susan Hansen sought direction from council at the Feb. 17 work session. The third and final phase of the $1 million project, the commercial kitchen, isn't quite finished or ready for use. The range, refrigerator and dishwasher are in place, but to complete the project, a properly ventilated hood and fire suppression system must be installed.

FCTH purchased a system last year, hiring a broker to find wholesale, used or refurbished equipment to save money. A hood was ordered, but when the carrier went to pick it up, it wasn't there and no explanation was given.

"It became clear the deal had gone bad," Hansen told trustees. The broker promised to recover the investment or personally refund FCTH, and Hansen is taking her word in good faith. She was able to extend the Department of Local Affairs grant funding the project through the end of March while another hood is found.

Hansen listed four possible options: 1) purchase a hood from project contractor Ridgway Valley Enterprise, or 2) from another area company, and have it professionally installed; 3) pursue a captive air hood through a Salt Lake City company, or 4) purchase a system identical to the original one through American Hood System in Ohio.

In considering the short time frame, the contractor recommends Option 3, said Hansen. The hood would be purchased, and the fire suppression system installed in Salt Lake City. However, the company selling the hood won't allow another company to install the fire suppression system due to liability issues, essentially eliminating Options 2 and 3.

Hansen was exploring Option 4, the lower-priced option, and was waiting on a proposal from American Hood System last week.

The dilemma, said Hansen, is that they require payment in full before processing the order, something FCTH is hesitant to do. Even if they get a system delivered to Town Hall, they'll need the contractor to install it, and time is running out on that contract, too.

"I personally think that we can't stop now," said mayor Susie Steckel. She suggested the town front the money with the understanding that it will be reimbursed when FCTH recovers its original investment.

Mayor pro tem Mike Tiedeman agreed, suggesting Hansen place the order from American Hood if other options don't pan out soon. If necessary, council will re-visit the issue and, if necessary, vote on the $5,000 advance at the March 2 meeting.

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North Fork
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Crawford, Town Hall
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