Watching Wawenock

Sat, 09/23/2023 - 7:00am

Revisiting sending the Wawenock building’s owner a lawyer’s letter, Wiscasset selectmen decided again Sept. 19 to hold off. They favored Chair Sarah Whitfield’s suggestion to reassess progress on repairs every couple of weeks.

Town counsel recently drafted the letter after two-plus years of Wiscasset waiting for the work to be done and the downtown sidewalk to fully reopen, free of fencing and scaffolding. Hundreds of bricks fell off the 1858 building on April 3, 2021, according to Wiscasset Newspaper files.

The board’s latest decision came hours after the town received an email update on the repairs. Wawenock LLC lawyer Sandy Guay reported a new roof was set to be finished that week. “The roofing contractor has advised that the existing gutter system on 63 Main St., Wawenock Block where the collapse occurred, is not what it should be and the decision has been made to install a new gutter system. This is scheduled to happen (the week of Sept. 25),” Guay wrote.

“The mason is scheduled to start on the building within the next two weeks after the roofer is finished.” As for an earlier projection the facade work would be finished this fall, Guay wrote: “We believe that the timeline for completion that was put forth is still in place.”

Town Manager Dennis Simmons told the board he stopped by the site at noon that day. “They were hammering away ... getting the roof done. So that is moving forward.” Then he noted Guay’s new email.

Bringing up the town’s as yet unsent letter, Whitfield said, “I guess I would propose at this point since they’re actually doing something, that we just keep checking in, each two weeks, and if they stall and they’re not doing anything, then we send (it).” Other members concurred.