Council Approves Taking Salary Money to Repair Police Station Roof, Solar Array

Rear of Haverhill Police Station. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Roof of Haverhill Police Station showing installation of solar panels. (WHAV News file photograph.)

City Council approved moving $95,675 from the police salaries account to pay an engineering consultant to oversee repairs to the Police Station roof.

Gale Associates will remove the solar installation on the station’s roof. City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. said the expected outcome is that the hardware used by MassAmerican Energy to install the panels damaged the roof and caused it to leak.

“The problem with the roof, is we don’t know what the problem with the roof is because the solar panels are covering it,” Cox said.

Although Gale’s complete estimate for the project is more than $95,000, city officials anticipate the company’s services will include providing evidence that MassAmerican was at fault for the damage, allowing the city to seek redress.

Councilor Joseph A. Bevilacqua said if it’s clear that MassAmerican caused the damage, it should be forced to pay.

“I don’t understand why the city isn’t taking more aggressive action against the installer of the solar panels,” he said.

Cox explained that Gale will oversee the removal of the panels and will create design documents to be followed when the solar panels are reinstalled. He said MassAmerican will be responsible for reinstalling the panels and connecting them again to the station’s electrical service, with Gale responsible for overseeing the hardware installation.

A little more than a year ago, Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro told WHAV the solar installation appeared to have damaged the station’s new $450,000 roof, newly-drilled holes brought rainwater into the men’s locker room—an area that had not previously seen leaks—and left behind a problem of snow sliding off the roof into rear entryways to the building.