NILES - Plumbing woes at its bus garage are going to cost the Niles City School District $16,000 to fix.
The issue came to a head this spring when Niles building and zoning inspector Anthony Vigorito discovered the district had placed a portable toilet inside the 1950s-era building because the toilets were not working. Also, the floor drains were running into the river.
"They were using that because they were having problems with their sewers. I questioned the Porta John inside of the building, and they sent me a letter from the company that services the building," Vigorito said.
Tom's Sewer and Drain stated in the letter that its portable toilets can be placed inside or outside of any building as long as the access door and ceiling are large and high enough to get the unit inside.
Nonetheless, Vigorito said he threatened to shut down the building at 102 Water St.
"I told them, let's get the sewers fixed so that they can get everything to work properly. The school board says they'll have it taken care of and I trust them to have it taken care of," he said.
Interim superintendent Frank Danso said the repairs will cost the district $16,000. The repairs will be made by Lou Carbone Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and will involve camera inspections to locate connection points to existing sewer, excavation, new sewer pipe, the replacement of five existing floor drains and damaged pipe, as well as the installation of a gravel bed.
Since the cost of the work is less than $25,000, the Board of Education was not required to take bids or vote on the repairs.
"This is a repair that we're just going to proceed with ... this is our normal company that we deal with for our school plumbing," Danso said. "It is online to be repaired. We have to wait until some of our funding comes from the state at the end of June. That's one of the first projects that we will repair." Anything that needs brought up to code or fixed will be addressed, he said.
Vigorito said the repairs are more costly because they involve drilling into the concrete floor and require the building to be updated.
"They also have to come up to code on some of the other issues, so it makes it a little bit more expensive instead of just fixing the problem," he said. "As soon as they get the sewer line fixed, they won't need the Porta John and then the thing can be out of there. We'll probably get this thing corrected in the first week of July and it'll be over with."
Board president Tony Perrone said the building was never in danger of being shut down, calling the repairs a work in progress.
"It's just a couple items that need to be addressed," he said.