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Broken chimney leads Morristown Town Council to consider better design

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MORRISTOWN - Falling ice tore the Morristown Town Hall chimney off the roof on Sunday, causing the town to seek a more resilient design as it repairs the damage.

The result of ice accumulation over the weekend of Dec. 20, Morristown Town Clerk David J. Murray said it was an “ice jam” that let go and took the chimney off the roof as it fell.

In addition to taking the chimney down the ice also tore a hole in the roof that will need to be patched, Mr. Murray said.

With snow in the forecast this week Mr. Murray said the town needs to cap the roof as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Because of the nature of the damage the town council decided against simply repairing the chimney.

Town Councilor W. Howard Warren said fitting a side-venting chimney will reduce the likelihood of damage, especially from ice buildup.

The new chimney, which will cost an estimated $1,400 to install according to Mr. Warren, will come out the side of the building instead of protruding from the roof, making it less vulnerable to falling ice.

A motion made by Mr. Warren to install the new chimney passed unanimously.

The town will contract with Henry LaCroix to install the new chimney.

Wayne Latham will cap the hole in the roof.

Mr. Murray said the town hopes to have the damage repaired by the weekend to avoid having the interior of the building exposed to the elements any longer than necessary.

As part of the project the town is also hoping to relocate the building’s thermostats to the court offices instead of in the main courtroom.

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