Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Fr. Chuck's Column, February 3, 2019

First, on behalf of all the Paulists who have served here in the past, who are here now, and who will come and serve here in the future, I sincerely want to thank all of you for your prayerful and financial support of the Paulist Fathers. THANK YOU!!! We Paulists value your collaboration with us in ministry through your gifts, your participation, and your prayers. 
If you missed the Annual Paulist Appeal last weekend, there are still lots of flyers and envelopes in the pews. I encourage EVERYONE to participate, no matter how small or large your gift.  
As you know, St. Austin Parish has a garage. In this garage there are elevators, but for months now the elevators have not been working. They were vandalized around Oct. 20, 2018. Someone forcibly ripped out the control panels and the electronic guts of the elevators. AAARGH!!! Such vandalism is hard to comprehend.
Our elevators are special. They are not standard-sized elevators.  They were built specifically for that space and do not take any standard parts. The elevator company, KONE, technically owns the elevators, and we rent them. Because they are non-standard, any replacement parts cannot be taken off the shelf but must be custom-made. This is both very time consuming and expensive. We the parish have paid for half of the repair already, which was $7,400. When the repairs are complete, if that ever occurs, we will pay the other half. So the vandalism cost approximately $15,000.
In addition, every quarter we pay a MAINTENANCE contract to Kone Elevator of $2,579.00. We have had to pay that even during the time the elevators are not working. Obviously, this is a less than satisfactory situation. Unfortunately, our contract with KONE does not allow us to go to another elevator company to get service, since they own the elevators. 
We have emailed and called them repeatedly, and we still await the repair of our elevators. If we do go ahead with the development of our properties, I can assure you that none of the elevators in the school or parish facilities will be custom-made, and we will look at other elevator companies. 
I am sorry for the great inconvenience that the lack of functioning elevators in our garage is causing, especially for our elderly and handicapped parishioners and guests. If there is any movement from the elevator company, I will be sure to inform you. It is all very FRUSTRATING! If and when the elevators are repaired and operating again, we will look at shutting down the elevators at night in the hopes of reducing the amount of vandalism they receive. Meanwhile, get your exercise climbing the steps at the garage.

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