September 3, 2014 10:22:21 AM
VERNON, Ala. -- City officials are moving closer to a solution to structural issues plaguing parts of city hall.
The Vernon City Council on Tuesday heard a detailed report of preliminary efforts to determine the best plan of action to resolve roof and wall leakage from Mayor Glenn Crawford, who noted recent inspections by a structural engineer and repaired trusses by contractor Ricky Merchant.
"[The engineer] suggested we start at the top, make sure the trusses look good, and once we got the roof done, do the middle of the wall where we see it leaning in," Crawford explained. "The floor would be the last thing we address."
Two weeks ago, Merchant detailed deficiencies in the complex's roof -- not including a tin roof recently constructed above the school -- which includes a rotted seal that will "keep leaking" and "get worse." He estimated a new roof for the complex, which houses the city library, elementary school, and genealogy room, could cost the city $35,000.
The council previously approved and later nixed bid specs -- without plumbing or materials -- for the renovation of a corner of the city's library, which included two rooms and bathrooms. Crawford estimated the renovations would ultimately cost between $75,000 and $100,000.
But replacing brick, cement pillars, and wood supports in walls, and replacing the roof would require a new round of bids and a decision of how much of the deficiencies to address. Crawford said the city could handle the majority of work without immediately addressing the floors.
"[The engineer] said the water under the building isn't the biggest issue," Crawford explained. "It's the water that's leaked through the roof and walls. The water underneath would not produce enough rot to affect it anymore."
Crawford said the plan is broken into three phases: ensure all trusses are structurally sound; address sagging windows; and repair the floor.
"We don't have a clean answer, but we have a good start."
In other action, the council:
■ Voted unanimously to accept the resignation of recycling plant employee Scott Robinson; the board approved the hiring of his replacement, Chris Reeves, at a rate of $8.50 for six months. Reeves, whose part-time term was set to end at the end of the month, will have a salary of $9 after his probationary period is complete.
1. Coach Marsh will be remembered COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY