By Jeff Gallatin
City officials are hoping to clean up a mess left at the senior center after heavy rain literally left holes in a roofing project there.
Safety/service Director Scott Thomas said Thursday the city hopes to get an estimated $100,000 in repairs underway as quickly as possible. The consistently heavy rain for more than two weeks, with storms in late June in particular, took a toll on the project being done by West Roofing Systems of LaGrange. City Council approved doing the project on an emergency basis by a 5-2 margin, with Kevin Kearney and Larry Orlowski voting against it.
“There was something like 16 straight days of rain,” Thomas said. “Whenever you get that kind of steady, heavy rain, there’s a good chance some problems can develop.”
He noted the roofers did try to take to take precautions while they were doing the repair work, but the heavy rains came in and caused damage to the interior of the building. The roof repairs were being done with a grant the city received from Cuyahoga County earlier in the year.
“It’s a problem any time you see those type of damages to a building, let alone to a place where a lot of people gather on a regular basis several days a week, like a senior center,” Thomas said.
“Any time you have that kind of rain, there can be problems,” Mayor Kevin Kennedy said. “We’re fortunate that insurance will be covering the costs of the work.”
In noting their objections, Kearney and Orlowski pointed to the timing of the work as well as the high costs.
“One hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money,” Kearney said. “You need to put some thought into how they spend it. I’d just want us to make sure we take a good look at this and what happened so we can fix it and make sure there aren’t any other problems.”
During council’s caucus session, Orlwoski asked if anybody had checked the roofing firm’s credentials. He followed up after the meeting with additional questions about the situation in explaining his no vote.
“This whole thing has been a mess,” he said. “They’re claiming that there’s a time frame. If they get the roof fixed so it’s not leaking, we could take our time and go through the bid process. I think we’d do better to go out for bids on this.”
Orlowski said he’s aware insurance is going to pay for the work, but said he still would be more comfortable if the city sought bids.
Thomas noted the contractor was obtained from the state contractors list.
“They had to be checked out on their work and have some good work to their credit to even get on that list,” Thomas said. “You don’t get to that point unless you’ve passed some checks.”
Kennedy noted West Roofing is continuing its work on replacing the roof and the repairs. He said officials hope to have the work completed by the end of September.