The powerful storm that devastated Letcher County on the night after Easter, brought what Whitesburg Mayor James Wiley Craft called a “typhoon,” with extremely high winds and “torrential” rains that did significant damage to the 108-year-old city hall.
Along with downed trees, localized flooding, and the other usual effects of powerful storms, the Easter storm left Whitesburg City Hall with a large part of its roof missing, causing considerable rain damage in the older part of the building. In his notice of an emergency called meeting, Craft wrote that the Whitesburg Police Department, the dispatch room and adjoining office, the City Council Room, and part of the stairwell leading to the Whitesburg Volunteer Fire Department suffered water damage.
At a special called meeting held last Friday through a conference call for safety purposes, Craft told the council that the roof has been patched a number of times over the years, but the damage is so extensive this time, it will have to be replaced. He praised the late Lannie Day for his usual good job in containing the damage and patching to the roof to keep more water out. Day, who died last week, was the city’s long-time construction manager.
Craft said the matter has been turned over to the city’s insurance provider, and its adjuster has conducted an analysis of the damage. The estimate shows damages to the exterior of the building totaling $64,407.22. Including depreciation, the actual cash value is $57,172.02, Craft included copies of three quotes the city received for the repairs for the council to review.
The quotes came from contractors that specialize in roof installation and repairs. Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc. of Wheeling, W.Va. submitted a bid for $146,900, Barlow Roofing and General Construction of Georgetown submitted a bid for $62,480, and Castle’s Roofing of Paintsville submitted a bid for $50,600. Councilman John Pellegrini, a retired Whitesburg physician who owns several structures in Whitesburg, said he has had generally good experiences with Barlow, although he has had some issues with the coatings it used. However, Craft said Barlow’s bid includes DuraLast Roofing, which he prefers. He said the Castle bid does not specify DuraLast and he hasn’t had any experience with the company. Craft said he would recommend that the council accept the bid from Barlow Roofing. He said it had done a very good job on the Allied Health Building at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College five or six years ago, and he is satisfied with its work.
Councilman Mike Jackson made the motion to accept Barlow’s bid, and Councilman Derek Barto seconded. Craft asked that the motion be amended to allow him to follow through and sign the contract without another meeting. His request was approved and he said the next step will be to address the damage done to the interior of the building at a future meeting.