The Douglasville City Council discussed the possibility of a new roof and wall restoration at city hall at a cost of approximately $140,000 during Monday's committee meetings.
The presentation stemmed from the fact that those features on the building haven’t been restored in quite some time.
“This is in reference to the barrel roof of city hall,” Maintenance & Sanitation Director Greg Roberts said. “We’re not exactly sure when it would’ve last been maintained. The fact that it is a barrel roof is probably the reason we haven’t had any significant issues with it, but with time and age, for some of us, like myself, is sort of taking its toll on it and so there is some maintenance needed on it.”
Douglasville’s city hall has three roof sections, which is over the building code maximum of two sections on a roof, Britt Grisham of The Garland Company, Inc. said. The roof decking is made out of sheetrock, which isn’t Grisham’s recommended material to use. There are also dozens of nails on the roof that aren’t hitting the roof’s rafters.
“I would highly suggest that you replace this roof,” Grisham said. “My suggestion is to definitely put it in your budget for maybe three, five years down the road.”
Grisham projected the cost of replacing the roof and restoring the walls to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because it would require removing what’s there, putting down the proper decking and building the new roof on top of that. The brick walls on three sides of city hall were discussed because the wall in the alleyway is going to remain the same to keep its consistent look, Roberts said.
Councilman Terry Miller raised a concern after Grisham’s presentation.
“We’re considering a new city hall, how much money do we really want to invest in this city hall?” Miller said. “I think we need to think through seriously what kind of limit you put. Obviously, if there’s some urgent collapse that’s one thing, but is a 10-year extension on the life of that roof worth it at this point?”
A new city hall was in Phase II of the city’s 10-year Downtown Master Plan. The city hall could be moved into the old Douglasville Police Department building at the corner of Bowden and Church streets, City Manager Marcia Hampton said in December.
Mayor Rochelle Robinson echoed Miller’s concern and asked the council if the safety of the roof and walls were in danger to the point of considering a “low” investment of $140,000. Hampton then reminded the council of how the presentation and question came about in the first place.
“You all asked us to put some money aside from SPLOST to take care of the pressing issues in city hall,” Hampton said. “And we have $300,000 set aside. As you know there are some issues with leaking, windows, certain areas, so that money is set aside.”
Miller said after the meeting that he still wants to assess how long the planning would be for the roof and walls' eventual replacement.
Mayor Pro Tem Richard Segal said he expects the issue to be on an agenda for another council committee meeting in the future.