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Cannelton leaders pursue remedy for leaking gym roof

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

Attorney notifies contractor of warranty claim

CANNELTON - Cannelton city officials are pursuing repairs to the city's old gymnasium under a warranty enacted when roof repairs were made.

"There is a warranty and the installer has insurance," city attorney Chris Goffinet said at a regular meeting of the city's common council Feb. 18. The roof "may not have been installed correctly," he added.

From the audience, Charlie Davis concurred, saying, "You don't put metal roofing on that way." Flashing, sheet metal used to waterproof joints, wasn't used, he said, and "he just tarred everything."

The common council in place at the time discussed the repairs in a September 2006 meeting. Councilman Steve Bennett balked at signing a voucher for the work, The News reported then. The job was bid as a simple quotation with no specifications provided, and the curved surface over the main gymnasium area was re-covered with metal roofing.

Bruce Myers, then a councilman and now the city's building inspector, said he used a bucket truck to examine the main roof shortly after its installation and several days after a rain.

"I don't think it will last, the way the water lays between the ridges," he said then.

"You got an $8,000 patch job," city resident Mike Drake told the council during the same meeting. "If it lasts 10 years, you paid $800 a year for a patch job to protect your floors."

The floor is now being damaged and rain is getting into a fire-department meeting room in the lower level of the building, Davis said.

Seams between sheets used to construct metal roofs normally run from the top of a building downward. That would be possible on the gym's curved surface only at great expense, according to the man who performed the work.

"It's the only way you could put it on," Carl Cronin, 139 Pestalozzi Road, Tell City, said of his work when the issue first arose. "Otherwise you'd have to get it special-made for $30,000." He also said all the seams were caulked and "there's nothing wrong with that roof." When it rains, "the sun will dry it up in no time."

The guarantee wasn't obtained until after the work was completed. Cronin provided a 10-year guarantee after then-Mayor Melvin McBrayer approached him.

"I'd guarantee it for 20 years, but I'm not going to," Cronin told The News later. "That roof will still be up there 20, 30 years from now."

Goffinet said he'd write a letter to Cronin to make a warranty claim and give him time to respond. Cronin was also to be asked to attend the next council meeting.

He is ill, however, and not currently working, according his wife. She said their son, Johnny, is taking care of the business.

"I think I got a paper yesterday," he said when asked if he'd received the city's notification. He helped install the metal roofing, he said, and "that's the only way you can put it on, unless you build it up. That's the only way they're going to be able to repair it."

McBrayer "knew it had to go on that way," he added. "We didn't price it to build it up."

Rain is also a problem in the city's street-department building, Mayor Smokey Graves said during a public-works-board meeting that preceded the council gathering.

"Tons of rain comes down into the sliding glass door," he said.

Moisture gets into salt stored in the building, causing it to cake, Street Commissioner Jimmy Maffia added.

The building also needs a water heater, the mayor said, noting that without one, department workers have no warm water to wash with after they've been out shoveling snow. "They deserve a water heater in there," he said.

Maffia said he'd seek estimates on the needed work.

The board approved a request to designate parking spaces in front of the Covered Wagon for customers or unloading only. The line-dancing venue at 124 S. 6th St., "is only open four nights a week," owner Jesse Clem told the city officials, "and I can't even use the sidewalks I'm keeping clean. The way it is now, it's a jumbled-up mess."

The board granted his request to limit parking to his customers 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Clem said he could provide the signs, but needed the city's support because to keep noncustomers from using the spaces, "they have to be afraid they'll be towed. When I'm not open, they can park where they want to."