SISTERSVILLE - A strong odor tipped off the staff at the Sistersville City Building, resulting in the discovery of a large leak that could cost the city a small fortune to repair.
City Manager Vance Ash said, "It's leaking pretty bad. This is a big issue." In fact, Ash estimates the repair to cost in excess of $150,000.
According to Ash, a local contractor was contacted to give an estimate on the repair, however, the company was reluctant to tackle the job. This prompted Ash to contact a company in Wheeling. "They did the roof at the old school," he explained.
Additionally, Ash has drafted a letter to Delegate Roger Romine, R-Tyler, Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, and Sen. Larry Edgell, D-Wetzel, to garner support for the repair project. Ash hopes state funds can be procured to offset the financial burden on the city.
Aside from the high cost to repair the roof, the structure, which was built in 1897, is also listed on the registry of historical sites. When deteriorated, damaged or lost features of a historic building need repair or replacement, it is usually a requirement that contractors use historic materials. In limited circumstances substitute materials that imitate historic materials may be used if the appearance and properties of the historic materials can be matched closely and no damage to the remaining historic fabric will result. This means the city may be required to use slate in the repair project.
"We will get estimates for all options," stated Mayor Dave Fox.
Councilman Bill Rice reminded the council at-large that a portion of the roof was repaired approximately nine years ago. While they are not sure where the new leak started, they suspect the origin is not in the part previously repaired.
In the meantime, a bad odor has spread through the building. When it rains, the building cannot be used, which has put City Recorder Diana Mace in a precarious situation, as city business is ongoing.
To resolve this issue, Fox is looking into using the building that formally housed Dr. Boone's medical practice on the corner of Virginia Street as a temporary site for city operations, including the operation of the Sistersville Police Department.
Planning Commission President Harold Dally informed the council the commission is moving forward with a project to erect a "welcome" sign near the ferry landing. The group has contracted Matt Kinnard to fabricate the sign, which is one of two that has been approved by the council.
In addition, the commission has agreed to donate funds to the VFW flag fund to procure 33 flags.