County accepts bid for courthouse roof repair

Cris Ritchie — Editor

August 29, 2013

HAZARD – The Perry County Fiscal Court approved a bid on Thursday to complete repairs on the courthouse roof.

Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble said the roof above the former jail is in disrepair and maintenance personnel have patched holes several times to stop leaks. But the roof is in such condition now that it needs to be replaced to prevent damage to the space beneath it.

“Putting a roof on the jail is not important because we don’t use it anymore, but what’s important is down underneath it,” Noble said.

The county recently renovated space for Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen on the second floor, and Noble said when the roof leaks above the old jail, water finds its way down into the renovated space.

“It’s flooding, so we have to replace it,” he said.

The court opened two sealed bids during Thursday’s special-called meeting, one from Lewis Brothers Construction for $112,650, and another from Roofing Solutions for $64,370.

Noble noted the court is obliged to accept the lowest bid since the county will be reimbursed for the project through coal severance funds. The court voted unanimously to approve the lowest, though Roofing Solutions’ proposal did not include a bond to cover the entire amount of the bid. Company representatives at the meeting did, however, agree to obtain a bond at the same bid amount.

What to do with the space once a new roof is installed remains a question. The former jail hasn’t been used in a decade and will likely never be used in that capacity again, and at present the space is unused. Noble said he has looked into the possibility of a halfway house, as the closest to Hazard of which he is aware is located in London and Lexington. He said a halfway house could possibly bring in revenue to the county to help offset costs incurred at the regional jail in Hazard.

“It’s just an option that we might be able to do something like that,” he said, adding the area could also be renovated for new office space.