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Roof Repairs, a Drop at a Time

A Leaky Ceiling Along a Main Street Business

A Leaky Ceiling Along a Main Street Business

Our May rains brought home the need for roof repair to many of the buildings around the downtown area of Lamar. Some businesses had buckets placed on their floors to catch dripping water from recent rains.  Some overhead awnings along Main Street were also dripping, an indication that these leaks can travel in at one point and exit at another.  Finding out where the leaks originate at rooftop levels is not that easy and can be a costly enterprise.  The Prowers County Courthouse roof has had a complete revamping and the City of Lamar is weighing options on the cost of a new roof for the Lamar Community Building.

The local problem was discussed during the May 8th meeting of the Lamar Redevelopment Authority at the request of financial help for roof replacement on West Beech Street.  Community Development Director, Angie Cue, was representing the owner of properties at 121 West Beech and around the corner on South 5th in Lamar.  Of the two properties, one is a church and the other is an accounting firm.  They are seeking information on what type of financial help would be available from the LRA.

Cue said this isn’t the only property with leaky roofs. “A lot of businesses have had foam roofs for the past 25 to 40 years and are showing wear and leaks,” she explained, adding, that core samples of the foam, when squeezed, will leak water contained in the material.  Although the business/church owner had a lone bid from a Colorado Springs contractor, local contractors were contacted for a general assessment of costs associated with several roof renovations.

The estimate for his two buildings was $38,000 in two estimates, $26,800 for the larger church and $11,800 for the smaller accounting firm. The Authority expressed some concern over funding for a non-profit church, as the RDA is funding through TIF, Tax Incremental Funds, based on the assessed value of buildings in the Authority district and subsequent improvements made to them.  The thinking was, if both properties could be umbrella’d and perhaps other properties done at the same time, there would be a way for the funding to be approved.  Cue said there are a couple of Main Street Buildings as well as one at East Olive Street that have made inquiries for assistance.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, added, ”One of the reasons the Authority was set up was to eliminate blight in the district. This can impact a structure and one of our goals has been to save the structure in our area.”  Mayor Stagner said he’d feel better about assistance for the business venture side of the loan.  He suggested the district needs to find an equitable balance on how to distribute funding, “We can’t give the same amount to both as one roof is larger than the other or others that may apply in the future.”  Some solutions included an 80/20 split for funding if the owner can also show they’re receiving needed funding from a lending agency such as SECED, which would take the burden of the City of Lamar supplying the 20%.  He added, “If we did the whole amount, we’d be draining our account with a lot of requests.”

Cue said that a $10,000 figure would be in the nature of both requests and it could be stipulated that both roofs be repaired instead of just one. She added the minister/building owner leases both facilities; to the church and accounting firm and has plans to increase the retail size of the property.  Additional information on the request will be made at future Redevelopment Authority meetings.

By Russ Baldwin

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