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City approves emergency repair of fire station roof

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 29, 2016

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — Although it was something put in the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, Fire Chief George Morehouse said a new roof on the city’s North Fire Station can’t wait.

“The roof had been showing significant deterioration,” he told City Council in May. “We thought we were going to be able to control that occurrence. 

“This spring, the roof leaks have increased.”

Because of that, he said, the roof needs to be replaced before the 2016-17 fiscal year budget is in effect. 

That plan may have hit a snag, however.

Six companies completed a mandatory walk-through of the premises, Morehouse said, but the low bidder said he wouldn’t do the job unless he could add $12,000 worth of insulation to the building as well. Because of that, the second-lowest bidder, J.D. Candler Roofing, was recommended, at a cost of $55,500.

Councilman Peter Rubino was concerned with the comment from Bloom Roofing, of Brighton.

“They stated that they couldn’t get a permit for the job without the proper insulation, and code said it should be a certain way — is that true?” he asked. 

In a letter submitted with the bid, the company stated that an additional 2 inches of insulation would be required because the 1.5 inches of insulation requested only has an R-value of 8.5, not 20 as current code requires.

Morehouse said the city’s building inspector said that “there’s all kinds of existing material” that would be taken into account, which would help the building meet the required R-value of insulation. 

Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes said that what is already in the building was found to be acceptable. 

“The better the R-value, the better for the building,” he said. “If they had to do something, the building inspector would have told them it had to be done.”

“They’re saying 20 R-value is code,” countered Rubino. “I certainly hope our building inspector is not telling us we can do something that’s not to code.”

He made a motion June 6 awarding the bid contingent upon getting a letter from the building inspector explaining that the building’s insulation is up to code. It was unanimously approved by council.

A few weeks later, Morehouse said the matter is still being investigated by the city’s building inspector, the contractor and the supplier, Firestone Building Products.

He explained that the battalion chief had spoken with a roofing contractor who provided him with the specifications he thought would work for the roof, but now “there’s a big chance” the city will need more insulation for the project.

If that is the case, Morehouse said June 21, “We’ll put out a whole new RFP (request for proposal) with new specifications and have another bid opening and come before council again. We’re in standing mode waiting to hear.”

Whatever the outcome, he said the city will still be asking for a 10-year warranty on the roof, with an option to purchase an additional 10 years. 

“We want to get longevity out of it,” he said. 

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