Blair to spend $490,000 on court, prison roofs

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County will spend $490,000 this year to replace flat roofs on the courthouse and prison.

Commissioners are signing a contract with J.M. Young & Sons of Belleview, which provided the low­er of two bids submitted.

The $490,000 reflects the cost for replacing roofs on both structures, Brian Wiser of Keller Engineers told commissioners during Tuesday’s weekly meeting.

The Belleview company also submitted roof replacement bids for each structure, totalling $493,400.

But if the county intends to keep the roofing work consolidated, then the company is willing to do the work at $490,000, Wiser said.

Commissioners, who reviewed bids last week, acknowledged that they were ready to go ahead with the proposed project once the price was clarified.

The second of two bids received for the project was $510,300.

With the price clarified and commissioners’ auth­orization, the county is expected to issue a notice to proceed before the end of the month.

The contract calls for work to be finished within four months — by the end of November, but weather or other unanticipated factors could influence the progress.

County leaders have spoken in recent years about the need to replace the rubber flat roofs on the newer side of the courthouse and on the prison’s 1982 addition.

The roof on the newer side of the courthouse, referred to as the 1999 addition, would be 20 years old this year. Its deterioration has been blamed for water seeping into the fourth floor offices. The roof’s condition has also been named as a factor in why the sandstone blocks closest to the roof develop black stain-like marks after it rains. The black marks fade as the sandstone blocks dry.

Commissioners set aside money in the 2017 bond issue to devote to replacing roofs. The bond issue is a borrowing arrangement allowing the county to secure money from the sale of bonds that can be used to cover designated expenses. The county then takes several years to pay back the borrowed money, plus interest, using real estate tax revenue collected for debt payments.