By Dave Russell

Paige Christy, director of the Community Table, addressed the Sylva town board at the Dec. 13 meeting to ask their help in repairing the roof of the agency’s building.

A June windstorm blew some shingles off the roof, she said. They put a tarp on the roof and recruited some volunteers to fix it, but it turned into a much bigger job than anticipated.

“We got up on the roof and realized that we have more than shingles to fix,” she said. “We have soft spots in the roof. We have places where previous repairs were three or four layers of shingles deep, so the shingles are not attached to the wood, they’re just attached to each other and that’s why we lost shingles in the first place.

“So the job went from ‘we need a few shingles replaced’ to ‘we need a new roof,’” she said.

Christy said she has asked for quotes to replace the roof ranging from about $18,000 to $37,000.

“It looks like we’re in about the $18,000-20,000 range to fix the roof, and since the town owns the building and we’re leasing it, basically I am here to ask for assistance for the roof repair,” she said.

The Community Table has served almost 28,000 meals and distributed nearly 10,000 boxes of groceries so far this year, Christy said.

“We’ve been careful not to ask you for something in the past because we were afraid something like this might happen someday,” she told the board. 

The Community Table can come up with $8,000-9,000 toward the project, she said.

“We’ve sent a letter to the county asking if they could help us a little bit as well,” she said. “But we are asking your assistance in filling that gap.”

The lowest quote for repairs came in at $16,450, town Manager Paige Dowling said. “We added a 10 percent contingency to that because you don’t ever know entirely what you are working with when dealing with a roof. It’s $18,095.”

Sylva had also written a letter to county officials, she said.

“If the board is inclined to help with this, what I would like to do is take the entire project, the $18,095, out of the capital reserve fund and appropriate it into facility maintenance to repair the roof,” Dowling said. “It is our building and technically, our asset.”

The Community Table and county would then repay the town, Dowling said. She said she thinks the county will contribute $5,000. Those funds would be put back in the capital reserve fund, leaving Sylva’s contribution at $5,095.

Dowling said she searched town records but could not find any mention of the roof being replaced, just repaired in 2003. 

Outgoing Public Works Director Dan Schaeffer said he had walked the roof and only found 15 really soft places.

“But you never know until you start tearing shingles off,” he said. “That’s why we’ve added the contingency.” 

Schaeffer said Lowe’s did a good job on his roof and gave the best quote, and offer a 10-year guarantee. He recommended the board accept their quote.

A motion passed unanimously to appropriate the funds and repair the roof.

The following Monday, with little discussion, Jackson County commissioners unanimously passed a motion to add $5,000 to the repair fund.