The County of Stettler turned down a request from the Nevis Community Hall Association which was looking for financial help with their hall’s failing roof. The decision was made at the Oct. 14 regular meeting of council.
“The Nevis Community hall roof has begun to unexpectedly fail,” stated a memo to council from Lorraine Hankins, manager of Recreation and Insurance.
A letter from Nevis Community Hall Association president Joe Gendre explained the roof is not new and some work intended to extend its life didn’t work out at planned.
“The Nevis Community Centre is writing to council to request emergency financial assistance to replace the aging metal roof on the Nevis Community Centre,” stated Joe’s letter.
“This roof is approximately 25 years old and even though a sealant coat was applied in 2015 to extend the life of the roof.
It was discovered upon inspection that the gaskets around the screws have backed out or have entirely disappeared, causing the rain to enter the interior of the structure.
“The members are concerned that without immediate attention to this issue, the community hall will need repair to the entire structure or at worse the hall will become unrepairable.
“We would like to have the roof repaired in early spring of 2021 as the community centre has bookings starting in May, 2021, through to the end of Aug., 2021,” stated Joe’s letter.
The association’s letter noted they gathered six estimates from three contractors, one each for traditional asphalt roofing and one tin. The memo listed the highest tin roof quote at $45,458.32 while the highest asphalt roof quote was $20,390.00.
Hankins stated the association's insurance claim was denied.
“On July 8, 2020, board members entered the Nevis Community Hall to discover that the roof had begun to leak, fortunately there was minimal damage to the inside of the building,” she stated in her report.
“The insurance adjuster visited the site and based on the age of the roof and the apparent wear and tear, their insurance claim was denied.
“The roof has been repaired for the interim with plans to either replace the roof with tin or shingles in the spring of 2021.
“The Regional Recreation Board met on Sept. 21, 2020 and recommended that Nevis Community Centre apply for Recreation Special Project Funding.
Administration has brought it to council to consider whether emergent funding will be considered before the Recreation Board considers their recommendations for RSPF funding.”
During discussion, Coun. James Nibourg asked why the request was coming to council, with Coun. Les Stulberg responding emergency requests have to come to council.
Coun. Nibourg asked how much money the hall association has for this project, and Coun. Cheri Neitz stated she didn’t know.
Nibourg responded the association should use its own funds first, and he also stated this situation didn’t seem to be an emergency to him.
County Chief Administrative Officer Yvette Cassidy stated groups making requests like this are usually encouraged to contribute to the project, plus if the request was granted, the county would need certain financial information from the association.
“I don’t think this meets the emergency funding test whatsoever,” said Cassidy.
Coun. Wayne Nixon stated with Stettler County experiencing financial challenges, requests like this are difficult to grant, and didn’t think it was emergent.
“I don’t believe this is an emergency,” said Nixon.
Coun. Neitz stated the pandemic has caused some problems for groups trying to raise funds. Neitz suggested tabling the request to gather more information about the request.
Neitz’ request to table the request was defeated in a 6 to 1 vote.
Coun. Ernie Gendre stated 25 years for a tin roof isn’t very long, screws shouldn’t be backing out and he thought the building probably needs to be inspected.
Councillors moved to deny the funding request by a 6 to 1 vote.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review