Asbestos halts new roof construction on city buildings

Published 11:01 am Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jordan Rushing, an employee of the Old Court House Museum, pulls vines from the fenceline at Pettit Cemetery.

Jordan Rushing, an employee of the Old Court House Museum, pulls vines from the fenceline at Pettit Cemetery.

City officials have put a hold on roofing three city buildings after asbestos was discovered in their roofs.

Building maintenance superintendent Sammie Rainey said asbestos was discovered in the roofs of fire station No. 6, the central fire station and the city vehicle maintenance garage after asbestos tests were conducted on them and the water treatment plant at the recommendation of Allen and Hoshall of Jackson, the engineers for the roofing projects.

No asbestos was found at the water treatment plant, he said.

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The discovery forced the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday to table approving a $225,000 contract with Guaranteed Roofing Co. of Pearl to replace the roofs on the central fire station and the vehicle maintenance building.

The board on July 7 approved a $176,000 contract with M & S Roofing Co. of Pearl to put roofs on fire station No. 6 and the water treatment plant.

Rainey said city officials do not know the extent of the asbestos contamination at the three buildings.

“Right now, we’re trying to find a company to remove it,” he said. “We have quotes from one company and we’re trying to get prices from two more. We don’t know how long it will take before we can hire somebody to remove it and we can put the new roofs on.”

The board in May approved new roofs for the water treatment plant and fire station No. 6. They approved roofs for the central fire station and vehicle maintenance building in June.

Built in 1968, the water treatment plant has a multi-layered roof topped with a membrane covered by gravel that was last replaced in 1999 and has been patched several times since.

Fire Station No. 6 was built in 1955. It was installed about 15 to 20 years ago and had also been patched several times since, and had several areas along the cap (the metal flashing under the roof along the top of the building) where it leaks.

Central Fire Station was built 1924. Fire Chief Charles Atkins said that roof has also been patched several times. The city has owned the vehicle maintenance building since 1990 and moved the vehicle repair department in the building in 1992.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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