El Dorado News

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November 14, 2018
El Dorado News Times
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Recreation complex board pauses dugout project

By Tia Lyons
This article was published September 8, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

With several projects on the table, the El Dorado-Union County Recreation Complex Board agreed Friday to postpone a review of an improvement project that was recently completed on the dugouts.

Board members recently met with El Dorado and Union County officials to hash out questions about work on the nearly $10,000 job to replace the roofs of eight dugouts on the four oldest fields at the facility.

While reviewing the August financial report, the group homed in on a $9,853 expenditure for work performed by Long’s Roofing and Sheet Metal.

Board members later learned that Union County Judge Mike Loftin had hired Long’s to install new roofing panels to replace old wooden roofs that were deteriorating and damaged.

On Friday, Greg Harrison, board chairman and a member of the Union County Quorum Court, said the matter initially arose, in part, as a safety hazard.

Harrison and other board members had said that children were climbing atop the roofs, and the shingles had become worn and developed sharp edges.

New materials — roofing panels and angle iron — to replace the old roofs were purchased out of the 2017 complex budget at a cost of nearly $6,000.

Board members said the cost of the installation by Long’s seemed steep, noting that the city or county were to have performed the work as an in-kind service.

In August, board members said they were unaware that Long’s had performed the installation.

Loftin explained that he called Long’s after county workers who had looked into the project said they did not know how to properly install the new panels.

After Dianne Hammond, a member of the complex board and El Dorado City Council, said she and her husband had experience with the panels and had offered to help county employees install them, the group launched into an earnest discussion about the need to improve communication among the entities who have a hand in complex operations and contribute to its annual budget: the complex board, city and county governments and complex manager, the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado.

Hammond and board member Will Crowder, also a member of the quorum court, said the new roofing panels were placed over the old roofs, and they would have to be removed and the rotting wood underneath replaced.

Hammond also said the angle iron was not used to build the framework for the new panels.

Loftin said then that he would take a look at the installation job and told board members they could “take care of getting the roof fixed.”

The board resumed the discussion during a regular meeting Friday.

Loftin said that while he did not go to the complex, he reviewed photos of the work and determined that the roofing panels would not have to be removed.

He recommended that the board address the trim work and seal and paint the underside of the old dugout roofs, rather than spending additional money to remove the panels and the old roofs and replace the panels.

“With those panels on the roof, it’s never going to leak again. The only part you see is underneath, and you see water damage. It’s not falling out,” Loftin said.

“With that old wood, it’ll eventually rot out the panels,” Crowder insisted. “If it had been done right in the first place, we wouldn’t even be talking about this.”

Board member Avo Vartenian agreed with Loftin that future water damage is not likely, but he said the issue with the rotting wood will arise within the next 10 or 15 years.

“It may not have been done the way we would have liked, but I say we observe and move on,” Mayor Frank Hash said. “If something happens, we’ll back up and lick this calf again.”

Crowder noted that additional money will have to be spent to seal and paint the underside of the roofs, and Harrison said Long’s may offer assistance.

“We paid quite a bit to have it done. Long’s may be willing to help us out with a few minor details,” Harrison said.

Vartenian suggested that the group focus on other potential projects, such as how to fund a master improvement and expansion plan, and take another look at the roofs later.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@eldoradonews.com.

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