0115 senior center roof

The Anacortes Public Works Department is asking the City Council to approve an emergency resolution to allow a new roof to be installed on the Senior Activity Center. (Richard Walker / Anacortes American)

The Anacortes Senior Activity Center needs a new roof, and an emergency resolution may ensure the center gets one soon.

The Public Works Department is proposing that the City Council approve an emergency resolution that would allow Public Works to bypass the usual competitive bidding process and hire a contractor to replace the 24-year-old composite roof, which is moss-covered and leaks in at least one spot.

The resolution was on the council’s agenda for Monday, but that meeting was canceled because of a lack of quorum. The council’s next meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21.

The city has had a tough time hiring a contractor. Bids received in April 2019 were rejected by the council because they exceeded the city’s budget for the work. Two companies defaulted on contracts awarded in July and September. The council rejected a contract presented in October.

Now, with wet winter weather here, city officials are worried about leaks that could jeopardize the safety of users.

“The roof has deteriorated due to age and is currently leaking water in multiple places throughout the building,” according to a report to the council from Public Works Director Fred Buckenmeyer. “Rain is frequent this time of year and it is imperative the roof is replaced immediately to prevent further damage to the building and protect the vulnerable population served by the Anacortes Senior Center from falls and mold exposure.”

City Finance Director Steve Hoglund said about $150,000 was budgeted in 2019 for the roof replacement. The council preferred replacing the roof with a longer-lasting metal roof, but that cost was about $50,000 more than budgeted, Hoglund said. If the council opts for a metal roof, work may be deferred on a lower-priority project to pay for it, he said.

In addition to re-roofing, repair will need to be done on spots of the plywood sheeting made soft by water, Hoglund said. If a metal roof is chosen, new gutters will need to be installed, he said.

Senior Activity Center administrator Sally Hill said a leak in a hallway drips during heavy rain and that staff members place safety cones, signage and a garbage can to catch the water, which a custodian empties at the end of the day.

While Buckenmeyer’s report doesn’t state when the roof replacement will be done, the resolution states “it is imperative the roof is replaced immediately.”

State law provides that competitive bidding requirements for public works may be waived in the event of an emergency that could cause immediate damage to property.

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