REED CITY — Some construction projects don't always go exactly as planned.

Osceola County Commissioners approved spending $5,777.50 for a parapet — a low protective wall built on the roof — to protect the roof at the Commission on Aging's future meal and activity site in Marion during their first regular monthly Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday.

Commission on Aging Director Scott Schryer and Joe Bentley, president of Steve Jones Construction, told commissioners workers found water leakage on a small scale happening and traced its origin to the roof. The roof of the building is connected to the roof of a neighboring building.

"Your roof isn't that bad," Bentley pointed out. "It's not leaking all over. It's near the wall where it ties into the neighbor. There's still life in it, but my concern is if you're dunking money into it now and then in five years you're going to be putting even more into it.

"I looked at how much a water-tight joint might be. It was in the original contract for the bid, but an alternative bid was selected. The connection between the two buildings, when (the neighbor) put a new roof on and tied it to COA building, it was not a very good job."

There currently is between $9,000 and $10,000 set aside for work specific to the roof, namely the roof edges on the west and north sides of the building, Bentley explained.

"Those already are in the contract," he said. "My only concern is we hate to put money into it now if it's something you consider doing later."

Chair Larry Emig said officials originally planned on adding a new roof to the project, but selected a different bid.

"There was some sticker shock," he said. "Then, as we started looking through the bids, we looked at what needed to really happen to the building. That $17,000 figure for the roof was something we didn't have to do at that point. We decided it was something we can do down the road."

Commissioner Mark Gregory said he believes grant funding will be available in five years to help offset costs when a new roof is needed.

Rebuilding the roof now would cost an additional $16,000 to $17,000 on top of the funds already in the contract, Bentley said.

In other action from Tuesday's meeting, officials approved the following items:

  • Up to $600 for emergency lights and electrical work for the dishwasher for the Marion COA renovation project;
  • Up to $1,000 in contingency funding for the renovation project, so Schryer can make smaller purchases in case other things come up;
  • A memorandum of agreement between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service and Osceola County through its COA for Senior Project FRESH/Market FRESH, a program providing coupons to senior citizens for fresh produce at farmers markets and other locations;
  • Appointing George Hollingshead, Herbert B. Phelps, Jim Peterson, Keith Holmes, Kevin Miller, Shane Helmer and Terrance Gerber for two years to the Osceola County Building Board of Appeals;
  • Appointing Commissioner Roger Elkins as an interim member of the Evart Local Development Finance Authority;
  • Allowing Emergency Management Director Mark Watkins to apply and sign for the annual Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grant for $1,000;
  • A fall Emergency Medical Technician class through the county; and
  • Spending $33,045.12 for a 2017 Ford F250 XL from Babb Ford for the Emergency Medical Services department as a support vehicle. Commissioners Jill Halladay and Gregory voted no on the measure.

Items approved during the Committee of the Whole meeting were later affirmed at the board of commissioners meeting.

The next Committee of the Whole meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, at the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Osceola County Courthouse.