Repairs for PTC library pegged at $261,000

Despite righteous indignation about the manufacturer allegedly shirking responsibility for the numerous roof leaks at the Peachtree City Library, the City Council Thursday night voted to spend $261,000 to replace the entire 7-year-old product.

Several city council members lamented the city’s seeming inability to exact retribution for the leaks, particularly since a representative for manufacturer Johns Mansville claimed that one of the holes in the roof was caused by a rock that was thrown onto the roof.

“... To me the product is defective if a child’s rock causes a hole in it,” said Councilwoman Kim Learnard.

Councilman George Dienhart said he does not believe a thrown rock onto the roof would have caused such damage.

The company that installed the roof seven years ago is no longer in business, and City Attorney Ted Meeker said the city is most likely unable to file an action against the project architect because of an eight-year time limit under Georgia law. The matter of filing suit against Johns Mansville is whether the roof material was sold within 10 years of a lawsuit being filed, and the city would have to prove the roof was defective, Meeker said.

Dienhart said he wanted the city to look into the matter because a rock should not be enough to pierce the roof.

“So some kid, standing in the parking lot, throws a rock in the air and it comes down and punctures a hole in the roof?,” Dienhart asked. “I don’t believe that.”

“Me neither, that’s my point,” said Community Services Director Jon Rorie, who detailed more than a dozen holes in the roof and showed photos of multiple repair spots, including one spot that has developed a second hole. Tests showed that moisture has intruded through the roof into the top layer of insulation in seven areas.

“If a child’s stone penetrated that material, we got sold a bill of goods from day one,” Learnard said.

A John Mansville representative has offered to contribute $5,000 toward roof repairs if the city decided to go that route, according to Rorie.

Rorie noted that city staff failed to meet requirements of the roof warranty in terms of notifying the manufacturer of roof leaks after the initial two-year installer’s warranty. He noted that until 18 months ago, the recreation department was in charge of handling the project, which is now under the umbrella of public works instead.

Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch said she wasn’t as mad at the roofing manufacturer as she was at city staff for not handling the matter according to the warranty so John Mansville “could be held accountable.”

“We have a roof on the recreation administration building that is three years old and I don’t know what kind of documentation we have for that,” Fleisch said. “We have a new roof on the tennis courts. What are we doing to be better? We can’t be replacing roofs every seven years. This is ridiculous.”

The city has to do a better job of following the warranty regulations, Rorie agreed, suggesting that specialized software might help track those requirements.

Rorie noted that the library has a flat roof though he thinks a pitched roof design would have worked better.

There is a silver lining to the project, at least to a degree. The city will be reimbursed $100,000 from the state via a grant for library building improvements.

Also, the new roofing product that would be installed over the library is the same as was put over City Hall seven years ago, which the city has not had any problems with, Rorie said.

Although the new roof installation project was awarded to the lowest bidder, that company’s qualifications have been vetted by city staff, Rorie said.

father time
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Open Records

Check out the info for yourself. Request a copy of the Inspection from Johns Manville as Well as for The Independant Consulatant, then decide. The holes were not obviously there when the roof was installed because I am sure the contractor would have had monies held up until satisfaction to the owner was achieved. Matter of fact, not only the owner but the architect as well would have not of signed off. The warranties work, if properly used. I have seen manufactures replace 18 year old roofs that had a 20 year warranty if the product had failed before its time. This product did not fail but was abused. Holes made in the membrane and never reported and only drew light because of the leaks. Go by and see the horrible leaks in the building. If it were that bad, something would have been done about it long ago.

GeorgeDienhart
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This was a bad deal from the start.

The warranty only covered repair, not replacement. The product was too thin. We made our own repairs in some cases, and applied to have others covered by the manufacturer. The key to your statement is "if properly used". This wasn't done correctly from day one, and to top it off, we don't have the documentation we need to back a claim.

father time
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Get all the Facts.

As always all the facts are not known. The Johns Manville Rep came out and found holes in the membrane. They(JM) offered $5,000.00 to repair the 7 areas that had been identified as potential roof leaks and these were determined by an independant Roof Consultant. A complete reroof, in my opinion, is not necessary to make the roof do its job, and there is maintainance along the way that may have been ovelooked. It seems that the issue has been blown out of proportion and could be rectified without the big expendature. The holes came from something rather than the from thin air, their are other trades on roofs all the time. Some people don,t respect the roof and rubber membrane is vulnerable for punctures, just like tires. It is of the same family of products. Why didn,t the city try what the manufacture reccomended and then if it still fails, consider a completely new roof. Makes you wonder and by the way, I have been in the Commercial Roofing Business for over 32 years. We have seen and faced several issues as these with a less costly solution.

moelarrycurly
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I do believe

the current roof has been repaired more than once. I seem to remember hearing that a few years ago, too. That, and the fact that 100K grant with an expiration date for that money (and the fact that it has to be applied for and approved) gave this council the choice of doing more individual repairs now, and then replace the roof without the approval or availability of another 100K grant later.

Someone would know how long the warranty period is, right? If it was short term (another lousy cheap way the city has done business before) and that term is coming to an end, how does council justify having to forgo the 100K readily available now and probably not later? Also, the bond money is available at an extremely low interest rate now (if that is what is being used to replace it) and the delay to replace could involve a higher interest rate on future bond money and no 100K grant money.

Let's not forget the exterior of the library wall peeled away and had to be shored up this past summer, too (out back). It isn't cheap to have free books and compooters available in this city, that's fer sure.

Mike King
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A Sad State of Affairs

Our Mayor decries that these problems were all dropped in his lap back in 2008 which may very well be true, but somehow I recollect hearing about roof issues for at least that long pertaining to the library. Surely, if the reports of a faulty roof are true, Council (and the mayor) was aware which begs the question of why wasn't the installer brought back to fix the problem back a few years hence? Maybe then someone would have realized the roof was warranted instead of waiting until they were out of business.
It seems to me our mayor is a day late and several dollars short, and even with a 3-2 disadvantage the library roof would have been fixed. This entire fiasco says quite a bit about our current lack of leadership, especially since they are deflecting blame toward those two dismissed recreation employees.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Building, Mainteance, Etc.

These are part of a long list of issues and problems dropped in my lap in 2008.

The PD, Library, City Hall, Tennis Center, etc. were all buildings built by low bidders, not best builders for the job. They all lacked on warranties, inspections and oversight.

That is just one of the reasons I pushed for changes in management and city organization. The old way of of each department being a silo that turned into their own empires failed the City and had to go.

Unfortunately it was not until 2011 the 3-2 against change became a 3-2 for change.

Now, records are being kept and the low bidder is not always the one who gets the job.

There are still some lessons needed to be learned. There are still some on Council who believe the low bid is the way to go. There are still some bloggers that support both the elected and Staff who were behind these problems.

As for that roof, a flat roof is the worst kind of roof. A cheap flat roof is a guarantee of problems. A cheap flat roof poorly installed is inexcusable.

I agree, holding current Staff responsible is unjustifiable. As is saying paper tracking is good enough for accounting etc. One entry with the proper code takes care of the maintenance log, financial entries for budgeting, etc. It saves money and reduces errors.

I reject the idea of the old Rec Department just putting records in boxes on the floor and then digging through them by hand to find anything is defensible.

Allstar American
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you reject it?

You have no archiving software? So what's the alternative? Come on. Lead. Come up with an idea and bring consensus.

Husband and Fat...
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Accountability

Mr. Mayor: Since you identified the problems in 2008 what corrections have been made since then? Seems that the reorganization just permitted everyone to point fingers instead of identifying someone to take ownership. If the reorganization did not direct responsibility, than someone dropped the ball. Is it not the city managers responsibility to make sure these things are taken care of? $261K is a pretty big waste of our tax dollars.

Unless all contractors are completely vetted prior to bidding, I am not one that approves of always going with the low bid. Usually its the middle guy who has it right.

I have to agree. A flat roof though less expensive, is not the way to go on any government bldg. It's a recipe for disaster as we have found out.

Every city building should have a room with a book that contains the construction drawings along with maintenance instructions, warranties, and a list of phone numbers to call when warranty issues need to be addressed. Another copy of this book should be stored elsewhere in City Hall. A simple spread sheet can be used and updated to track issues.

The city manager is supposed to report to City Council. That means City council is in charge. If all of you knew about the issues since 2008 than everyone is accountable.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Corrections

It is the City Manager's responsibility to directly ensure certain things happen by his authority and other things are done by recommendation to and approval by Council. It didn't happen concerning multiple issues brought up in 2008. Remember the PD meetings in 2008 and 2009?

When then brought to the rest of Council, the 3 majority didn't take any actions. Without a 3 vote the City Manager does not have to act.

The reorganization began in mid 2011 and basically finished in 2012, with some additional changes along the way. This was when all the record keeping problems with Rec, in example, were brought to the new City Manager's attention and he acted on corrections immediately. But years and years of problems do not get fixed overnight.

So, trying to blame the current City Manager is a erroneous. It was a nightmare we are still trying to get fixed.

On records, there are so many a lot is stored in a Fairburn facility. Remember we have 15 years and more depending on the records area. Most is not computer codified. Some was on FAX or other materials that deteriorate over time and may be lost forever.

That is why we must get it into data form. Not only for preservation but for search ability. It has to be coded so that one entry with codes add it put it everywhere needed, as in finance, maintenance, per building access, per department access, etc.

We spend too much money doing it manually and digging through paper.

No, not everyone is responsible. I pushed and acted according to the limits of my offices until we got the needed changes. Now it is getting done. I am responsible for identifying problems, which I did, and then getting fixes enacted, which I also did. I do not have the authority to do a lot of things on my own, but need a 3 vote, which unfortunately involved a delay from 2008 to 2011. But I did not stop pushing and finally it happened.

So, from the time of the building of the Library to now, you are talking 7 councils, two city managers, two rec directors, 2 City lawyers, etc. Not all were involved in every issue and effort every step of the way to now.

This is anything but simple and there is no such thing a blanket responsibility on anyone over this stretch of time.

I am the first to say government is terribly inefficient. Without major reform at the Federal and State levels it will continue to be screwed up down to the local level.

Allstar American
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I agree

"screwed up down to the local level". So who was at the local level 7 years ago when this was bought. Hmmm. Mayor Logsden and Councilman Haddix. Haddix, you take credit for everything, but not the roof. Did you read the warrantee? Once again, its all Don Haddix.

Robert W. Morgan
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This is anything but simple, says da mayor

Yep. Not simple at all. I would really like a leader for the city instead of some dork who talks about a 3 vote. For those of you living in Wynmeade or Peachtree Station, that means a 3-2 vote for or against whatever this d***head is proposing.

They do have things called scanners and your over the hill city manager may not know about them, but all the under 40 people in city hall do.

Please go away. November is very soon. Thank God.

Husband and Fat...
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Library Roof

There are so many mistakes made here its just sad. However, its leadership from the top down that created this $260K mess.

Though thrown rocks may have been the cause of the leaks, however, I am not convinced that this is the cause. Perhaps a more realistic cause could be workmen dropping heavy tool boxes on the roof. Manufacturers always argue over the cause or peoples failure to follow their rules in making claims. That is why requiring contractors to purchase the extended warranties are typically a waste of time and money.

Johns Mansville offer was an insult. The city should tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine and never specify their products again. My guess is that the $5K was contingent on purchasing their material anyway.

I am not sure how many buildings the city owns, but the heart of the matter is the city management failure from the top down. Prior to final payment on all construction projects contractors are required to provide all drawings, maintenance information and warranties to the client so that they can go to a simple book to reference care and maintenance responsibilities. Failure to follow these guidelines always results in voided warranties.

It seems that when the city manager got council to approve the reorganization of the recreation dept a few years ago and removed two long time employees (I believe under police watch) this left the city with a vacuum of information that walked out the door without a proper succession plan in place. Perhaps the city manager should have better understood all of the job duties (warranty & maintenance) management, that these people also took care of day to day.

Throwing additional duties into someone elses lap without a plan is recipe for disaster.

Mr. Rorie, the purchase of management software is not going to solve this problem. A simple spreadsheet will do. Knowing the proper procedures and following them will suffice.

Ms. Fleisch, throwing stones at the city employees who took on a task without the proper succession plan is uncalled for, especially when you were part of the council that elected to follow a recommendation to cut costs without having a complete understanding of the plan once the people were removed.

ptctaxpayer
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H&F: Got the roof deal right

"There are so many mistakes made here its just sad. However, its leadership from the top down that created this $260K mess."

AMEN !!! What incredible mismanagement by Council on the simplest of issues.

Haven't you people ever heard of insurance and risk management ?

hersch22
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Library Roof

I question why the recreation department was in charge of roof warranties at all. Shouldn't this fall under the purview of the engineering department?

Husband and Fat...
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Hersch

The article stated that until 18 months ago, the recreation department was in charge of handling the project, which is now under the umbrella of public works instead.

A couple years ago the city reorganized and got rid of two long time managers in the rec dept. Seems to me that when they were released of their duties, their work was not handed over properly to others.

moelarrycurly
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Their work???

What work? This mayor and council have been borrowing millions this past year to take up the slack of the LACK of work by the 2 let go and the utter disregard by the previous mayor and council to see and address the deplorable conditions of our parks and rec facilities.

Husband and Fat...
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MLC

As a resident whose kids utilize our parks and recreation facilities and one who has spent hours working alongside other parents maintaining the playing fields, I can tell you that every year the city provides less and less.

Now I understand we are financially strapped and I volunteer for the kids. But if city council can't maintain our bldgs. due to inept management, that's another story.

moelarrycurly
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You obviously

Haven't been paying attention to what has been accomplished over the last 12-18 months in rehabbing and is still being done. Does that mean the city has enough money to maintain all these facilities properly going forward once the rehab/bond $$ is used up? Heck no. So, user fees are going up to help offset costs. Everything possible is being done to correct the years of neglect and has been for over a year now. The building issues are a whole 'nother issue.

Your comments are from lack of action a few years ago. That is definitely not the case now. The costs to maintain will not go away and will need to be addressed coming up. Many, many here will not tolerate another property tax increase to offset the ongoing maintenance costs.

We currently DO have good management at multiple levels, but they have also had to deal with the neglect that came before them. Neglect or incompetence or both, pick your own definitions, but none apply to city management now.

GeorgeDienhart
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The Library

Fell under Rec Admin, which was it's own silo. The expectation is that there will be a program to manage our warranty items in place,and presented to council by the retreat. I did point out in the meeting that city's have been managing warranties since before the modern computers were invented. I am as mad about this as anyone, and I am paying close attention.

ptctaxpayer
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George--- that was a long way

George--- that was a long way of saying that you have been "asleep at the switch".

Allstar American
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You are kidding right

We have precisely one public official that is worth the powder to blow him to hell with, and you pick him? Really? How about giving credit where it is due. Give Haddix credit for screwing this up- he's the one that is supposed to be providing leadership. Give the 3 ladies credit for breaking out the checkbook to pay for this the moment they were asked. Give Deanhart credit for reading staff the riot act, proposing solutions to the mismanagement and demanding meeker get off his duff, do his job and see if we can legally recoup our money. Do you actually watch the meetings, or do you just complain?

Husband and Fat...
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George

Your right. This was a stupid mistake, but we can learn from it.

How many buildings does the city own?