October 23, 2021

Leaky City Hall roof fixed

Travis Dunn/contributing photographer

Workers repair the roof on Cortland City Hall early Tuesday afternoon. The roof has been leaking for a dozen years.

Cortland’s City Hall has had problems with its roof for more than a decade now — 12 years to be exact, said Mack Cook, city director of administration and finance.

It’s just old, he said: It was put on in 1967.

So now the city has a crew on top, making repairs.

You might not be able to see them: The equipment is parked around the back of the building, such that passersby on Court Street can’t even tell they’re there.

Which was part of the intention, said Mayor Brian Tobin at Tuesday night’s Common Council meeting.

“We’re pleased that they’re working around our needs,” Tobin said.

Fixing the roof will put an end to leakage that has affected primarily the third floor. Seepage, however, has reached as far down as the police department in the basement, but this was “a limited problem” two years ago in the holding cells that lasted for about a week, said Deputy Chief Paul Sandy.

Damage to ceiling tiles is evident from a walk around the third floor. One room required mold abatement, but that was the only one, said Nic Dovi, deputy superintendent of the city’s public works department.

A to Z Coatings from Scranton is handling the project for $188,500. Dovi said it provided the lowest bid for the job, beating the closest competitor by $14,000. The company offered a 20-year warranty for the roof.

The city issued two requests for proposals last year: one entailed a total tear-off and replacement of the existing roof, the other required a partial tear-off and waterproof coating. The city chose the latter, cheaper option.

Workers are removing stone and the top layer of the roof in preparation for spraying the entire surface with a 3-inch-thick waterproof foam.

“They basically foam the whole top of the roof,” Dovi said. “It’s pretty cool. They can actually squeegee in the drains.”

Dovi said if the weather cooperates, the job could be completed next week. However, workers need three to four continuous days of good weather to apply the foam coating, so rainy days could delay the job, he said.