By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
There will be no waterproofing spray applied to the old high school portion of the Cumberland County Justice Center.
Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. cast a tie-breaking no vote deciding the fate of the spray that has been debated among commissioners for months.
"This is something I expected. Sid Hankins recommended us not to do this (waterproofing) and we have no warranty to look at. With this in mind, I vote no. The motion fails," Carey said.
Prior to his decision, Carey asked county attorney Randal Boston his professional opinion.
Carey asked if the county does not do the water proofing on the stone and mortar and leaks continue, will it give Kim Chamberlin of Upland Design and Midstate Construction a way out of having to re-install the windows at the Justice Center.
"If it was suggested and you don't, he's out. I'd like to see (the warranty) in writing. I know I haven't probably answered your question, but it's too difficult to tell (without seeing the warranty)" Boston said.
Chamberlin has said in the past to the building and grounds committee that after the tuckpointing of the building was performed and the coping and parapet was finished, if the windows still leaked at the Justice Center, then Midstate Construction would re-install the windows at their cost.
However, both Chamberlin and Midwest Maintenance, the company hired to perform the tuckpointing on the building, recommended the county apply a waterproofing spray to the Crab Orchard stone and new mortar to further ensure no more leaking problems.
Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner and building and grounds chairman, said she recommended the waterproofing be performed because it would satisfy what Chamberlin and Upland Design recommended.
Carmin Lynch, 9th District commissioner, said, "Upland already guaranteed they'd do the windows if we do the waterproofing or not. They stand behind the windows."
Several commissioners don't want to apply the waterproofing spray because once the county starts the process, it will have to be reapplied every five to 10 years.
Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, said he did extensive research on the Internet and could find nowhere where it was recommended to waterproof stone on historic buildings.
"It's unnecessary," Hassler said.
Rimmer said the cost of the waterproofing would be approximately an additional $4,360 — the remainder of the funds would come from the contingency fund. The waterproofing bid came in at $7,800 by Midstate Maintenance.
"We had a separate expert (Sid Hankins who was recommended by Cope and Associates Architects) who said, don't do this. One that we paid to do a study on what was causing the leaks," Lynch said. "A guarantee is not in writing, either."
Motions to have the waterproofing performed ended in tie votes, causing them to fail at building and grounds committee meetings in January and February.
Joe Koester, 5th District commissioner, made a motion earlier in the county commission meeting to suspend the rules and bring the subject up for discussion and debate because the project was almost finished and, in order to keep the same price, the county needed to have the work performed while the contractor was still on site.
Koester said the county was spending a lot of money to have everything else done.
"If it still leaks they'll replace the windows and we will satisfy all the requirements. If there are still problems, they will step up and do the replacement," Koester said.
Jeff Brown, 8th District commissioner, agreed and made a motion to spend the $4,360 and have the waterproofing performed with the condition that it is under warranty for 10 years not to leak.
Koester supported the motion and the vote tied 9-9.
Voting in favor of the waterproofing were commissioners Harry Sabine and Brian Houston, 1st District; Nancy Hyder and Caroline Knight, 2nd District; Koester and Jan McNeil, 5th District; Rimmer and Brown, 8th District; and John Kinnunen, 9th District.
Voting against the waterproofing were commissioners Hassler and Johnny Presley, 3rd District; Allen Foster and Charles Seiber, 4th District; Terry Carter and Larry Allen, 6th District; Mike Harvel and Roy Turner, 7th District; and Lynch, 9th District.
Carey then voted to break the tie as chairman of the Cumberland County Commission and also voted no, causing the motion to fail.