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Posted: November 30, 2011 12:30 a.m.

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Roof for former city hall to be replaced

Oxford City Councilors last week approved a bid to repair the roof on the former City Hall and fire station, the next step in readying the building for prospective tenants.

The bid is for $22,100 from Outback Metal Roofing in Oxford, which would replace the roof of the municipal building at the corner of Emory and Whatcoat streets. Councilors unanimously approved the bid, one of five submitted, at a meeting Nov. 21.

"It's the best price for the work and the material," Councilor Jim Windham said.

The existing roof is divided into several sections with a rubber membrane that has deteriorated over the years as the roof has expanded and contracted because of temperature changes.

Most of the bids would have replaced the existing roof system, with variations in metal gauge or insulation. Sunbelt Builders, whose bid was roughly double the other bids, proposed installing a different metal roof system, putting a metal roof with a greater pitch on top of the existing roof and a layer of insulation between the new roof and the existing one to decrease or eliminate condensation.

Mayor Jerry Roseberry has said the remaining renovation budget for the fire station is about $34,000, out of $90,000 funded by the special purpose sales tax approved by voters in 2005.

Several years ago, the city dissolved the fire department and entered into an agreement with Newton County for fire coverage and emergency medical services. When the new City Hall building was completed in August 2010, the Police Department moved out with the city government, leaving the building mostly vacant.

City officials plan to renovate the building for renting, though they are in the very early stages of attracting tenants, officials have said.

The mayor and councilors are approving the renovation in the context of an ongoing effort to create a downtown district from Whatcoat and George streets along Emory Street to Clark Street.

According to city documents, that long term plan envisions a town common area around where the fire station and the post office are now, with small businesses lining Emory Street to the north.


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