Jemison City Hall gets new metal roof

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Finally, the workers at Jemison City Hall can get in out of the rain — under their brand-new roof.

Motorists passing by on Highway 31 have noticed the pitched metal structure supported in front by tall columns. If not for the familiarity of surroundings, you would hardly recognize the place.

While the building’s new roof does look good, Mayor Eddie Reed said it was a necessary project.

“The roofing on our city hall was a have-to,” Reed said. “Our flat roof system had deteriorated to the point that it was raining inside the building. Several of our offices were leaking bad, and we had computers and other systems in here that could not get wet.”

Over the years, the city had spent more than $40,000 on repairs to the old roof. When it started leaking again, the City Council decided it wasn’t worth patching, especially when the lowest bid came in at more than $34,000.

“We decided to go with the truss system and a metal roof, and we got it done for less than that,” Reed said.

Exterior lighting also came with the package. The lights were installed underneath the overhangs all around the building. They turn on automatically and are used for security purposes.

While the changes are for the better, Reed said City Hall’s obstacles are far from over. Even though the library has been moved to a different building, the lack of space is a concern.

“We are hurting for space and storage,” the mayor said. “When city hall opened in the ‘60s, there was one clerk and one police officer working in and out of the building. We have since gone from having two to 10 full-time office spaces.”

The biggest concern, however, seems to be the lack of parking space and the building’s close proximity to Highway 31. And what space exists behind the building is needed for police officers and other employees.

“There’s going to be a severe accident in front of our city hall because we’re averaging 15,000 cars per day on Highway 31,” Reed said.

He added that the city is investigating new options of how it can provide better services and accommodations to citizens.

—Scott Mims can be reached at