By ERIN MILLER
Hawaii County officials disagreed for several years on what kind of maintenance the Yano Hall roof needed.
South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford said she has been asking county administrators to repaint and repair the South Kona building’s roof for years. But Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald said his supervisor for the park told him the roof wasn’t leaking and the repairs weren’t a priority.
The repairs are, however, now forthcoming after Parks and Recreation put out a request for bids Oct. 26. Fitzgerald said the county has about $250,000 from a Community Development Block Grant to put toward the repairs.
“Letting the roofs of our buildings rust and not repairing them is poor maintenance policy,” Ford said.
Doing that routine maintenance is cheaper, she added, than major repairs like the roof now needed. She said she would like to see the county adopt a routine repainting schedule, perhaps once every 12 years or so. Ford had requested the project be placed on an upcoming County Council agenda for discussion, but asked to have the item removed after the Parks and Recreation department issued the request for bids.
Fitzgerald said the roof may have looked very rusted and damaged, but it wasn’t as bad as it looked.
“It’s got some issues, but it’s not leaking,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s why it wasn’t a priority.”
The project had been on the department’s to-do list for about a year, he added. He said he would rather replace the roofs of all three buildings at Greenwell Park in Captain Cook than just repaint the damaged areas. He wasn’t sure how much replacing all the roofs would cost, but the funding would be a mixture of the grant and county money.
Fitzgerald said the county has also stopped booking events at Yano Hall. The region doesn’t have many areas people can rent for parties, he said, and the building was being used pretty heavily. Scheduling construction required ending events for a short time, he added.
Once a bid is selected, the company performing the work will help the county select a time frame in which to do the work, Fitzgerald said.
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