Delaware News

Sunbury takes shine to copper Town Hall roof

Council selects more-expensive, longer-lasting metal to replace leaky roof


A shiny new copper roof will adorn the historic Sunbury Town Hall by mid-September after Village Council members decided Wednesday, June 5, to go with the more-expensive, longer-lasting material over a coated metal roof.

Five roofing companies submitted separate bids late last month to install either a copper roof or an aluminum zinc-coated metal roof. The current, decades-old metal standing-seam roof is leaky and has other maintenance problems.

B&T Roofing of Westerville was selected for the job with a low bid of $151,959. AABIC Roofing & Exteriors of Mount Vernon had submitted a low bid of $109,350 to install a coated metal roof.

Money from a windfall income tax the village received several years ago after a resident won a large lottery prize will be used to pay for the roof and other items, including copper gutters and downspouts. Council members approved separate emergency ordinances to hire B&T Roofing for the job and to allocate the funding.

The village raked in more than $1.3 million in extra income taxes three years ago as a result of the lottery win. Some of that money has been used to pay down Sunbury's bond debt and for other purposes, but about $760,000 remains.

Council members agreed with Mayor Tommy Hatfield that having that money made the choice of roofing material easier. Even though copper is more expensive, it has a life expectancy of about 100 years, compared to about 50 years for the coated metal roof.

"The lottery money makes it easier for me to go copper rather then (coated) metal," Hatfield said. "We're blessed to have a town hall like this."

Village Engineer Wes Hall said the timetable for the roof replacement on the century-old, three-story brick building is about two months.

Work is set to begin July 8 and to wrap up by Sept. 13.

The copper will retain its shiny look for about six months before starting to tarnish to a dark bronze. Hall said it will take about eight to 10 years to make the transition to a green patina.

Council members have discussed the need to replace the Town Hall roof for the past year or so. The next step in fixing up the old building could be to replace all of its windows.

Also at the June 5 council meeting, two veterans groups received permission to put up a monument and a statue in separate locations in the village.

The Ohio Headquarters Company of the Combat Infantryman's Association will build a granite monument at the Veterans Memorial on the Town Square to honor U.S. Army infantrymen who served in combat zones.

The Sunbury VFW Post 8736 will put up a 7-foot, 7-inch aluminum replica of the Statue of Liberty at the Old Church Park at the corner of Cherry and Morning streets.

The granite monument will have markings on both sides, including an engraving of the infantry medal -- a rifle in a blue background.

That medal has been awarded, beginning in World War II, to soldiers who have fought in ground combat.

"Ideally, we'd like to get this done before the 9/11 anniversary ... or Pearl Harbor Day," said Chris D. Callen, the association's Region 7 Ohio commander.

The monument is 4 feet tall and 31/2 feet wide. The $6,200 cost is covered by donations, Callen said.

"I think it's great just to have the awareness of what that (infantryman) medal means," Councilman Len Weatherby said.

VFW Post 8736 Commander Jerry Jodrey said the 300-pound Statue of Liberty replica was sculpted in 1986 in New York and has been boxed up since then.

It recently was obtained by the local VFW, he said. It's painted to look like the origin-al and will have a flame that lights up at night.

"I think it's a great addition to Sunbury," Jodrey said.

Both he and Councilwoman Jennifer Witt acknowledged Sunbury is a patriotic town.

Jodrey wants to dedicate the replica July 4. It will stand on three concrete tiers covered by a brick facade.

The VFW plans to finish all the work at no cost to the village.