Calvert City Hall to get needed face lift - photo

The Calvert City Council voted to approve a bid to remove and replace the city hall’s siding to address leaks in the building.

Calvert City Hall will get an exterior facelift this fall that will alleviate interior leaking.

At its meeting last Monday, the city council awarded the job to Johnson Plaster of Paducah. Johnson’s $351,698 bid was the only one received to remove and replace old siding that has been in place since the hall was built in 1979.

The building was painted a soft brown over the original white several years ago.

City Administrator John Ward said other minor repairs have been made, but this is the first time the siding has been removed and replaced.

Ward told the council the bid is more than the budgeted $340,000, but added there may be enough funds left from the Civic Center renovation to cover the overrun.

Three other contractors, CESA, Pinnacle and Travis, looked at the job, but didn’t submit a bid, Ward said, noting the project is necessary. “The ship is sinking, we’re taking on water; it’s coming through the cracks, and we’ve found that’s the issue for all the leaks we’ve noticed in city hall,” he said, noting stained ceiling tiles around the edges of the walls.

“If we neglect to do it for $11,000, the water damage is going to continue, and we could have the interior of the building to fix,” said Mayor Lynn Jones. “It’s sort of a catch 22 — we need to do it before winter and bad weather starts, so we can eliminate that water problem on the interior.”

On another issue, consultant Stephanie Brown presented results from a survey of Calvert area residents conducted in July in connection with the city’s update of its five-year strategic plan.

“We had nearly 250 responses, which is about 20% of the city’s population. That’s an amazing response,” Brown said. “Seventy-five% of respondents live within the Calvert City community and 50% live in the city proper, the next highest number were from the Benton, Draffenville and Sharpe communities. It showed a really good age range; it wasn’t just one demographic but a good crosscut of the entire community.”

Twenty-five% were 35 to 44 years old, 22% were 45 to 54, 13% were 25 to 34, 1% were under 20, 1% were older than 85. Half the respondents work in Calvert City; 12% in Paducah; and several others work in Benton or Draffenville.

Survey topics ranged from land use to quality of life issues “and everything in between,” Brown said. Survey highlight show:

• 93% of respondents own their homes, and 71% follow city activities on Facebook.

• 31% said quality of life in Calvert City is good; 53% said excellent.

• Comments indicated respondents “love the parks and recreation, city services, and they love the proximity to other cities and the lake.”

• People believe over the last 10 years the city’s quality of life has improved. They also believe it will improve in the next 10 to 20 years.

• Negative comments indicated a need for more businesses such as hotels and restaurants, and respondents would like to see development along U.S. 62. Some felt the school district needed assistance. More retail outlets are needed. A sizable majority rated cable television and Internet services as fair or poor (nearly 40% fair and 25% poor). People were not satisfied with the cultural and arts resources available.

• Weaknesses were limited programs for youth, senior citizens and family activities.

• Fire protection, garbage collection, park and recreation facilities, law enforcement and the library, were rated excellent.

• The city’s biggest assets were the industrial complex for providing employment, and recreation opportunities such as bike lanes, low crime rate, access to the lake, small town atmosphere.

• Respondents biggest concerns were too many rental homes decreasing property values, lack of growth, fear of losing the elementary school, fear of losing the small-town feel, population decline, loss of (industrial) plant jobs.

• 45% said the city has adequate employment and 45% said job opportunities are lacking; most people feel secure in their jobs into the future. Seventeen% own a business here, and nearly half said Calvert City is a good place to start a business.

In other business:

• With the council’s endorsement, Jones reappointed Bobby Bradley to the Marshall County Building Code Enforcement Board.

• Marketing Director Blair Travis introduced the first winner of the city’s Youth Voice writing competition, Heather Riser and her mother, Allison Riser. She will receive a cash prize from the Calvert Area Development Association.

• People think protecting the environmental resources and being good stewards of them is very important. And they think the current policies protect environmental resources, while most people would support more regulation to protect those resources.