GALLIPOLIS — During a regular meeting last week, the Gallipolis City Commission was updated on the progress of several ongoing emergency projects within the City of Gallipolis.
Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney reported on the recent demolition of two buildings in the 300 block of Second Avenue in downtown Gallipolis and the subsequent need to repair the buildings located next to the now empty lot.
The demolition of the buildings occurred just prior to the July 4 holiday at 354 and 356 Second Avenue after the back wall of one of buildings collapsed during the early morning hours of June 26.
City officials were initially hopeful that only the building at 354 Second Avenue — the structure with the collapsed wall — would need to be brought down. This, however, was not the case as the structures shared a common, internal wall and one building would not be safe standing by itself.
Thus, after consulting with a structural engineer, the city quickly demolished both buildings due to the imminent danger the failing structures posed to the public and existing, surrounding properties.
During the emergency demolition brick was damaged on a neighboring building owned by DLB Associates.
Finney reported on Tuesday that he had received two quotes from companies that are qualified to do the brick repair work on the structure.
According to Finney, the first quote came in at $13,880 and the second at $19,500 for the repair of the DLB building.
“They are going to patch and tie the brick back into the existing brick. It is going to be pretty tedious for them to do it,” he said. “We’ve probably got another $15,000-$20,000 to spend there to get this thing cleaned up and taken care of.”
Additionally, both quotes came in at $500 for minor repairs to the neighboring First National Bank building that was also damaged during the demo and currently houses BTS Software Solutions.
The city manager also reported on the recent re-opening of the upper portion of First Avenue.
According to Finney, the roadway was opened on Saturday, August 4 after a major slip left the 800 block of the roadway closed for several weeks.
The closure occurred on June 17 after a large portion of the Ohio River side of the roadway slipped during the early morning hours.
A bid for the emergency repair of the street was later awarded to Boone Coleman Construction of West Portsmouth, a company that presented the lowest bid in the amount of $49,448.
Local company, Supreme Asphalt was awarded the bid for repaving the roadway, as well as the repair of additional sink holes in the area — the repair of which were included in the project for an estimated $19,000.
“The guys from Boone Coleman did a very nice job on it, getting it back up, and Supreme Asphalt did the paving on it and also the sink hole areas and both areas look pretty good,” Finney commented.
The Ohio Public Works Commission has agreed to provide a grant to the city that will cover 85 percent of the cost of the emergency repair work to First Avenue.
Also during the meeting, discussed was FEMA-funded repair work to Cemetery Road leading to Mound Hill Cemetery.
According to Finney, engineering drawings were recently completed for the repair of the roadway that has remained closed since April 2011 due to slipping.
Reportedly, the engineer working on the project expects the total repair on Cemetery Road to be higher than the estimate provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) prior to the engineering work.
“We’re going to have a difference in price on that so we are going to have to go back to FEMA and get that OK’d first before we go out to bid,” Finney said. “But there shouldn’t be a real big issue with them … so, we should be able to go to bid here shortly.”
The reported FEMA estimate for the project was $557,065.
Finney further reported that he recently submitted documents for the appeal for FEMA funding for the temporary access road leading to Mound Hill that was constructed following the closure of Cemetery Road in 2011.
The initial application for emergency funding for the project was denied as the city failed to contact the Ohio Historical Society prior to the construction of the roadway.
No word on whether funding for the temporary road will be provided to the city has been received. The deadline for the appeal to FEMA was August 13.
Finney also reported on possible funding from the emergency management agency following the massive storms that blew through the area on June 29.
According to the city manager, after speaking with FEMA, the agency allowed him to add more information to their claim for possible reimbursement concerning the excessive fire runs completed by the Gallipolis Fire Department on the night of the storm.
Finney cautioned that it remains a question whether funding will be provided through FEMA. The necessary paperwork is in order, however, if funds are made available for the area to reimburse the city for time and money spent on repairs, clean-up and emergency work following the storm.
“It doesn’t mean we will get anything, but if they do declare an emergency for this area, and they do come up with funding, then we look at getting reimbursed,” Finney said. “We’ll just have to wait to see what happens there.”