DOBSON — Monday evening Surry County Director of Facilities Management Don Mitchell told county commissioners that a couple of the county’s community centers needed some work. Mitchell asked commissioners for the authority to pay for repairs at the Lowgap and Westfield community centers.
Mitchell told commissioners that the Lowgap Community Center had already completed about $9,600 in work at that facility, including window replacements, new floors and roof repairs. The non-profit group that runs day-to-day operations for the facility was asking commissioners for reimbursement for the repairs.
According to Surry County Board of Commissioners Chairman R.F. “Buck” Golding the repairs at the center were, in part, due to pipes that froze and broke this past winter. Golding said the incident resulted in new wood floors on the second story of the building and necessary repairs to the first story ceiling.
Golding asked his fellow commissioners if they could support loaning the money to the center, rather than appropriating it. However, with no money in the facilities fund to pay for the repairs, commissioners chose to appropriate the $9,637.46 from the general fund contingency.
In a related matter, commissioners chose to enter into another ten-year lease with the Lowgap Community Center. Commissioner Jimmy Miller said that, while he supported leasing the building to the community center, he was concerned about who will pay for future fixes at the site.
In short, Miller said that he felt that in future instances the non-profit groups charged with the daily upkeep of the centers may need to be held accountable for repairs that result from possible negligence, such as allowing pipes to freeze.
Commissioners also approved Mitchell’s request to accept a $20,000 bid from David Hill Builders to replace a roof at the Westfield Community Center. According to Mitchell the new metal roof will replace a leaky flat roof at the site. Mitchell told commissioners the money to fund the project was in his department’s operating budget.
After the meeting County Manager Chris Knopf said that non-profit groups which use the centers had often footed the bill for many repairs to community centers in the past. However, Knopf said that those groups are seemingly unable to raise the same amounts of money as they did in years past, requiring the county to foot more of the bill at the centers.
Andy Winemiller is a staff writer at the Mount Airy News. Andy can be reached at (336) 415-4698 or [email protected]