By Bob Uphues
The problem revealed itself in February, when ceiling tiles started falling inside a hallway at the Brookfield Village Hall.
The trouble, it turned out, was a hole that had opened up on the sloping, asphalt-shingled roof on the south side of the building. Water poured into an office below the hole, damaging some computer equipment.
However, according to Village Manager Timothy Wiberg, the water didn't do any structural damage to the roof.
Still, for the past several months there's been a large tarp covering a sizeable portion of the south roof – there are sloping shingle roofs on all four sides of the village hall, framing a flat roof that is recessed to hide mechanical equipment placed there.
There aren't any other visible trouble spots on the other three sloped roofs, but the asphalt shingles are 20 years old, said Wiberg. The flat roof, which appears to be of the same vintage, according to Wiberg, looks to be in "decent shape."
While there's no money in the 2018 budget to repair the roof of the village hall, on Oct. 8 Wiberg asked for and received permission from village trustees to seek bids to repair and re-shingle all four sloping roofs as soon as possible.
"To my knowledge there's been no other significant water damage [since the tarp was installed]," said Wiberg, "but obviously it's not a permanent solution."
Wiberg said he obtained one proposal for repairing just the south roof that came in at about $18,000. But given the age of all four shingled roofs, Wiberg recommended replacing them all at once.
"If this portion of the roof is damaged, and clearly it is, there are probably other problems in the roof that will manifest themselves relatively quickly," Wiberg said.
The expense for replacing all four shingled roofs comes closer to $50,000, said Wiberg, which would trigger a competitive bidding process and require the village board to approve the contract.
Wiberg said staff would have to find some way to come up with the funds to make the repairs.
"We'll have to find the money, because this is not something, unfortunately, in my opinion, that we can push off much longer," Wiberg said. "Winter is coming and we need to get this buttoned up prior to ice and snow getting underneath that tarp."
Brookfield will officially begin seeking bids for the roof repair this week.