Leaks in city auditorium have officials dealing with drip

Published 12:09 am Thursday, April 16, 2015

City of Natchez Building Inspector Jody Rutter examines the ceiling at the Natchez City Auditorium that has stains in it from moisture coming through the roof. At top, droplets of water fall on Rutter’s hands while he examines the ceiling. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

City of Natchez Building Inspector Jody Rutter examines the ceiling at the Natchez City Auditorium that has stains in it from moisture coming through the roof. At top, droplets of water fall on Rutter’s hands while he examines the ceiling. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

 

NATCHEZ — The Natchez City Auditorium has been receiving an unwanted springtime sprinkle.

While recently inspecting the building’s gutter system, City Building Inspector Jody Rutter said he noticed significant roof damage.

“For the last several months, we’ve been dealing with a bad leak at the city auditorium,” Rutter told the Natchez Board of Aldermen Tuesday. “When I was up there with the roofer looking at fixing the gutter system is when I noticed all the hail damage.”

Because roof damage was caused by hail, Rutter said insurance will cover repair costs after the city pays a $5,000 deductible.

To fully repair the gutter system, however, Rutter said it would cost the city $21,200, which includes the $5,000 deductible needed for roof repair. However, $12,000 is already available from rent money provided by Christ Life Church at the River, which uses auditorium facilities monthly. Therefore, the city only needs $9,200 for a full repair, Rutter said.

“We want to do both projects at the same time — replace the gutter system and the roof — because the gutters actually roll up to the roof and go under about 4 feet of shingles,” Rutter explained.

Before the city can move forward with roofing repairs, Rutter must provide proof that the updates will be made by a single-source provider, meaning the city will only go through one company to repair the roof.

Rutter said he’s currently considering using Firestone Building products, a national roofing company that uses thermoplastic polyolefin — more commonly known as TPO — for roof repair.

“I think the board will approve the repairs, contingent with me providing that this is a single-source provider,” Rutter said. “That’s what I’m in the process of doing right now.”

If the infrastructure issues at the auditorium aren’t addressed soon, Rutter said more serious issues could follow.

“The problem with the gutter system and the roof is that if we don’t fix it soon, there’s going to be a lot more problems,” Rutter said. “If we wait, we could be fixing problems inside the building, too.”

The city auditorium, located at 207 Jefferson St., houses a 995-seat arena that is frequently used for presentations and theatrical performances.