Roofing options were at the center of discussion for the Hamilton County Commission Wednesday, as the group voted 7-2 to approve Franklin Associates Architects Inc. for the design and construction of a new city and county shooting range.
The indoor range, proposed for the site of the old farmers market warehouse on East 11th Street, will be utilized by both city and county law enforcement, along with other state and federal agencies, for firearms training purposes. Costs for the $4 million facility are being split between the city and county at $1.5 million each, along with $1 million in federal grant funding.
Before voting, Commissioner Joe Graham took issue with plans to install a TPO-style roof on the facility instead of a metal roof. Graham said that although metal roofing was more expensive, costs would be recouped because of a longer lifespan of the roof.
TPO roofing—or thermoplastic polyolefin roofing—is a rubber roofing system often utilized on green building projects.
"I may be the only no vote, but I stand before you today and commit going forward that no matter who the architect is, I can't spend in good conscience millions and millions of dollars to come back years later and put a new roof on," Graham said. "Going forward, I'm not going to vote for sloped, TPO-membraned roofs."
Commissioner Warren Mackey asked newly confirmed County Engineer Todd Leamon to comment on the expected duration of the TPO roofing as proposed. Leamon said that, typically, TPO roofing has a 20-year lifespan, as opposed to an option for metal roofing to be treated with a 50-year finish that could be recoated.
Mackey proposed deferring the proposal a week in order for commissioners to get a "clear answer" on the project, but Commissioner Tim Boyd suggested the group move ahead with the resolution as proposed. Boyd said no design had been officially approved yet, and attention would be paid to future proposals.
"As a financial body, we won't see this again," he said. "We won't get any oversight after today … if we don't get it right in this resolution, then we're not going to get it right down the road."
The group voted 7-2 to approve the measure. Along with Graham, Commissioner Fred Skillern cast a dissenting vote.
Following the roll call, Mayor Jim Coppinger reminded the group that the resolution should not be viewed as a "blank check" for the architect to design and construct the facility however they wished. Coppinger reminded the group the resolution committed the county to spending only up to $1.5 million on the project.
"Whether it's figurative or literal, I want to make sure people understand that we don't [write blank checks]," Coppinger said.