Train Depot roof renovations going off the rails?

The Mayor and Council of the City of Sylvester called a special meeting concerning the renovations of their historical train depot Friday afternoon.

Mayor Bill Yearta started the meeting by stating significant work should have been done to the roof top of the Sylvester Train Depot, and it hasn't.

The Council used Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax funds to pay $69,000 for Shipp's Contracting Company to repair and reconstruct the roof of the depot ,with a special metal to last for years to come.

Mayor Yearta said, "I think they came one day and I haven't seen them since." Which he, as well as the council, found surprising since the deadline for the finished rooftop was supposed to be March 18.

City Manager Debbie Bridges outlined the several times Ricky Shipp came to Sylvester in order to do business concerning the depot;

February 6 - The contractor received a notice to proceed.
February 19 - The contractor called a meeting to go over the same color.
March 5 - The contractor met with the city and started doing some work with the roof top.

Bridges says Shipp did originally provide a list of sub contractors, supplier of material and installation material. She adds he did not provide shop drawings, a layout of the panels, or show details of water proofing and metal placement.

Ricky Shipp says he asked for an extension due to weather conditions and ordering special material to build a standing seam metal roof. He requested four weeks for the parts and four weeks for past weather conditions, a total of eight weeks. He also says he has been working with Bridges constantly, regularly sending emails and dropped a sample off just yesterday.

Bridges says Shipp's secretary did constantly call for approval of samples. Bridges adds she didn't want to move forward with anything until the shop drawings were presented and approved. His request for extension was emailed on March 11th.

Upon agreement the city now has the option to extend his contract, give him notice on breach of contract in which he can countersue, and/or rebid with a different contractor.

The final step will be further discussed next week as the council showed interest in the option of rebidding with another contractor.
The Sylvester Train Depot has already received about $150,000 worth of work on the back end including handicap ramps and new bathrooms. Bridges says about $99,000 came from a Department of Transportation Transit grant. The rest of the amount came from SPLOST 5.

The train depot will be used as a multipurpose facility as well as space for city employees. Additionally when the depot is finished it will act as a temporary shell for the Sylvester City Hall, which will be soon after be reconstructed. The renovations on that project are estimated to take two years.