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July 24, 2009

 

Homer replacing town roof damaged by vandals

Police are still investigating May 4 crime that tore plastic roof on salt storage building

RoofJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Adam Roberson, right, and his brother Dan of Benson’s Farm Equipment in Groton help to remove a vandalized salt storage cover Thursday at the Homer Highway Department. The 100-foot cover was sliced along one side and had to be replaced. Police are still investigating the crime.

By HOLDEN B. SLATTERY
Staff Reporter
hslattery@cortlandstandard.net

HOMER — Town and village employees are helping to replace the plastic roof of the town’s salt storage building, which was ripped May 4 by unidentified vandals, according to village police.
The building is next to the Town Highway Department garage at 9 Prospect St.
Town Highway Department, Truxton Highway Department and village Streets and Parks, and Water and Sewer employees helped employees of Eastern Cover All, which supplied the new roof, to remove the original roof Thursday morning.
Eastern Cover All, a local division of the Canadian company Cover All, also sold the town the original roof when the salt storage building was constructed in 2006.
The new roof will be identical to the old one, said Doug Benson, a dealer for Eastern Cover All, which is located in Allentown, Penn.
The roof, composed of three layers of polyethylene plastic, was ripped in several places. There were at least four 5- or 6-foot gashes in the roof, said Homer Highway Superintendent John Phelps.
The workers planned to install the new roof Thursday, but were prevented by wind, Phelps said.
The workers will most likely put up the new roof early Monday morning, Phelps said.
The new roof cost the town more than $11,000, most of which will be covered by insurance, Phelps said. Because the value of the original roof has depreciated since the town purchased it, the town will receive about $10,000 in insurance payments, he said.
Homer police are still investigating.
Sgt. David Van Orden said the department has had several leads but none have panned out. He said the department welcomes help from other authorities.
Van Orden said there was graffiti painted inside the building and two different sets of initials carved into the roof.
The town is offering a $250 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction, said Town Supervisor Fred Forbes.
Phelps said the roof had to be replaced because precipitation would have gotten into the building, and wind would have ripped it more and taken off the entire roof.
Benson said the tears could have been easily made by a person using a sharp knife, such as a box cutter. He said the salt and sand mixture had been moved to one side of the building, making it easy for the vandals to climb onto the salt and sand mound and reach the roof.
Benson said he has been selling these roofs for 11 years and that this was the second time that one has been damaged by vandals.
Benson said these types of roofs have a 20-year warranty.
“Typically this cover would have lasted another 17 years, but some juveniles thought they would give us more work,” Benson said. “At least we think they’re juveniles.”
The building now has a sign on it warning people that the building is under 24-hour surveillance. Phelps said the town is planning to install security cameras on the building to prevent future incidents.

 

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