The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved emergency funding for the Fenton History Center, as leaking was found to be damaging the interior of the historic building.
Prior to this week’s voting session, City Council members held a work session and discussed the pressing need to provide funding for roof repairs at the Fenton Mansion.
“The roof is seriously needing repair,” Councilwoman Marie Carrubba, D-Ward IV, said. “In the week’s time I was there, it was incredible how much damage it had done.”
The proposal approved by the City Council allocates $8,000 from the city’s contingency account to the General Fund Budget to cover the cost of the immediate repairs.
“Part of that roof has been leaking, and it reached a point where it’s causing interior damage to the walls and the structure of the building,” City Council President Anthony Dolce, R-Ward II, told The Post-Journal. “This is kind of an emergency stop-gap measure to at least repair that part of the roof. This was just an emergency resolution to take $8,000 from the contingency to get that started.”
While the approved proposal by the City Council will provide the emergency funds needed to prevent further damage to the Fenton, additional funding will soon be needed to address the full issue of the Fenton’s roof.
Dolce explained that the Fenton Mansion’s entire roof will need to be replaced in the near future.
“The entire roof at some point is going to need to be done,” he said. “They’re going to be getting bids and quotes on that, so that will be much more money coming down probably within the next few months. That’s going to have to be taken care of.”
Since the city owns the Fenton Mansion, Dolce said it is the city’s responsibility to maintain and take care of the building. He stressed the importance of preserving the historical legacy of the Fenton Mansion as well as the community education components of the Fenton History Center.
“It’s a wonderful asset,” he said. “It’s a jewel to our city, and thousands of people go through there a year. They also do a lot of work in our community with education. Governor Fenton and his family lived there, so it’s in our best interest, obviously from a historical standpoint, to maintain it and keep it up.”
Sharing some optimism concerning the situation, Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the cost for the emergency repairs was “a lot lower” than originally expected; however, like Dolce, he emphasized the need to quickly do something to handle the situation.
“It is our building, so we want to make sure we address that quickly,” he said.