Commissioners ok roof work on old hospital

Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Citing ongoing problems with water leaks from the roof in the old hospital, all three Stillwater County commissioners approved minimal work to be done with material the county already possesses.

The request was made by County Facilities Supervisor Jerry Bokma at an Oct. 11 meeting, at which he said “a lot” of water was getting into the building, which ends up in the crawl space and creates an unpleasant smell.

Considering the fact that contractors are expected to soon be working in the building as part of the asbestos and mold remediation, Bokma’s position was that the leakage needed to be kept to a minimum.

His solution was to use single-ply roofing material that he already has, making the only expense manpower.

Commissioner Mark Crago immediately expressed concerns about it being safe for anyone to be on the roof.

“You’ve got to pay attention,” Bokma responded, adding that some portions of the roof could be reached by ladder.

Commissioner Maureen Davey said it was the county’s duty to maintain the roof more than it has been doing, and mentioned that contractors would soon be inside the building working.

Crago was more concerned with the safety of whoever would be doing the repairs.

“I’m nervous about you guys being on that roof,” Crago said to Bokma.

Davey said that maybe the county should bring in professionals for the job, to which Crago said his safety concern would still remain the same.

Davey again returned to the county having a duty to maintain the roof and mentioned that it impacted the sprinkler system in the Meadowlark Assisted Living facility.

In the end, Crago gave his approval for Bokma to perform the repairs.

“Just be incredibly cautious,” said Crago.



WWC Engineering out of Billings was awarded the bid for the clean-up project of the old hospital. That firm will now hire a subcontractor to perform the actual clean-up of approximately 14,000 square feet of asbestos and other identified containments.

At the Oct. 11 meeting, it was confirmed that the federal grant obtained by County Economic Development Coordinator Marissa Hauge for the clean-up project does in fact cover the portion of the project that was just completed. Crago had been concerned that the grant did not.

The grant is part of a federally funded Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownsfield grant, following the March 2017 assessment of the building by Weston Solutions, Inc., Super-fund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) out of Colorado at the request of the Stillwater County Commissioners.

That assessment revealed approximately 14,000 square feet of asbestos, lead-based paint, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury and mold in the old hospital.