Council moves forward on Melody Theater repair

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Three council members and Mayor Ralph Wells met in a special called Leachville Council meeting to discuss refurbishing the Melody Theater. The Leachville landmark was damaged March 1 when it was hit by lightning causing a fire. The stage area at the back of the theater was damaged by fire with the entire building receiving smoke damage.

Melody Theater, a Leachville landmark, has been closed due to fire and smoke damage. Refurbishing the theater was the topic of a special meeting on Tuesday night. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Council members Keith Evans, Lisa Baldridge and Teresa Johnson were present.

Mayor Wells said the council needs to pick a company to do the work. He went on to say the building is insured through the Municipal League.

"The adjuster is waiting on us to make a decision on who we want to do the work," Mayor Wells said.

The council had two bids. All Clean was $297,132.95. Serve Pro was $115,177.53. The All Clean estimate was for a turnkey job, including wiring, heating and air, new seats, paint, etc. Most of the lower bid was for cleaning only.

Councilman Johnson said once the additional work was added into the lower bid, the bids came out very close.

"I have nothing against Serve Pro," she said. "I have heard they do a good job."

Councilman Evans said he had no objection to go with All Clean's estimate and allowing them to do the work contingent on how much the insurance will pay.

"I don't want to tell a company to come in and do the work and then find out the insurance only covers half the amount," Evans said.

Councilmen Johnson and Baldridge agreed they want to know what the insurance will pay before entering into a contract with the company.

"It is a lot of money," Baldridge said.

"It is a big claim, but they have bigger ones," Mayor Wells said. "The insurance will do what is right."

Mayor Wells said the estimates had been submitted to the Municipal League and they (the company doing the repairs) will deal with them.

"We want the theater fixed but we need to stay within what the insurance will pay," Johnson said. "No contract should be signed until we know how much the insurance is going to pay."

Johnson also said once it has been settled, the city should have options.

Following the discussion, the council members and Mayor Wells voted 4-0 to go with All Clean.

It was suggested by the council to see if a representative from All Clean could meet with the council Monday night.

Lt. Brandon Womack asked the council about purchasing a few small generators to help during emergencies.

"Today when the electricity went out we (Womack and Mark Johnson) were out trying to borrow generators to help our residents who are on oxygen," Lt. Womack said.

He presented an estimate from Harbor Freight for small generators on sale for $105.79 each.

Womack said the city's generators have to be used to power the repeaters for the police and fire departments and smaller ones would be more convenient to take out to the residents on oxygen in an emergency situation.

He said possibly funds from the fire department (Act 833 money) and the police department could split the cost.

The council and Mayor voted to allow the purchase of two small generators.

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