LAKE CHAMPLAIN - Asphalt or slate?
That is the question that the Willsboro town board is asking in regard to the future of the roof on the historical center.
"We wanted to repair the current roof, but the price came in high and I feel that the best way to go is to put an asphalt roof on," said town board member Steve Benway.
Benway said the town had requested bids for installing a new asphalt roof previously, but the town had rejected all bids the first time around.
Town supervisor Ed Hatch also said the town had received a bid for a new slate roof for the center.
"We got a bid for a slate roof that came in around $73,000," said Hatch.
After receiving the price, Hatch said he had talked with members of the historical society about what they wanted to do.
"When we talked, they indicated that they would be willing to go along with an asphalt roof," said Hatch.
Paula Dennis, a historic preservation consultant for In the Field Consulting, said that changing the roof could affect whether the building could receive historical classification.
"With everything that you remove, you are going to take away part of the historical value of that building," said Dennis. "We are working to get the historical center and the library on the historical register, and anything we can do to keep the value of those buildings is key."
Town board member and Historical Society president Charles Lustig said while there may be funding to preserve the roof if the building were to be named as a historical site, the town needs to move on the matter before that happened.
"We need to do something with the roof," said Lustig. "It's a matter of we can get funding later on, but we do not have the funds right now to preserve the building until that time. I understand the passion to keep the slate roof, but we can only do what we can afford to do."
The board tabled the request for bids until a later date in order to look at alternatives.
In other regular business:
• The board was deadlocked on a vote to go out for bid on a new tandem truck, plow and box for the town highway department. The vote tied at 2-2.
• The board passed the new town dog ordinance, which was required after the state said that towns would now have the responsibility on the matter.
• The board set the dates for the end of the year (Dec. 27, 6 p.m.) and the organizational meeting (Jan. 3, 6 p.m.).