BY MELANIE BUCK –
The City of Mena has approved Covington Roofing Company of Conway to replace the roof of the historic 1920 Kansas City-Southern Depot in Mena. Nabholz Construction Services is the construction management company for design services and assists the city in coordinating plans and specifications to identify contractors familiar with and experienced in repair and renovation work on historic buildings. Nabholz had predicted the cost of the depot roof project to be $268,000, assuming all worst-case scenarios. However, after further examination of the building, the original cost was lowered by a significant amount. Executing a Change Order at February’s City Council meeting, Resolution 1315 passed unanimously revising the total amount of construction costs down to $89,978 and allowing the contract for the roof project to be awarded to Covington Roofing.
In July of 2014, the Mena Depot Commission, through the City of Mena, received a $50,000 Historic Preservation Grant to restore the roof, and soffit and fascias at the Depot. Mena Mayor George McKee had stressed that the matching grant received was contingent upon the City matching it with $25,000. He said the City was able to obtain a portion of the needed match through the state’s General Improvement Fund. Serving on the local Depot Commission are Tiffany Lane, Steve Mosley, LeAnn Dilbeck, and Vicki Agee.
The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, awarded $2,043,454 in grants for projects in 33 Arkansas counties last July – including Polk County – through its County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant, Historic Preservation Revitalization Grant, Certified Local Government Subgrant and Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant programs.
Mayor McKee said the city expects the repairs to begin within the next month. “We’re glad to finally get the repairs made. It’s a historic building and we don’t want to let it deteriorate,” said McKee.