Commissioners help pick up the tab for American Legion Post #42

With debt of $16,500 to replace a badly-damaged roof at American Legion Post #42, Campbell County Commissioners agreed to pay half of the outstanding balance, anticipating the city will cover the other half at tonight's regular meeting. (RJ Morgan/County 17)

The Campbell County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved spending Optional One Percent funding to help the American Legion repair its roof.

During their regular meeting Nov. 2, the Commission voted 5-0 to cover half of the outstanding balance of the total roof repair that wasn’t covered by insurance, approximately $8,250. In total, the project is expected to cost $54,000 with insurance covering only $37,000.

The decision was fueled by Commissioner Del Shelstad, who initiated talks with the City of Gillette to perhaps split the cost of the roof replacement of registered and historical building.

The money should come from the Optional One Percent contingency fund, Shelstad said, referencing a recent One-Percent survey where residents indicated that veteran care should be one of the top priorities for the tax.

“We have to take care of our veterans,” Shelstad said.

The roof was replaced back in June at the American Legion Post #42 and Campbell County Commissioners voted today to cover half of the remaining balance, which the city will vote Tuesday night to cover the balance. (RJ Morgan/County 17)

The American Legion Post #42’s roof sustained pretty bad damage in 2018 and 2019, said Bud Langone, a previous commander of the post and who came before the commission to explain the hardship.

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“After going round and round with insurance companies and after months of going back and forth with them, the  contractor said he was only going to give us the low bid,” Langone said, adding that financing the project has been a big concern since day one.

“The contractor said our deductible was recoverable all the way up to the final payment, that’s when they reneged on it,” Langone said of the additional struggles with costs.

American Legion Post #42 originally had bids that ranged from $51,000 in excess of $72,000 and opted in the middle with a $62,000 bid. However, the insurance company did not cover the cost as previously promised and went with the $54,500 estimate.

The city council will discuss approving its half of the commitment at its regular Tuesday, Nov. 2 meeting. It would be the finishing touches of a long process of the roof replacement which was completed back in June.