With a brief return to warmer weather this week, and more typical autumn temperatures, work accelerated on the delayed Pelican Rapids Public Library roof project. Delays, leakage and potential water damage under the unfinished roof prompted discussions of legal action at city hall and by the library board. The project appears to be back on track, and A and R Roofing expects to wrap up the project by Nov. 13—and will repair any damages from leakage.

Delays with the roofing project at the Pelican Rapids Public Library have been under scrutiny since summer at city hall. 

The incompleted roof job resulted in some leakage, and possible damage in the interior. Then, October snowfalls delayed the process even further. 

With concerns mounting with the city council and the Pelican Rapids Library Board, the contractor and the architect appeared at the Oct. 27 council session. 

Contractor Scott Peterson, of A and R Roofing, apologized to the city council, acknowledging that his firm “slipped up” on a couple different issues. Fortunately, a week of mild early November weather salvaged the schedule, and Peterson said the roof should be completed by Nov. 13. 

“We’ve received a lot of questions from the public,” said Mayor Brent Frazier. 

“What about the damages,” asked Councilman Steve Foster.

Architect Scott DeMartelaere, of Design by Intent, Fergus Falls, said that there is some water damage and paint impact, “but it isn’t nearly as bad as we thought,” said DeMartelaere. 

“There will be no charge to the city,” said the contractor Peterson. “We will bring it back to the original condition.”

Councilman Kevin Ballard said that he did not understand why the roofing was removed, covered in a tarpaper-like product, and then the roof was left exposed for several weeks. Ballard said the new roofing material should have been ordered and on site when the roof was ready for its new surface. 

For his part, Peterson said the project was considerably more complex and “labor intensive than we thought it would be.” 

Complicating the project further:

• The specialized roofing panels were as long as 60 feet, which required shipment through a special freight carrier, and special transport permits. 

• Between the COVID outbreak and a “breakdown” at the factory, anticipated delivery was delayed from four weeks to ten weeks, said Peterson. 

• The library, located at tight quarters on the west side of downtown Pelican, is “a congested site…getting the panels on the roof was tricky,” said Peterson.