McLennan County will need to spend more than $8 million over the next five years to address roof problems, according to a plan presented to commissioners Tuesday.

County Judge Scott Felton said officials will review details of individual projects before taking them to bid. Deferred maintenance in past years has resulted in higher costs to address problems, Felton said.

For instance, the county-owned former Grand Karem Shrine building is likely suffering damage because of its leaking roof, Wallace Group project manager Bruce Thacker said.

“In some cases, the water does pour through some sections and is more than likely starting to cause some damage to the building itself,” Thacker said.

The repairs would cost about $119,000 and are listed as one of the top priorities, according to the report.

Commissioners have discussed selling the downtown Waco building, which is more than two-thirds empty. County Attorney Mike Dixon said leaving the roof problems unfixed would likely reduce the selling price.

The McLennan County Appraisal District lists the property’s value as $2 million for tax purposes, almost four times its value in 2014. The county bought the 90-year-old structure at 701 Washington Ave. in August 1995 for $383,000.

Thacker presented a proposal that lists projects by priority and price.

In addition to the Grand Karen Shrine building, the highest priority projects include roof work at adult probation, the Archives Building, the Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace building and the IT building.

“As it turns out, instead of the original projection of it taking about eight years to update all the roofs throughout the county we made a few adjustments, removed your precinct roofs from this, and have come up with a five-year plan based on expenditures of $1 million to $2 million a year,” Thacker said.

The cost of several of the projects would fall under county bonds, Felton said.

The most expensive project on the list rings in at almost $2.6 million for a full replacement of the Highway 6 Jail roof, according to the report. The project is proposed for year five of the plan. The second most expensive project is just over $1.5 million for work on the roof of the Juvenile Detention center, according to the report.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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