City Council delays vote on inspector for airport roofs

The roofs at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport will have to wait at least another week.

City Council members put off a vote Tuesday on borrowing $50,000 to hire a contractor to inspect damage from a hail storm last September and prepare designs for areas that need repair.

District 5 council member Jeff Longwell asked the council to defer the vote until a regular meeting next week where members could discuss the move and take comments from the public.

The issue had been on the council's consent agenda, a part of the meeting schedule reserved for routine business items that are expected to pass with minimal discussion.

The move comes a day after The Eagle published a story about the proposed inspection. In it, council member Michael O'Donnell questioned why the city couldn't inspect the roof itself, given that it has a Central Inspection Department that conducts commercial roofing inspections and an engineering department.

City Manager Robert Layton said the city doesn't have the in-house expertise to conduct a detailed inspection and take core samples of the roof that could be used in negotiations to settle a dispute with insurers.

He said only $24,500 is for the inspection. The rest would cover specifications and design details used to repair damaged areas.