City assesses damage to structures, golf course

Just as many residential areas are slowly recovering from the April hailstorm, the city is also dealing with the assessment and repair of city buildings. Two notable city holdings that were damaged are the Woodland Hills Golf Course and Memorial Hall, Fort Scott’s venerable entertainment venue that once hosted Fort Scott High School’s basketball games and a variety of other entertainment.

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According to Airport Manager Kenny Howard, damage at the golf course involved the roofs of several structures. Howard said, “Most of it was roof damage.” Some of the skylights in the metal buildings that have exhaust outlets were perforated by hailstones and will have to be replaced.

Howard also mentioned that the clubhouse roof is a “total loss,” as well as the roofs of the golf cart storage buildings. Screens on the tennis courts were damaged by the storm, and 8 windows in the clubhouse were shattered.

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However, the one structure that didn’t meet with any destruction was the old pool house. Howard said of the ability of the structure to withstand bad weather, “I think it took it pretty well.”

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Golf Course Superintendent Jon Kindlesparger said that damage to the buildings on the golf course is covered by the same insurance that covers all city buildings, but that the green of the course can only be insured against vandalism and not against weather damage. Fortunately, Kindlesparger indicated that the damage to the green was minimal. He said, “We had a few limbs down–nothing significant.”

When asked about the dollar amount of hail damage to the golf course and other city structures, Howard said, “It’s still up in the air. I’m still waiting to get a report back from the insurance adjustor. I’m hoping to hear back soon.”

In addition to damage at the golf course, Memorial Hall also sustained damage, including 89 windows that were broken and later temporarily patched with duct tape. Howard mentioned that the building’s roof was leaking quite a bit, but that there was a positive side to the storm damage. Howard said, “The good thing is that we will have nice new roofs when it’s done!”

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When asked about a timetable for the assessment and repairs on the buildings, Howard said he was told the assessment and repair estimates would take approximately 60 days for the insurance adjustor to compile. He also reported that the adjustor took 2,680 pictures of damage to city structures alone, which indicates the vast nature of repairs to be assessed and done before buildings are in good shape again.

On a positive note, those who visit the Woodland Hills Golf Course will be met not only by friendly staff, but also by the friendly cat the golf course employees have adopted. The cat’s name is Bertie, and Kindlesparger said, “She’s a fixture here.” Bertie’s favorite spot to nap seems to be the soft, covered chairs on the patio. Like any sweet-natured cat, she enjoys being petted and scratched behind the ears. Bertie seems to set a good example for visitors on how to relax and enjoy life.

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