Repairs cost almost $28,000.

Mayor James Hark recently utilized an emergency declaration to pay for repairs to the leaking roof of a building owned by the city of Hannibal.

Hark explained the circumstances behind his actions during Tuesday night's meeting of the Hannibal City Council.

The city-owned building where the leak developed is located in the industrial park adjacent to Warren Barrett Drive in southern Hannibal. The structure is leased by the city to General Mills which uses it as a storage facility.

The city was required to seek bids, because the estimated cost of the repair was above the required level.

The city received a phone call from General Mills reporting that the leak had worsened at about the time that the bids were submitted.

"They were afraid that if it was allowed to continue to leak it could cause damage to the 'product' or equipment within the warehouse," Hark said.

With the bids in hand, Hark faced a decision — to approve the repairs through an emergency declaration or wait and bring the bids before the full council.

"I didn't feel it was appropriate that we should wait another two weeks for tonight's council meeting to approve the repair, so I went ahead and issued an emergency declaration to go ahead and repair the building," Hark said.

The bid of $27,991 from Weathercraft, Inc., was accepted even though it was not the lowest bid received. Hark told the council that the low bid came from a company whose past work for the city had not been acceptable.

"I took the best lowest bid," Hark said.

Hark felt comfortable with implementing an emergency declaration to get the warehouse's roof repaired in timely fashion.

"We couldn't take the chance on endangering their product or their equipment," Hark said. "We do have a responsibility as a landlord to take care of that property and assure them a safe environment to conduct their business."