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Windsor residents favor fixing Town Center roof

Windsor’s Town Council took no action on a proposed $300,000 loan from Farmers Bank following a public hearing on the matter Nov. 10, opting to wait until the details of a cost-sharing agreement with the county to fund the replacement of the Windsor Town Center’s 70-year-old roof.

Most speakers that evening including former mayor Carita Richardson and her husband, Bentley, spoke in favor of the town borrowing the funds needed to replace the roof.

Carita, who had led the push for the renovation of the former middle school gym during her time on Town Council, spoke at length about the various events now held at the Town Center, including the cornhole tournament started by Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation Specialist WIlliam Winstead.

“It’s amazing what he’s done with that; all ages love it,” she said.

I’m not going to tell you that the Smithfield Center is profitable,” added Bentley, who is a past president of the Western Tidewater Hokie Club. “And I’m not going to tell you that this place down the road is going to be profitable, but I as a taxpayer … we need a place to assemble for various types of meetings.”

The local Lions Club has also made use of the facility, which Allen Brown of Bank Street described as being “dead in the center” of the club’s 30-mile operating zone.

“It will see lots of use from us if it stays,” Brown said.

Wesley Garris, another past mayor of Windsor, on the other hand, called Vice Mayor Durwood Scott that morning urging the town not to borrow money to further renovate a building used primarily by Isle of Wight County that the town of Windsor did not own.

According to a report by Alpha Corporation, there are approximately 2,000 square feet of wet insulation beneath the 70-year-old roof and large areas of repair where gravel has been swept away, leaving the underlying ply sheets exposed to the weather. There’s also visible mold on some of the ceiling tiles.

The center — which the town leases from the county school system for $1 a year — opened its doors in November 2018 after a $1.2 million renovation funded with town taxpayer dollars that didn’t include roof work.