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New roof for historic structure

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By Cindy Simpson

The heart of Harriman, the castle-like Temperance Building, will be getting a new roof.

A storm damaged part of the existing roof, and Harriman Mayor Chris Mason confirmed last month that the Tennessee Municipal League’s insurance pool will be paying for the project.

Harriman City Council voted to take bids on the work, a process that left Ron Decker disappointed.

Decker noticed the damage while driving by the building, which once housed the East Tennessee Land Co., which sold the lots for the development of the Prohibitionist era community.

Decker had wanted to do the project himself, saying he would only charge what TML was willing to pay.

“The problem with opening it up to bidding is nobody wins except TML,” Decker said.

He said the city might face having to make up the difference between what TML will pay and what the actual cost is.

“I appreciate your gesture,” council member Lonnie Wright said, “but we still have to follow the law” and put the job up for bid.

When asked, however, Decker said he plans to submit a bid.

Council agreed to have the roofing issue looked at first by Frank Sparkman & Associates, the firm handling the rehabilitation of the aging building.

The company is to provide feedback on bid specifications.

Officials said it may be possible to tie in roof repairs with renovations to the building.