Hale Springs Inn project will need two phases

Jeff Bobo • Aug 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The good news is that Rogersville was awarded a $168,000 state grant Monday for completion of phase two of the Hale Springs Inn renovation.

The bad news is that there will be a phase two of the Hale Springs Inn renovation.

Rogersville Heritage Association officials had hoped to complete the entire project including the construction of a new rear addition for the kitchen with available funds.

The Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen received a report Tuesday evening, however, that the most recent cost estimates indicate the entire job can’t be completed with available funds, including a $500,000 insurance settlement received after the old 1870 rear addition fell, and the $168,000 grant.

Rogersville Building Inspector Steve Nelson is also a member of the RHA and has served as liaison between the city and the RHA throughout the project. Nelson told the BMA during Tuesday’s meeting that the tentative plan now is to revert to the original plan of completing the dining room, kitchen and rear addition, and leaving the upstairs suites for the second phase of the project.

Earlier this month, the plans for the new addition were approved by the fire marshal, and officials had been waiting for cost estimates from the building contractor.

“The contractor has gotten the figures to the architect breaking down what we had leftover from the original contract, what it was going to take to do the new part, and of course we had tried to do the entire project (with available funds),” Nelson said. “So far it looks like the numbers are going to be too high to complete the (upstairs) rooms like we had planned. We’ll still be able to get the wing built, the restaurant started, a sprinkler system throughout the building, but we probably won’t be able to finish the rooms with the money we have now.”

Nelson didn’t have the exact figures available during Tuesday’s meeting and didn’t say how much money is still needed to complete the entire project.

The architect and contractor are currently negotiating a change order for the construction contract to include the new addition, and as soon as they come to an agreement work on the renovation will start again.

In other business Tuesday the BMA:

•Agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by residents of the West Hill subdivision regarding a variance that had been approved this year by the Rogersville Board of Zoning Appeals allowing Dr. John Chambers to construct a high-density residential development in the neighborhood, which is zoned R-1 (low-density residential). The BMA voted to follow City Attorney Bill Phillips’ advice and file a response to the lawsuit admitting to the allegation that the city violated its own ordinance in allowing the variance, and agreeing to vacate the variance.

•Agreed to allocate $100 per week for overtime pay to two parks department employees to allow them to maintain flower beds in Courthouse Square on Saturdays until the Heritage Days festival in October.

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