Rhea County Courthouse

The historic Rhea County Courthouse is pictured above in a Herald-News file photo.

The Rhea County Commission voted on Tuesday to move forward with the repair and refurbishment of the courthouse roof.

County commissioners voted to accept a proposed bid of nearly $656,000 from E. Cornell Malone Corporation, a roofing contractor with offices in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama.

Rhea County Executive George Thacker said that the repairs will be paid for via the $700,000 secured in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 state budget. Thacker also said that the county will also have available a $50,000 Tourism Enhancement grant at the county’s disposal.

Last year, in the 2017-18 state budget, State Rep. Ron Travis secured $200,000 for courthouse roof repair; however, after studying the issue, officials learned that the actual cost to repair the roof will likely cost $700,000.

 “With the $200,000 we got last year from the governor and the $500,000 we got this year, this should go a long way toward repairing the roof,” Travis said. “We have a great courthouse, but the roof on there is decades old, and we’ve got to keep it maintained.”

The Rhea County Commission will meet next on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in a workshop session at 6 p.m. in the conference room of the Phil Swafford Building. The county commission’s next normal monthly meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at 7 p.m., also in the conference room of the Phil Swafford Building.

Both meetings are open to the public.