City Council to consider reroofing Bonnie Kate Theater

John Thompson • May 9, 2018 at 7:30 PM

ELIZABETHTON — One of the items the Elizabethton City Council will consider in tonight’s meeting is a proposal to accept a low bid of $94,500 for a new roof for the Bonnie Kate Theater.

The theater’s roof has been patched in different locations several times in recent years, but it continues to deteriorate and leaks are evident in several locations during rainy weather.

The roof was recently checked by Spoden and Wilson Construction Engineers. The engineers found there was a need for asbestos abatement and recommended removing all the old asphalt that had been placed on the roof in previous roofing jobs.

The Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation and supporters of the old theater have held several fundraisers. The theater has also been generating funds from tickets sales to performances held on the stage during the past year. Ticket sales brought in $10,935 in the 2017-2018 fiscal year and are projected to bring in $17,325 this year.

Recently, the theater started receiving rent from Red Chili, which has relocated its Korean restaurant in the kitchen of the facility. That should bring in another $12,000 next year.

But all of these efforts leave the theater a long way from a new roof. The City Council will be considering the low bid from Eskola Roofing of Morristown.

This is not an item on the 2017-2018 budget. If the council does agree to accept the bid, the funds will come from reallocated money.

Mayor Curt Alexander saw the need for the action. The city holds possession of the theater because the charter of the Elizabethton/Carter County Foundation does not allow that charitable organization to own property.

Alexander said the repairs are needed to maintain the 90-year-old structure. He said the city should set an example.

“We want the owners of the downtown buildings to keep their buildings maintained and beautiful,” Alexander said. “We should set the example with the Bonnie Kate.”

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