New roofs, historic structure for Town of Society Hill

The old leather maker’s shop pictured was recently given to the Town of Society Hill by the Welsh Neck Baptist Church.

By Melissa Rollins, Editor,

Several town buildings in Society Hill will soon have new roofs after a unanimous vote from town council during their regular August meeting.

The projects, replacing the roof on the town hall, the fire station and the picnic shed, as well as renovation work on the shed, were put out for bidding in July. The town received bids from four companies ranging in price from $27,495 to $39,500.

Mayor Tommy Bradshaw said that he did research on each of the companies that submitted a bid and his recommendation was that they not accept the lowest bid. He said that the council reserves the right to accept the bid that is in the best interest of the town.

“I immediately went, in the process of doing my due diligence, to research everything to make sure we were making the correct decision,” Bradshaw said. “As it says in our advertisement, Society Hill reserves the right to reject any bid that fails to follow the process outlined in the bid packet. The lowest bidder…did not follow that process. They submitted personal references but not recently completed project references. Upon further investigation (they) had very negative reviews. Also, according to the Better Business Bureau, he owned a business in another city, went out of business and went to Lancaster. Bottom line, the lowest bidder doesn’t check out.”

Bradshaw said that the second lowest bidder had very favorable reviews and recommendations from various codes officers and other officials in other cities. Unlike the lower bidder, this company included recently completed project references.

After hearing the mayor’s recommendation, and his reasoning, council voted unanimously to award the bid to Rosser Roofing out of Blenheim for $32,566.13.

In other business, council gave verbal approval to accept an old leather making building from Welsh Neck Baptist Church. Melissa Burch with the Long Bluff Historical Society presented the idea to council.

“We have been able to look at a building here in town that is owned by Welsh Neck Church,” Burch said. “It is a small shed; I guess that is what you would think it was if you didn’t know any different. It sits to the right of the parsonage. It is not a very large building but what we have determined historically, is that it was some type of leather making shop where they did saddle making, anything having to do with leather. I think a lot of people in town have always heard that it was a Cobbler Shop, when shoes were made of leather.”

Burch said that the Long Bluff Historical Society is working to determine the exact age of the building and catalogue the contents.

“We are working very hard to get as much information as we can about the building,” Burch said. “The church has generously offered to donate it to the town. The Long Bluff Historical Society is then going to work to disassemble it, to move it, and place it next to the 1822 Library and restore it. It will look nice sitting there because of the obvious significance of the 1822 Library.”

Burch said that a rough estimate of the leather making shop’s age, based on some of the wood of the structure, is also around 1820.

Author: Duane Childers

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