Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

April 30, 2014

County mayor updates board on Peavine project

CROSSVILLE — Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr. addressed the Fairfield Glade Community Club board of directors at the April 24 monthly meeting with updates on county issues affecting Fairfield Glade. The mayor reported construction on phase two of the Peavine Rd. widening project has been scheduled to begin next year.

"The Cumberland County State Route 101 Peavine Rd. widening from east of Lakeview Dr. to east of Westchester Dr./Catoosa Blvd. in Fairfield Glade is budgeted for construction in fiscal year 2015. So, that's good news, that's phase two," said Carey. "Phase one, from Firetower Rd. to Lakeview is funded in the 2014 fiscal year."

The Peavine Rd. widening project has been an ongoing frustration for residents of Fairfield Glade since around 2005, with many residents feeling that it is nothing more than a pipe dream. However, the project has been progressing slowly but surely. The main holdup for the past two years has been complications with moving the utility poles owned by Volunteer Electric Cooperative.

"In the last meeting I was at with TDOT staff, they informed me that had been resolved. They have worked that issue out. That has been the primary holdup for the last two years," said Carey. "I have confirmed that with VEC that they have worked it out and come to an agreement."

However, despite this news, some residents at the meeting were still skeptical about whether the project would ever be completed. Carey said that he shared their frustrations, adding "It's a state project and all I can pass along to you is what they're informing us."

Another development of interest to Fairfield Glade residents is a proposed merger between Upper Cumberland Gas Utility District and Middle Tennessee Gas Utility District.

"Upper Cumberland serves everything north of interstate 40, including the entire Fairfield Glade area," said Carey. "Some [information] that I've gotten early on that is very concerning to me is the fact that – and at this point it's rumors, I  have not confirmed them but I am concerned – I have been told that if Middle Tennessee merges and assumes control, that they potentially are looking at closing the office here in Fairfield, which was just recently opened. Also, they apparently would intend to layoff or not acquire the service technicians and employees of Upper Cumberland Gas. Another thing that's quite concerning is they have a large portion. Everything south of interstate 40 is Middle Tennessee service area now, including the city of Crossville and the city of Pleasant Hill, and there is absolutely no person in Cumberland County that has a seat on that board. So, we would have no representation, and my understanding is they would not add any representation, and they would have the entire Cumberland County service area for natural gas. That's very concerning to me. I don't think it's in the best interest of anybody in Cumberland County or Fairfield Glade." 

There is a work session regarding the merger scheduled May 6 at 5 p.m. at the Upper Cumberland Gas Utility District office, at 997 Woodland Circle in Crossville. Carey will be in attendance to obtain further information, as well as Bob Stackhouse, representing Fairfield Glade.

The meeting is open to the public and the board encourages anyone who is interested to attend.

Other items the mayor shared included the opening of the Big South Fork Visitors Center. The visitors center offers information about  activities at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Obed Wild and Scenic River, Cumberland Mountain State Park, Pickett State Park, numerous natural areas and area attractions. It is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist visitors. The center will also be useful in promoting activities in Fairfield Glade.

"In fact, the first person to volunteer out there is a resident of Fairfield Glade," said Carey.

President Phil Gover reported the board of directors will be holding an election later this year for the seats currently occupied by Pete Cahill and Bob Diller. Both board members are completing their first three-year term and are eligible to run for reelection. The board has selected seven people to serve on the election committee, which is responsible for processing nominee applications and overseeing the conduct of the election in accordance with the covenants and restrictions of the club. The winners will be announced at the annual meeting in September.

Gover also reported the dock policy agreement is being "tweaked" in accordance with Tennessee laws. The new agreement will only affect new property owners. More information can be found on the community club website beginning this week.

General Manager Bob Weber reported the Druid Hills pool facility is scheduled to be completed by the first week in May and should be open for business on Memorial Day weekend. Plans for the Dorchester clubhouse have been on the website for more than 30 days. Based on member input, there will be a couple of major changes. First, the interior dining area will be increased to accommodate up to 60 people in restaurant-style seating. Additionally, the cart parking area will be moved to allow players easier access to restrooms and the snack bar. Renovations for Stonehenge have been deferred until a later date due to costs exceeding the budget. Mini-golf improvements have been completed and the course is now open for business.

Weber reported for March golf was 985 rounds under budget due to poor weather; however, there were still 1,800 more rounds played than last year. During March, about 7,600 players were serviced, resulting in 6,036 18-hole-round equivalents.  

Fire Chief Howard Robb reported the fire hydrant inspection project is currently under way. Residents are asked not to block hydrants by bushes or any other obstruction that would keep them from being seen from the road. The ACC has adopted a new policy to address this issue.

Last month, the Fairfield Glade fire department was subject to an inspection by an agent from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to determine the level of fire protection residents receive. These inspections evaluate a fire department's capabilities in order to determine insurance premium rates. Departments are ranked on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest risk. The lower the rating is, the lower premiums will be for residents. When the FFG department first began it was rated at 9 on the Public Protection Classification scale; currently, it is rated as a 4, which is the same level of protection as residents in Crossville. Chief Robb does not expect that rating to change, but it may take a while before they know the results of the inspection.

Finally, Fairfield Glade resident Ed Lewis reminded residents to get out and vote in the upcoming election. Early voting extends through May 1, with the county primary election scheduled for May 6.

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