Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

September 19, 2013

Council delays downtown borrowing

By Jim Young
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Crossville City Council delayed action on a resolution to borrow the $4 million needed to fund the city's portion of the downtown improvement project but did agree to allow Downtown Crossville, Inc. (DCI) to use the recently purchased Snodgrass building as office space once basic repairs are made.

Councilman Danny Wyatt asked to delay the action on the borrowing of $4 million. Wyatt said he'd like to get the bid in and seen some numbers on the costs of the project before moving forward with the borrowing. City finance director Fred Houston said the city has already sent in the application to the Tennessee Municipal League bond fund. Houston added that the resolution could be held for some period of time but added that the TMBF would take no further action on the city's application until the resolution is approved. The items related to the loan were deferred by council.

DCI sent a letter to the city requesting the use of the historic Snodgrass building for their primary office downtown as it would allow them to expand their current activities. Some of the things they hope to do with the new location include a downtown visitor and new resident information center, small meeting space for gatherings particularly related to tourist outreach and the downtown project, consolidate storage space for the various projects DCI does and volunteer recruitment.

DCI is requesting appointment of city representatives to work with DCI on necessary basic renovations and DCI commits to work on additional restoration of the building as they are able during their occupancy.

Councilman Danny Wyatt made a motion to lease the building to DCI for $75 a month with the city furnishing the utilities to the building. Councilman George Marlow said it was similar to the lease the city has done with the Crossville Depot that he said has worked out well.

The motion was approved unanimously.

The Crossville City Council approved a motion to purchase and have Volunteer Electric install street lights along the new Lantana Road. The lights would run from Adams Street to Highland Drive just at a total coast of $251,000. A lease would cost $2500 a month and it is unclear about any cancellation of such an open ended lease.

Wyatt commented, “It is awfully dark out there.”

Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham made a motion for the purchase of the street lights and the motion was seconded by Pete Souza. Mayor Graham asked the finance director and city manager to recommend where funds could come from to pay for the project by the next council meeting.

The motion was approved unanimously.

The council took up the matter of the US Army Corps of Engineers concerning alleged issues with the construction of the city's soccer fields. Damage to wetlands is alleged by the Corps of Engineers and they are requesting the council to agree to a 2 to 1 wetland mitigation that could be very expensive for city taxpayers. The council is expecting a follow up private meeting with their attorney on Sept. 23 following tentatively scheduled 4 p.m. work session.

Following the council's meeting last week, the city released a copy of a letter letter from attorney Michael Staggs who responded to the Corps of Engineers notice and is requesting a meeting with representatives of the Corps to discuss the matter. Staggs points out in his letter that the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has dropped their enforcement action on the matter after their follow-up investigation.

Wyatt said the city had spent some $13,000 on the issue already and he asked that J. Hicks Excavating be kept informed of the city's spending as the city expects to be reimbursed for the expenses in the matter.

Akeisha Chua was recognized as the Martin Elementary student of the month. First-grader Akeisha was honored for her representing of the character trait of cooperation and was described by her teacher as “using good manners and helping others in her school.”