By Heather Mullinix
Before dirt starts moving on the downtown Crossville infrastructure improvement project, the Crossville City Council wants a steering committee in place to help coordinate with the community.
During its July 2 special-called meeting, the council unanimously approved the committee, named the Central Business District Redevelopment and Restoration Task Force, be formed.
Mayor J.H. Graham III will chair the committee, which will also include the city manager, representatives of Downtown Crossville, Inc., downtown merchants, the city attorney, the city's public information officer, finance director, engineering and planning director and other department heads as needed.
"It's importrant everybody understand what we're trying to do and the sharing of information back and forth with the merchants is very important," Graham told the council.
Interim City Manager Jack Miller said, "We believe this is a workable structure to deal with the myriad of complexities involved with this project. It's going to take a great deal of coordination and organization to deal with these many elements."
Graham also asked Councilman Pete Souza to review underground electrical service plans on the project and invited other members of council to get involved in areas where they had an interest and felt they could be of assistance. He also discussed seeking local engineering firms to provide independent inspection services or other services as needed.
The committee will meet weekly. It cannot spend beyond the city manager's authority, $5,000, without getting approval of the council. Meetings would also be open to the public. Tentative time is set for 10 a.m. Fridays, following weekly department head meetings. A starting date for those meeting has not yet been set.
Graham moved to approve the committee, with the assignment of himself to the board, supported by Souza.
The city council has also been exploring the possibility of securing low interest loans from Tennessee Valley Authority to construct a spec building in the city's industrial park. As part of that process, the city must undergo training and will be inviting area utility providers, elected officials, banks, business leaders and others to a meeting to be scheduled Aug. 14 or 15 to learn more.
He also asked Cliff Wightman from Tennessee Technology Center at Crossville, now called Tennessee College of Applied Science at Crossville, to discuss training opportunities available locally.
Wightman noted the technology center offers 15 training programs, with open enrollment policies, allowing individuals to enter programs on a monthly basis many times, and co-op programs that allow students to work in their field while earning credit. Specific training programs can be developed and tailored to specific industry needs, as well.
"If somebody comes in with something that we aren't offering, that's a good indication we need to be offering it," Wightman told the council.
Wightman invited the council to visit the campus on Miller Ave. to see the state-of-the-art technology and training programs available locally.
In other business, the council approved third and final reading of budget amendments for the 2012-'13 budget for the Kinder Garden program, taxiway, and cemetery road; approved second reading of ordinances amending the 2012-'13 budget for the CoLinx project and various year-end adjustments; and third and final reading of an ordinance setting the speed limit in Deer Creek Subdivision at 25 miles per hour.