Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

February 11, 2014

TDOT rejects downtown project bid

CROSSVILLE — The downtown improvement project has hit a setback as, even though the federal agencies helping to fund the project have approved the single bid received, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has not. The matter is expected to be discussed at tonight’s Crossville City Council meeting.

TDOT determined that Highways Inc., the sole bidder on the $11 million project, failed to use the required bid form in their submittal and that the project must be bid again.

The regular February council meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the council chambers and will be preceded by a public hearing on annexation progress reports at 5:45 p.m. and the audit committee meeting at 5:15 in the third floor conference room at city hall. All the meetings are open to the public.

The council will consider approval tonight of a document billed as a “Productive Workplace Policy” that includes references to maintaining “professionalism and civility at all times.” The policy was developed by new City Manager David Rutherford who said other cities are developing similar policies due to the current political climate and, if approved, the policy would apply to interactions between council members, employees and city staff. The policy states that the city recognizes that “disagreements and conflicts will occur; therefore, elected officials and employees are expected to participate in a professional conflict resolution process whenever conflicts or potential adversarial situations arise.”

The policy is scheduled to be voted on under the consent agenda.

Also on the agenda is a request from the Crossville Regional Planning Commission for the council to reconsider their action last month to not approve funding the work to move forward with the Northwest Connector. A letter from Planning Commission Chairmam Dave Burgess says that the project has been discussed since the 1980s and “is truly needed for improved safety, continued growth and development for the city of Crossville and Cumberland County.”

Burgess’ letter said he would attend the meeting to answer any questions the council may have but he encouraged them to reconsider their action.

After a discussion during last month’s council meeting of a proposal by Councilman Pete Souza to put a “confidence vote” item on the ballot, it was discovered that there was no provision in state law or the city charter for such an action. Instead the city has researched the addition of a recall provision to the charter changes currently being submitted to the state legislature.

The council will consider approving the charter change during tonight’s meeting. The recall would require a petition signed by 33 percent of registered city voters to get on the ballot and once on the ballot would have to be approved by 66 percent of the voters to remove a council member.

The council will consider approval of a city employee wellness policy. The policy was discussed at last week’s work session and has been under consideration for some time. The policy would share the cost of wellness center membership between the city and the employee and offer incentives for weight loss and fitness assessment awards. Part of the cost of the would be shared with Blue Cross through a reduction of health insurance premiums.

The council will consider hunting permission on city property except for Meadow Park Lake, which already has rules. Several complaints have been received from activity on the old city landfill property and the council needs to decide to post for no hunting or require permission and regulations.

The council will discuss a change in policy for approving contracts needing budget amendments to pay for them. Councilman Danny Wyatt is suggesting that such contracts that require approval of a budget amendment be approved only contingent upon the final reading of any required budget amendment.

The council will discuss the matter of mixed drink taxes that were not paid to the board of education. City officials, county officials and board of education officials have met and discussed the matter and the BOE is requesting full payment from the city. The city is seeking a payment plan for the tax bill that goes back 20 years. A number of additional cities across Tennessee are in the same predicament.

 

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