By Jim Young
The Crossville City Council met recently for a work session on the downtown Crossville project to discuss the status and concerns about underground storage tanks raised at the council's February meeting.
Councilman Pete Souza had requested the meeting and said he felt he needed additional information on the situation.
“I wanted to understand how the project might be impacted by those underground storage tanks and I wanted to be re-briefed on stormwater flow and I and I (inflow and infiltration),” Souza said at the start of the meeting.
First discussed was stormwater and city engineer Tim Begley described where the catch basins would be installed and the water flow directed. Begly said there is currently one catch basin at the north end of the downtown area at Neecham St. and another small basin at 5th St. but other wise the stormwater flows down hill and has created flooding problems, especially along Fourth St. and Division St. There is also some stormwater control at the bottom of water tank hill.
In the early days of Crossville, when early sewer lines were installed, the city had no treatment plant. The effluent was simply piped out of town. To help with the flow, early downspouts on buildings were directed into sewer lines to keep them flowing. City officials say they do not know how many, if any, of the current buildings have downspouts directed into the current sewer system, but it is possible some could still be connected that way.
According to Begley, the only option is for the rain to be directed into the street or to the new storm water system, once it is installed.
Clark Ennis, with Veolia, said he suspected there were some rainwater downspouts tied into the sewer system and that results from the flow meters and the I and I study expected at the end of March will tell them more about the situation. Ennis said there was a great deal of I and I problems behind the courthouse and there were plans to do additional work checking those lines.
The discussion turned to the problem of underground storage tanks and Begley talked about the geotechnical study that drilled core studies to check thickness of the road and other soil issues. Of the holes drilled, four came up with a petroleum smell. Most of those were at the south end of town and one was on First St. While there could be some issues if contaminated soil is found, Begley said that little excavation was planned in those areas of the project and little of that area should be disturbed.
Begley also pointed out engineers had planned for the possibility and put in the bid package the possible removal and disposal of 100 cubic yards of contaminated soil. Begley said that if more was found, a price would already be established. There would be no cost to the project if nothing was found that needed to be removed.
Begley pointed out, also, that the objective of the project is not to completely dig up Main St. Much of the area will not be disturbed.
The meeting also reviewed a previous map prepared that indicated possible underground storage tanks, including fuel tanks and dry cleaners chemical tanks, located around the area of the project, though Begely said many of the tanks are either outside or at the edge of the project area. Most tanks were in the area of the Old Broadway service station at the corner that is now Scarlett's Auto Sales. Other tanks were previously across the street where Warner Motors was located.
Tanks at the current Best One Tire and Roadrunner motors have reportedly been removed, but were removed before the state licensed the tanks. Councilman Danny Wyatt said he was aware that, at one time, there was a fuel tank at the old L.P. Shanks building at Taylor St., but Wyatt does not know if it was removed or not.
Souza said one of the reason he asked for the meeting was because he wanted to make sure that nothing was left out of the project, as he did not want to see the street torn up and then later realize more work needed to be done.
Wyatt asked for a percentage of the infrastructure versus what he called the “want to” part of the project. Begley said he could put that information together but he did not want to guess. He said he would prepare a list and discuss it with the council at a future meeting.
Wyatt said he felt that perhaps the city should do an abutment project on the parts of the project that were not necessary but were more of a beautification effort of downtown to benefit property owners there.
Souza said he felt that all the arguments should be put on the table, but added that if Downtown Crossville, Inc., raises the money for the nice things, then they should stay in.