By Jim Young
The Crossville City Council approved moving forward with plans for improvements to the Holiday Hills water treatment plant even though the bids came in over the estimates made on the project due to being delayed from 2009.
The action was taken at Friday's special-called city council meeting after bids on the project were opened recently. Councilman Earl Dean was not present for the meeting.
The water plant improvement project was originally on the city's budget in 2009 but was delayed due to financial concerns at that time. In the interim, several of the components needed for the upgrade have dramatically increased in cost, resulting the higher than expected bids.
Crossville City Manager Bruce Wyatt described the 44-year-old Holiday Hills plant as "old and worn." He added that there have been extensive meetings about the project with the engineers and low bidder. Manager Wyatt said the original estimate on the project was $1.72 million, but one item had more than doubled in cost, another increased by some 50 percent and another by 25 percent.
Another part of the cost increase was the investigation of the original electrical system that is a type no longer used. The three-phase electrical service will need to be upgraded for the safety of the employees and future maintenance on the system. Manager Wyatt described the power feed as "an antique distribution system" that may cause a hazard for future work.
The low bid on the project by W. Rodgers Co. was $2,570,190. The low bid was recommended by the project engineers and, according to Bruce Wyatt, all the bids were within 10 percent of each other. All four council members present approved the motion.
The city was hoping to have the new city hall building open in time for the November council meeting, but the building is not quite ready. There is still computer networking that needs to be installed and tested by the city IT department, along with final work on the punch list by the contractor.
City Clerk Sally Oglesby reported the final fire marshal inspection would be this week and they hope to get a certificate of occupancy soon. Furniture is being delivered and finishing touches are being added.
Oglesby said they do expect to hold the swearing in ceremony at the new building Nov. 19 and that will be the first real public use of the building for city business.
Plans are for the city to close for business at 3 p.m. Nov. 30 and be closed for business Dec. 3. The new city hall will then open for business on Dec. 4, 2012.
Mayor Pro-Tem Danny Wyatt led a discussion on a proposed dog park brought to the council earlier this year. At that time, the council challenged the supporters to raise funds for the first phase of the project and the council would consider matching the funds to start the project.
Crossville resident Margie Buxbaum brought the matter to the council in June and at the meeting, councilman Danny Wyatt said they had raised just over $8,000 in donations toward the fencing, estimated to cost $14,000. The park would be built near the walking trail at Crossville Recreation Park with two separate fenced areas, one for small dogs and one for larger dogs.
Danny Wyatt said that dogs were popular and when he was running for city council two years ago it seemed to him that behind about 80 percent of the doors he knocked he heard a dog.
Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III said that he'd had a dog growing up and felt is was important for kids to have a pet.
Buxbaum said she had visited other city dog parks and felt that a 4 foot fence would be adequate, rather than the original 5 foot one discussed. Buxbaum added that the lower fence would be less expensive.
The motion to move forward with the first phase of the dog park was approved by all four members of the council present for the meeting.
The council agreed to consider an offer from TLD Logistics for property in the Interchange Business Park next to their current location. The company is looking to construct a building to do repair work on trucks and equipment.
The cost of the property at $250,000 would be based on the company's assurances of 30 new jobs added to the operation over three years. The firm currently employs 70.
A contract for the property would include what Graham referred to as a "claw-back" provision that would mean the company would pay back the city $5,000 for each employee less that the 30 that were committed to at the end of three years.
Council approved the first reading of an ordinance for the annexation of the Ace Hardware store property on Lantana Road. The property owner requested the annexation in order to hook on to the city sewer.
A number of items were approved in the consent agenda including several budget ordinances.