By Heather Mullinix
Construction is now under way on the Crossville-Cumberland County Visitors Center: The Gateway to the Big South Fork just off Interstate 40 on Cook Rd.
The Cumberland County Commission approved several resolutions related to the construction of the building.
The visitor’s center is a joint effort of Cumberland County and the city of Crossville. The majority of the funding is coming from a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The city is providing $120,000 in grant matching funds and partnering with the county on operating costs.
Freitag Construction of Crossville was awarded the bid for the building.
Approved at the Aug. 19 meeting of the county commission was a motion to rename the visitors center, with no additional cost to the county. Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner, moved to approve the request, supported by Mike Harvel, 7th District commissioner. The motion was approved with Harry Sabine, 1st District commissioner, voting no.
Also approved was an interfund loan capital outlay note not to exceed $600,000.
Rimmer moved to approve the resolution, supported by Carmen Lynch, 9th District commissioner.
The resolution states the interfund loan will be non-interest bearing with a maturity of up to three years, allowing for the county to use monies from its fund balance. The grant funding reimburses the county for its expenses. The interfund loan allows for payment of expenses incurred on the project.
The motion was unanimously approved.
The commission also approved a resolution allowing County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. to sign an interlocal agreement with the city of Crossville to allow for improvements to county property located in the area where the city’s downtown improvement project will take place.
In the agreement, the city agrees to provide, at no cost to the county, improvements to utility systems, sidewalks, landscaping, irrigation, benches, trash receptacles and other decorative enhancements to the county property, primarily the Cumberland County Courthouse property.
Joe Koester, 5th District commissioner, moved to approve the resolution, supported by Jan McNeil, 5th District commissioner. The motion was approved with Johnn Presley, 3rd District commissioner; Roy Turner, 7th District commissioner; Rimmer; and Sabine voting no.
First District Commissioner Brian Houston did not attend the meeting.