Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 30, 2013

BSF Visitor's Center bids heading to TDOT for review

By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer

CROSSVILLE — The Cumberland County Financial Management Committee approved a low bid on the Gateway to the Big South Fork Visitor's Center project during a re-convened meeting Monday morning.

The committee met Friday morning at 8 a.m., but recessed the meeting until Monday morning after questions arose about the vote on the project and several committee members were unable to attend due to icy road conditions.

Harry Sabine, 1st District county commissioner, who does not serve on the committee but attended the meeting, said, "I suggested it would be best to recess the meeting until better weather and that way the full committee would be able to attend and there would be no question regarding the vote."

The bid would have been approved in a 3-1 vote Friday, but with only four members present, the group decided it best to recess until all of the members were able to attend.

On Monday after the meeting reconvened, the committee voted to approve the low bid of $604,000 on the project that was submitted by W&O Construction of Livingston, TN, in a 5-2 vote.

Voting in favor of the project were Scott Blaylock, county road superintendent; County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr.; Nancy Hyder, 2nd District county commissioner; Mike Harvel, 7th District county commissioner; and Aarona VanWinkle, director of schools.

Voting against the project were county commissioners Johnny Presley, 3rd District; and Carmin Lynch, 9th District.

The bids and project will now be sent to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for its review and approval. The majority of the funds for the project will be coming from a grant from TDOT.

Bids were also submitted by Freitag Construction Company for $605,800; Johnson's Builders for $661,705; and Southeast Contractors, Inc. for $673,816.

Last week, the Cumberland County Commission voted to pursue construction and work toward completing the Gateway to the Big South Fork Visitor's Center project in an 11-7 vote.

Commissioner Harvel, who voted against the project in the county commission meeting, supported it in the Financial Management Committee meeting vote.

"Since the full county commission voted in favor of supporting the project, then I feel like I need to support it," Harvel said.