The city of Crossville has lifted the water restrictions for their water and utility district customers, at least temporarily.

The restrictions have been in force since October last year and violators could have faced up to a $50 fine for failing to comply. In September 2007, the council had first encouraged voluntary water conservation, but water use had actually increased for a time before the formal restrictions were approved.

Interim City Manager Mike Turner announced the change late last week. The water restrictions that included outside watering, spraying sidewalks and parking lots, filling swimming pools and washing cars at home are lifted through the end of March. At that time, the city will look at the situation to determine if restrictions need to be reinstated. The council heard at its February meeting that recent rains had refilled the city's lakes, though the council is still concerned that the drought may not be over.

Work will soon move forward on the Holiday Hills dam repair and improvement project. The work will close the bridge across the dam for several months, requiring Holiday Hills residents to use alternate routes to get from their homes into Crossville.

The city was waiting on a “notice to proceed” from the Tennessee Department of Transportation showing the approval of federal funds for the work. City Clerk Sally Oglesby told the council that construction should start around mid-April and includes armoring of the dam, expanding the weir and bridge across the weir.

The council continues to consider how to provide city water to residents Cumberland Cove. The city and Cumberland Cove have been negotiating on the running of water lines and service to a large area of western Cumberland County that does not currently have city water service. The discussion came up under the city attorney's report when Ken Chadwell talked about the draft of a contract between the city and the Cumberland Cove property owners association.

The total cost of the project is estimated at some $5.3 million with $3 million set to come from Cumberland Cove and $2.3 million from the city. The city is also pursuing a grant from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development for some $1.3 million to help pay their portion.

City Finance Director Fred Houston went over financial estimates of a cost benefit analysis and explained the assumptions used to arrive at the figures. Houston's estimates did not include the grant and the city does not break even on the water sales until the middle of the third year of water being provided to the area.

One of the assumptions that brought questions from Councilman Boyd Wyatt was that 200 houses a year in Cumberland Cove would purchase water taps at $850 each.

“This may be good for the city,” said Wyatt, “but I think the assumptions are overstated. I want to help these people, but I've got my city hat on too.”

Houston responded, pointing out there were some 400 existing houses in Cumberland Cove now. Houston added that his brother drills wells and he said that the wells in the cove have some of the reddest water in the county.

Mayor J.H. Graham II settled the questions asking Houston, “So we need the Rural Development grant to make this work financially?”

Houston agreed with the mayor's assessment.

A motion by Graham, supported by Wyatt, passed the first of three readings of the contract agreement between the city and Cumberland Cove in title only. Included in the motion was that the contract's approval is contingent on receipt of the Rural Development grant.

With a group of Vietnam veterans in attendance at the February meeting, the council approved a resolution requesting TDOT install signs designating a portion of I-40 in Cumberland County between mile markers 317 and 323 as Vietnam War Memorial Highway. Graham read the resolution aloud surrounded by the Vietnam veterans present.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the veterans received a standing ovation from those attending the meeting.

Martin Elementary School sixth grade student Kyle Tollett was recognized as the student of the month for his representation of the character trait of the month, respect. Kyle's teacher described him as “always respectful of those in his path daily, young and old alike.