Water system improvement projects were on the Crossville City Council agenda as the council picked engineers for several projects in the works and one council member still has questions about the Veolia contract for the operation of the wastewater plant.
Water system improvement projects on the city's planning schedule include a new 500,000 gallon water storage tank for the Catoosa district along with projects including Holiday Drive waterline replacement and hydrants, County Seat and Southbend waterline replacement and hydrants, Lantana Estates and Fairyland Acres waterline replacement and hydrants and Old Lantana Road waterline replacement and hydrants. The amount of water lines in the various projects total almost 30,000 feet and depending on funding additional areas could be added.
The city put out a request for qualifications (RFQ) and received information from a number of engineering firms interested in providing services for the work. All the RFQs have been scored. Rural Development will provide funding for the work. The top score on the water tank work was Stigall engineering and the top score for waterline projects was ECE. Catoosa requested Stigall for the work.
Councilman Danny Wyatt suggested that the waterline projects be divided between ECE and J. R. Wauford. Discussion concerned a slight increase in costs if two engineer firms are used as they will not share information such as environmental studies but city manager David Rutherford did not know how much that would be.
A motion to choose Stigall Engineering for the water tank project and the waterline work to be split between ECE and Wauford was made and approved unanimously.
Councilman Jesse Kerley continues to pursue information about Veolia and their new contract with the city to operate the city's wastewater treatment plant. Kerley had questions about the process for the city manager.
Kerley asked why it was important to have a special-called meeting on Sept. 25 to approve the contract or could it have waited until the regular October meeting. Rutherford said that it could have waited, but his concern was that if it was not approved he would have had only a short period of time, less than 45 days before the contract expired, to negotiate a contract with the provider in second place.
Kerley asked if there was any representative of Veolia's executive team at the called meeting to answer questions and Rutherford responded that he did not believe there was. Kerley asked about the savings from the new contract and Rutherford answered that the reduction was about $36,000 over the previous year's contract.
Kerley continued, “Basically from what I've seen from the old contract to the new contract, we defined, in my opinion, a little bit more duties to them be defining what their obligations were and we saved money.” Kerley then asked, “Does the use of our sewer system financially impact any member of this council?” Kerley also wanted to know if any council member made a disclosure of interest.
Rutherford responded that was hard to answer because every member of the council that has a sewer connection has some financial savings and there was no disclosure of interest.
Kerley said there were just some question he had that he wanted answered on the record and concluded, “That's all I've got.”
The council also approved the purchase of three radar units and patrol car video systems for new police vehicles as well as the purchase of a nutrient testing system for the wastewater treatment plant. Half of the cost of the test equipment is funded by Veolia.