"It's time to make a decision on proceeding with the renovation of the new city hall building," commented Crossville City Manager Bruce Wyatt.

While members of the Crossville city council remain concerned about the city's finances, none of them could see not moving forward with the renovation of the old bank building purchased last year to become the new city hall.

When the item concerning the new city hall building came up on the agenda it became quickly obvious that all the members of the council agreed moving forward with the renovation of the 30-year-old building was the best course of action. A motion to move forward with the renovation was approved unanimously.

Then the question became how exactly to proceed.

The renovation plans must be approved by the state fire marshall and one of the first questions to be decided was whether or not to add sprinklers to the building. Derrick Clemow with Uplands Design Group explained that the initial plans were reviewed by the fire marshall, but changes were needed if sprinklers were not added.

According to Clemow, the changes needed if sprinklers are not installed would cost an estimated additional $70,000. The addition of sprinklers would cost approximately $115,000, but would make the building safer and more flexible for any future changes that might be needed in the building or its use.

Clemow was asked what his recommendation was and he said he recommended that the sprinkler system be added to the building. In addition, Crossville Fire Chief Mike Turner said that he "highly recommended" the sprinkler system for the building.

A motion to proceed with adding a sprinkler system to the project was unanimously approved.

The final decisions to be made on the project include looking at a series of options that could be removed from the project if necessary, depending on the bid amounts to allow for the control of the final cost of the work.

Clemow and his group prepared a list of potential reductions in the scope of the work, including dropping the proposed solar power system, which is estimated to cost $110,000. Other items that could be dropped from the project include renovation of the the deck outside of the third floor, addition of a training room on the fourth floor, removing a wall to open up the hallway at the front of the third floor, addition of an air lock on the second floor, a networked lighting control system and some high efficiency lighting fixtures.

The estimated cost of the full project is $1,854,000 and the estimated cost without the listed items is roughly $1,649,000, a savings of some $215,000.

The solar power system was estimated with a payback of 20 years by selling power back to TVA for more than the price city purchases it.

The council unanimously approved moving forward with submitting the plans for the project to the fire marshall's office and to prepare bid documents to be distributed once the plans are approved.

Council wants to get the project started as soon as possible. Once the bids come in, the council can decide which of the parts of the project can be removed.

Martin Elementary School's Caleb Lester was recognized as the student of the month. Sixth grader Caleb was nominated for his representation of the character trait of honesty. Caleb's family and teacher attended the meeting to see him receive the award.