As is the case with most county seat communities, the centerpiece of downtown is the courthouse, and Cumberland County is no different. That is why the city of Crossville and Downtown Crossville Inc. (DCI) have joined forces in an effort to revitalize the old business district with the Cumberland County Courthouse being the centerpiece.

Crossville City Recorder Sally Oglesby recently met with members of the county's buildings and grounds committee to review plans that are being considered and to answer questions as to how this will affect county government.

Also present were members of DCI.

While a design plan which includes changes to the courthouse lawn has been prepared, the plan is fluid and anything that is done on county property will have to gain approval of the county.

With that issue discussed, Oglesby noted that about 80 percent of the planned work will involve infrastructure including replacement of water lines — some of which are 100 years old or older — and installing underground electrical service lines. Plans also call for new sidewalks and street lights compatible with the theme of downtown.

The county will benefit from this work by having better water pressure and having sidewalks that meet ADA requirements.

Total cost to the city as the plan stands now is $9 million and to date, $4.5 million in grants have been secured. The remainder will be financed with low interest loans and, hopefully, with additional grants, Oglesby said.

"We are not asking the county to contribute," Oglesby said. "We are hopeful the county will partner with us as they have on other projects."

The Neecham St. to Lantana Rd. project will take about 18 months.

One concern was the installation of a fountain. Commissioners express concern about the size and maintenance. Oglesby said maintenance would be minimal for the county and consist of draining the fountain during the winter months and then adding chemicals that will keep the fountain clean for the remainder of the year.

Size of the fountain — which will be smaller than the architect's example — will be decided by the county.

The presentation was an informational one with no decisions being made.