The Crossville City Council rejected all bids for water line projects on Brookhaven Dr. and Highland Lane.

The project will go back to the drawing board with engineers tasked with readying the project for a new round of bids.

“There were several issues with the bids,” Tim Begley, city engineer, told the council during its Aug. 6 special-called meeting. 

Planning on the waterline project began in 2015 when the city was redoing waterlines in the downtown area. That project was paid for with money from the State Revolving Fund. About $375,000 was left over and the city began eyeing a waterline project on Brookhaven and Highland Lane. 

But the timeline for the project was extended as the city worked to get property easements. 

With a deadline to use the funds nearing, the city used the extra money to tie together waterlines in the downtown area that were “dead-end” lines. 

Begley said the project had been set up as two separate pieces.

“If funds were available, we could do both. If they were not, we would be able to pull only one of those projects out,” he said. “At this point in time, those projects need to be combined.

“I don’t think all the contractors understood that it was one complete project. We had one contractor only turn in a bid for half the project.”

The original plan also included an shorter time for construction, 105 days, because the city had planned to use grant funds. 

“That’s a little faster than what we want to pay for,” Begley said. The city will extend the construction time to 150 days.

Begley said one of the bidders had also mentioned the asbestos waterlines.

“I think that scared some of the bidders,” he told the council.

He stressed asbestos waterlines are not harmful.

“Asbestos is only harmful if you inhale it. With a waterline, it’s wet,” he said. 

Councilman Scot Shanks moved to reject all bids, supported by Councilman Rob Harrison. The motion was approved unanimously with Councilman Art Gernt joining the other two councilmen in voting in favor. Mayor James Mayberry and Councilman J.H. Graham III were not present for the meeting.

The council then unanimously approved a contract amendment with Environment and Civil Engineering Services. The $25,530-amendment includes $10,000 for contract administration and $15,000 to modify the plans and rebid the project.

The council also approved a budget amendment for its 2018 Community Development Block Grant sewer rehabilitation project. 

The bid for the project was $593,168 — $124,329 more than the estimated cost included in the grant. 

City Manager Greg Wood said, “If you go back and take something out, you have to redo engineering, it’s a lot more money.”

The city budgeted funds for sewer line rehabilitation in the 2019-’20 budget. 



Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at