Cumberland County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to apply for and receive a grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives for construction and improvements to the county’s Archives and Family Heritage Center.

The grant would require 50% matching local funds with a maximum funding up to $100,000.

The county’s building and grounds committee has been discussing and deliberating ideas and proposals for upgrading the archives facility.

According to the resolution, the county agrees to the following stipulations:

•The county has the legal authority to accept state grant funds and will be responsible for adhering to the state laws.

•Grant funds will only be used for actual construction costs within the start and completion dates.

•Local funds are available from archives and records management fees enabled by the county commission and dedicated to the project. Availability of local funds may be verified by the most recent audit by the state of Tennessee’s comptroller’s office.

•James Houston, Art Circle Library director and Joyce Rorabaugh, county archivist, are authorized by the county commission to apply for the grant.

The resolution was unanimously approved after a motion was made by Rebecca Stone, 3rd District commissioner. Stone’s motion was supported by Deborah Holbrook, 8th District commissioner.

A proposed renovation project presented to the building and grounds committee includes demolition and removal of the back portion of the existing Archives facility at $225,000; site work including additional parking, reworked site drainage and sidewalk repairs at $50,000; new two-story 8,000-square-foot addition with masonry and steel construction at $1.56 million; and 8,224-square-foot renovation of the existing building, including the removal of the baptistry area, basement renovations, general renovations including upgrading of finishes, HVAC, plumbing and electrical upgrades, new aluminum windows, new roof, fascia, gutters and downspouts and repairs of the front/cupola steeple area at $945,760.

It was submitted by Kim Chamberlin, architect with Upland Design Group. The proposal will be reviewed in the future. Stone said she believes the renovation portion would be much cheaper with the county and students from Tennessee College of Applied Technology performing some of the work.

Stone said Conrad Welch, county building maintenance supervisor, Cliff Wightman, TCAT president are supposed to meet and discuss working out timing of the project and what each group could perform.

Those ideas will be discussed at a future building and grounds meeting.

The county also approved a resolution supporting the efforts of providers that are applying for the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant.

The resolution states, “Cumberland County is a pro-business community dedicated to the well-being of its commercial, industrial, and residential citizens. With leading medical facilities, award-winning schools and numerous recreational opportunities, access to reliable, high-speed broadband is a necessity.”

It further states, “Brought about by incorrect and unvalidated data provided to the FCC, and a lack of infrastructure investment, sufficient broadband access in Cumberland County has become a prominent issue … The Cumberland County Commission fully supports the efforts of our Cumberland County Mayor, Allen Foster, and the many others who are working to secure grants to make sufficient broadband access a reality in Cumberland County.”

It was unanimously approved.

Charles Seiber, 4th District commissioner, did not attend the meeting.

Gary Nelson may be reached at

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