Work will move forward on a feasibility study for a potential indoor recreation center in the city of Crossville.

The Crossville City Council approved a $30,900 proposal from HFR Design for a feasibility study and architectural program, though some members of the council wondered if the feasibility study was necessary.

“I don’t know that we really need to do a study,” Mayor James Mayberry said during the Feb. 4 city council work session. 

Mayberry pointed to an indoor recreation center in Manchester, with indoor and outdoor pools, and recalled comments from that center’s director during the December council work session. 

“We do something similar to what was done in Manchester and draw a crowd for miles in the summer time,” he said. 

The architectural program includes estimates on the size of facility needed and is important in determining cost, Jim Gilliam, with HFR Design, told the council.

Kyle Dunn, with HFR Design, said, “We do an architectural program that includes the size, amenities and a preliminary opinion on the probable cost.”

Councilman Scot Shanks, participating via telephone, said, “I think a big part of the feasibility study is determining what needs to be in this building. We don’t need to do something just like somebody else. We’re going to have different opportunities for people here.”

Councilman Rob Harrison questioned how the company proposed conducting the market research. Dunn explained the company uses an online survey tool to reach out to the public. They will also host public meetings. 

Harrison said, “The ones who are interested will be the ones to come.”

He asked if there were other methods used to reach the public. Representatives said emails could be sent to email lists, such as the Horizon Initiative contact list, or provide information in utility bills. 

Harrison said he wanted to reach out to people living in the county, as well, as they would be potential users. 

Mayberry said a big question is how to pay for the facility, which would not be part of the study. 

City Manager Greg Wood said programs would be key to making the facility successful and reduce the overall operation cost.

Shanks said he agreed with Mayberry the study would find a positive response to an indoor facility. 

“There’s a lot to this in terms of rallying the troops and getting people on board really wanting to do this,” he said.

“We’re talking about something that’s expensive and having to do a bond issue. We need to find out — do people really, really want this?”

The study was approved during the Feb. 11 council meeting as part of the consent agenda. 

The council also directed Wood to contact the Tennessee Department of Transportation saying the city would accept the installation of street lights on Hwy. 127 N. as part of the road-widening project in that area.

That will include street lights from about Interstate 40 to the area of the Circle K, where lights are currently located. The lights will be installed at no cost to the city.

However, Tim Begley, public works director, asked the council for direction on street lights for the area along Hwy. 127 N. within the city limits and the city’s urban growth area. 

The council deferred to planning from Volunteer Energy Cooperative and the Tennessee Valley Authority for lighting beyond that section of new road. The project will include sidewalks to about the area of the second entrance to Tabor Loop.

In other action, the council approved the following items:

•Don Cole, professional engineer, to serve on the Stormwater Board of Appeals

•Adoption of an amendment to the Municipal Flood Damage Prevention ordinance, updating the plan to include panels annexed into the city since 2007

•Application for InvestPrep Funding grant, with a 50% city match, to conduct a phase one environmental study, geotechnical study and clearing of a 20-acre site next to the Crossville Shooting Sports Park for possible industrial development

•Approval of a volunteer vehicle use agreement for city vehicles

•Agreement with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to allow the city to install and operate traffic signals and sidewalks, with the city responsible for maintenance and operation of the improvements

Discussion of an independent contractor agreement with Dr. Mark Fox, the city’s medical director, were tabled until the March 3 work session, pending information from insurance providers for medical liability insurance coverage.

 

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.