The county’s building and grounds committee approved moving forward with seeking proposals for construction work on the county’s highway department garage.

The committee discussed the dilapidated conditions at the Cumberland County Highway Department facility back in December.

Wendell Wilson, 6th District commissioner and building and grounds committee chairman, explained the county highway department project would be split into three phases.

Phase one is the office building, which needs roofing repairs, new windows and sheetrock repairs in several places. Cumberland County Highway Superintendent Scott Blaylock said he had gotten a rough estimate from Conrad Welch, county maintenance and solid waste director.

“Conrad has said the office work would be under $10,000. The maintenance department could do some of the work. Is there money in the maintenance line that could cover this?” Wilson asked.

Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster, said, “We don’t have that in the budget.”

Wilson asked Blaylock if there were funds in the road department budget.

“We have it in another area we could use. We could move some money around and get it from the other contracted services line,” Blaylock said.

Wilson said phase two of the project was a new garage building directly behind the office building. Blaylock submitted a rough draft of a 80-foot by 100-foot metal shop building. The building would have three bays for working on large vehicles, with two of the bays having a pit underneath rather than lifts.

Blaylock had a rough estimate of $234,000 but it did not include doors or grates in the floor.

“This detail sheet just has a rough drawing. Many contractors don’t want to show interest or give a number at this time but said they would bid on the project once it goes out for bid,” Blaylock said.

Rebecca Stone, 3rd District commissioner and budget committee chairwoman, asked if there might be grant funds available.

“There aren’t any that I know of. We have checked into it,” Blaylock said.

Phase three of the project would be tearing the old garage down and replacing it with a hoop-style structure for storing salt, gravel and cold mix supplies and would be done much later after the first two phases were complete.

Wilson said, “We need to look into moving forward with phase one.”

Stone agreed and moved to have an RFP sent out for the garage building for a contractor who could design and build the facility for phase two.

Kyle Davis, 2nd District commissioner, supported the motion.

Stone said, “This is to get the plans and drawings and then put it out for bids. That way we don’t have to hire a separate architect for the project.”

Jim Blalock, 8th District commissioner, said, “I think we ought to commit to all of it or none of it. If any of this gets put off, then the county’s liable not to do all of it.”

Stone said she wanted to see all of the phases done but this was just to get started and there were safety issues to address.

The motion passed 6-1 with Blalock voting no.

“I feel we need to address all of it and not just one part,” Blalock said.

Stone again said this was just to get going on phase two of the project.

The committee will send it forward and phase one to the budget committee for its consideration.

Jack Davis, 5th District commissioner, did not attend the meeting.

Gary Nelson may be reached at gnelson@crossville-chronicle.com

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