A Crossville property owner cautioned the city council against setting property standards to a point they become overly restrictive.

“I am not at all against cleaning up Crossville,” Ronnie Webb told the Crossville City Council during public comments at the start of the monthly meeting. “I do not want to see Crossville become a Fairfield Glade for codes. When they say clean up the property, I’m all for that.

“You’re on a slippery slope.”

Webb owns property in the city he first rented in 2004. He began having trouble with his tenant in 2005. 

In November 2019, the tenants were evicted. In February, the family began moving.

“During court proceedings, I indicated to the court that I was amazed I hadn’t received a letter from codes about the mess that was there,” Webb said.

But as clean-up got under way in February, he did receive a letter warning him of property code violations.

“It was certainly justified, but it would have been helpful to have that in November,” he said. 

But the issues raised in the letter seemed excessive, Webb said. Violations included guttering not providing protection to the foundation, that the posts on the carport are not approved, an unsafe structure on the property, the protective coating (paint) on the house is not doing an adequate job, and that there is an inoperable vehicle. The initial letter offered 10 days to complete all the work outlined, though Webb said he did receive an extension.

Webb said he worked for two weeks to remove trash and debris, filling up two roll-off dumpsters. 

“It was a mess,” he said. “We had most of that cleaned up by the time I got the letter.”

The unsafe structure was a shed that had been used as a dog house. The inoperable vehicle was an RV that Webb had allowed someone to leave there while trying to get it repaired. He said it was distressing to the owner when the RV and shed were removed.

The city’s ordinance for property maintenance regulations cover numerous items, including the height of the grass, debris and abandoned or inoperable vehicles. 

During its meeting, the council approved the following items as part of its consent agenda:

•Final approval of closing Church St. right of way between Cother and Burnett St.

•Final approval of a $210,000 budget amendment for installation of a master meter at Meadow Park Lake

•First reading of a budget amendment accepting $173,310 in CARES Act funding to reimburse the city for expenses related to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including purchasing supplies and overtime necessary in several departments

•Acceptance of ownership of a 2-inch waterline on Point Rd. off Eldridge Loop, with the property owners responsible for $3,465 in improvements and tap fee

•Purchase of surplus property offered by the state of Tennessee and federal government

•Purchase of a reel mower for the parks department at a cost of $36,289.21, with the existing mower to be sold to recoup some of the cost

•Purchase of tank valves and actuators at Meadow Park Lake, accepting the low bid from Consolidated Pipe and Supply Co.

 

 

 

 

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.

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