After rejecting all bids for a Brookhaven Dr. and Highland Lane water line project, the Crossville City Council approved a $1.27 million bid for the work.

The bid represented the second low bid, however, as engineers noted discrepancies in the low-bidder’s paperwork and a troubled past project.

“I can’t recommend the low bidder in this project,” City Engineer Tim Begley said.

Norris Brothers Excavating, who submitted a bid of $1.08 million, did not complete the last project they were awarded by the city. Begley said eight months after the completion date, the company notified the city it could not complete the work. 

“We spent $30,000 on additional contract administration and over $20,000 in the city crews finishing the project up,” Begley said.

Chuck Burgess with Environmental and Civil Engineering Services of Crossville, added three discrepancies discovered when reviewing the bids. The company failed to use the corrected bid proposal, they did not list their subcontractors and the company was listed as a partnership while it is a registered LLC.

City Attorney Will Ridley said the city’s charter allowed the council to reject a low bid in this situation.

Mayor James Mayberry moved to approve the second low bid of $1.27 million submitted by Iron Wood Construction and Engineering LLC. He also moved to approve a $1 million budget amendment for the project. The motion was supported by Councilman Art Gernt, and unanimously approved.

The council also instructed the city to seek funding for a low-pressure sewer line and water line at Meadow Park Lake. The sewer line is estimated to cost $988,000 while the water line is $960,000. Options include a 38-year loan from USDA Rural Development or a loan from the State Revolving Fund Loan. 

USDA Rural Development offers some grant opportunities for 25 to 35% of the project costs; however, the sewer line would likely not meet Rural Development requirements. The State Revolving Fund offers terms of 20 to 30 years with grant opportunities for 25% of the water line and 15% for wastewater proejcts

Wood asked the council which option they preferred. Councilman J.H. Graham III asked why the city couldn’t pursue both to find the best deal.

Mayberry told Wood, “Shop it.”

The motion was supported by Councilman Rob Harrison and unanimously approved.

In other utility projects, the council approved the following items:

•contract amendment for engineering services at Meadow Park Lake and $45,000 budget amendment to work toward gaining permits to expand Meadow Park Lake

•contract amendment for engineering services of utility relocation on Hwy. 127 N. from Lowe Rd. to near Little Rd. at a cost of $51,383.39, to be reimbursed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation

•contract amendment to allow ECE Engineering to take care of easements, environmental permits, and extended construction time for a water line replacement project on Old Lantana Rd. and County Seat/Southbend Dr. at a cost of $91,380

The council is awaiting a resolution to issue refinancing bonds. This lengthy process has multiple steps, including approval by the Tennessee Local Development Authority to refund state revolving fund loans. 

Mayberry said the city hoped to save on interest costs by updating its credit rating, currently AA-.

In other business, the council approved the following items:

•lien settlement for property at 344 Hwy. 70 E., with the owner paying $15,000 of the $22,129.88 lien

•purchase of five police radar units at a cost of $7,015, which was included in the 2019-’20 budget

•purchase and installation of police vehicle equipment for five new police patrol vehicles at a cost of $32,261, included in the 2019-’20 budget

•application for a 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant to purchase CPR devices at a cost of $78,645.40, with the city responsible for 5% of the cost, if approved

•purchase of a pump for the water resources department at a cost of $5,575

•purchase of a Ford Ranger four-wheel drive super cab pickup for the engineering department at a cost of $25,762


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

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