Doug Scarlett

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Monday, April 23, 2018

TBI adds Waffle House Shooting Suspect to Top 10 Most Wanted list with $2500 reward.

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new addition to its ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list, Travis Reinking.

Reinking (DOB 2-1-89) is wanted by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the TBI to face charges, including three counts of Criminal Homicide, in connection to a shooting that occurred at a Waffle House in Antioch early this morning. The shooting incident remains under investigation by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Reinking should be considered armed and dangerous.

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Reinking is a white man, who stands 6’4” and weighs approximately 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. There is a reward of up to $2,500 f
or information leading to his arrest.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

One Week Left for Early Voting in the May FIrst Local Primaries

Early voting continues through Thursday, April 26 for the upcoming May First Republican and Democratic Primaries at the County Election Commission office in the Milo Lemmert building, the old Post Office on Main Street. 


Votes must choose either the Republican or the Democratic primary to vote in.  Most of the candidates appear on the Republican ballot including 7 candidates for County Mayor, 3 for Road Superintendent and 2 for Circuit Court Clerk. Sample ballots are below.

Most races will be decided by the primary voting and several have already been decided since only one candidate qualified.  Those with no competition include incumbent Sheriff Casey Cox, County Clerk Jule Bryson, and County Trustee Kim Tollet Wyatt.

Races decided by the primary include Circuit Court Clerk race and the Road Superintendent Race.

The winner of the Republican primary for County Mayor will face independent candidate Sandra Davis in the August County General Election.




The Democrat ballot only includes one race for the Registrar of Deeds with only incumbent Judy Graham Swallows on the ballot and she will retain her office with no other candidate qualifying. 

Voters are required to have a government-issued photo ID to be able to vote.

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Milo Lemmert Building where early voting
takes place.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Crossville CIty Council approves merger talks with South Cumberland Utility District

Crossville city council voted unanimously to move forward with seeking a possible merger between the city's water department and South Cumberland Utility District.


The city has previously merged with the Catoosa Utility District and that appears to have been a successful and the SCUD merger is expected to be similar. The city is promising a $10 reduction in the bill to each water meter initially and eventually, the water bills would match the outside city water rates.
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If the proposal is agreed to then it would create the South Cumberland Utility District of the City of Crossville. The benefits of the merger according to information distributed with the agenda include a reduction of water rates and a decrease in redundant capital for both SCUD and the city.

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Under the proposal, the management and employees would remain the same. Directors would become an advisory board and continue to be appointed by the County Mayor. The proposal includes a decrease of $10.00 per meter per month and returning some $46,000 a month to customers for a total of $552,000 per year.

The city is proposing to pay off the debts of the operation and save approximately $100,000 per year. Synergies of operation would include cross training of employees, convert software and convert retirement plans and health insurance.

Council member J. H. Graham, who also serves on the Lake Tansi POA board made the motion to begin merger talks with the city manager, city attorney and Graham involved in those talks. The motion received a second from council member Danny Wyatt.


The motion was approved unanimously.   

Council Work Session takes another look at Animal Control Ordinances and what's Best for Pets

The Crossville city council once again looked at some possible changes in rules on tethering dogs inside the city limits but a consensus remains elusive.

The city had formed a task force on animal improvements with several local animal welfare groups and had looked at an ordinance that would disallow tethering of dogs between 7 PM and 7 AM and during the day for no longer than 8 hours at a time but failed to get enough votes to pass it. Instead, during the March council meeting, the council decided to enforce the state laws that prohibit injuring an animal with tethering.

Dogs at the animal shelter (file photo)

The additional work session on the topic was requested by council member Pamala Harris to give the council a chance to discuss animal control issues like tethering a bit more and general humane treatment of pets. Said Harris, “We can set a good example for the community by improving our ordinances without being too restrictive.”

In addition to the current state law, a new regulation has been added that will not allow tethering dogs when the temperature is under 32 or over 90 degrees.

The Crossville Police Department's animal control officer Wiley Potter said there were concerns about tethering and he said the biggest problem that he saw was when the animal got tangled up on a tether and couldn't reach their food, water or shelter. Potter, who said he had not been involved in the initial task force meetings, pointed out that dogs have lived outside for 10,000 years and that some people did not want an inside dog.

In addition, Potter pointed out that they have been asking people to keep their dogs up in compliance with the leash law adding, “Tethering is how they do it. What are we going to tell them now?”

Another problem Potter said he sees is that that chain or wire can be too big or too small for the animal being tied. “Use common sense on tethering.” In other words, Potter explained, “Don't put a chihuahua on a heavy chain or a pit bull on a light wire.”

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Potter explained that the state law requires that all dogs have food, water, and shelter. “I try to educate people and work with people,” Potter explained, “and if they don't do what I ask them to do, I cite them to court. You try to work with people, but sometimes they just don't understand.” Potter added that he looks at his job as education but he writes citations when he has to.

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The local animal welfare organizations including A Time for Paws and FOCCAS have programs that can help low-income citizens with getting a kennel to keep animals off of a tether. People can call the organizations and request assistance or referrals are made through animal control.

Council member Harris said, “There are strong opinions on either side of this issue. We have to take baby steps.” She felt the first baby step could be to address how an animal is tethered and make the ordinance something that can be enforced.

At least one citizen who attended the meeting spoke out complaining about the city telling her how to care for her animal.

While further discussion on a number of issues took place, additional study of the current situation and some local statistics were requested by the council.

Ms. Harris summed up her feelings saying, “I want to see what is good for our community."

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Monday Special Called Meeting and work session set for City Council.

Crossville city council has held a number of meetings in April and will hold both a special called meeting and a work session on animal control Monday, April 16 starting at 5 PM in the third-floor conference room.



The main topic for the special called meeting is wastewater treatment plant emergency work. The city staff is working with the engineer on receiving quotes for sludge removal of two basins taken offline while the previous contractor worked on the expansion project. Earlier this month the city ended work by that contractor that was not satisfactory.

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In addition, city staff is reviewing a proposal from the second low bidder to complete mechanical work at the plant. Recommendations on both items will be available at the meeting for Council to consider.
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In addition, a short consent agenda includes two items, one on allowing drive-through windows at liquor stores and also a budget amendment for additional testing required at the Dorton Landfill.


The work session to follow will discuss animal control issues and a presentation by city manager Greg Wood.  

The public is welcome to attend both meetings. 

Crossville CIty Council goes on record in support of incentives to locate new retail development on 127-N

During the April Crossville City Council meeting, members heard an update on the progress made by the firm the city hired to try and recruit additional retail and restaurants to Crossville.

According to the report given by City Manager Greg Wood, the company has been working with a North Carolina developer on a piece of property along 127-N. This is the same property that was optioned 18-24 months ago for a development that never went forward. The new proposal may require the participation of the city in support of new retail development and council approved a motion to offer “reasonable support” to facilitate the project.


Map showing the location of the proposed site of new 
retail development by Carolina Holdings, Inc.
(From CHI website)


According to Wood, some letters of intent have been signed on the new proposed development but nothing is final yet.

Preliminary design of shopping development
on 127-N. (From CHI website)

The company was known as r360 but has since changed their name to NextSite. Wood explained that the firm had been attending conferences on the city's part and have met with developers and tenant representatives and retailers. They are also visiting developers at their offices on a continuing basis.

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“One of the proposals/developers they have brought to us is a group called Carolina Holdings, Inc.” Wood told the council. “They have an option on the property just north of the Chevrolet dealership. They are very successful and developed the project at Mt. Juliet.”

Wood added that they have recruited some retail firms that he couldn't discuss yet, “but one thing they wanted me to relay was this is a kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity, the group of retailers they have brought together, if we don't come together on this deal, the likelihood of them returning again to look at Crossville is somewhat slim.”

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“There are some capital needs for this and we've been in consultation with some specialized attorneys as far as TIF funding.” TIF is Tax Increment Funding that earmarks future tax revenues to pay back funds borrowed for development.

Wood added the city has also been looking at some possible Rural Development funding as well as TDOT funding for intersection development.

“We just need to show them that the city is committed to this development as the city attorney, myself and the Mayor meet with the various attorneys that specialize we will bring back to you a recommendation how best to potentially make an offer on behalf of the city as far as partnering with this retail group,” Wood explained.
Property for the proposed retail site is currently
listed as owned by Woodmere Properties III.

Wood told the council, “I realize this sets a bit of a precedent as retail is not something typically done but to enhance our economic development in other areas. The new CEO of Crossville Inc. lives in Knoxville mainly because we don't have the amenities that his wife was asking for here so he commutes from Knoxville every day.”

“We need to bring in retail establishments to enhance our capabilities for the industrial jobs we want as well. Plus we have a leakage situation where we have people shopping in Cookeville instead of here and that solves our tax dollars going to Cookeville,” concluded Wood.

Wood described the project as a good prospect and a good location being close to I-40 and will pick off people from outside the county as well.

Councilman J. H. Graham moved that the council go on record as supporting the project saying, “I believe it is important that the city of Crossville show these developers that we are well versed in dealing with developers and using incentives for manufacturers and now we are looking toward providing incentives for developers of retail shopping areas.”


Graham's motion was to continue negotiations with the full intent of providing a reasonable incentive program for them to improve the retail growth in this community. Council member Pamala Harris supported the motion and it was passed unanimously.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Crossville makes $275,000 offer for Handle Mill Property for Future Parking

Crossville city council continues to pursue the purchase of property for parking and other possible uses near Main Street voting to offer $275,000 for the old handle mill property with railroad right of way.
Handle Mill Property next to library

Initially, the city hoped the county would help pay for the land purchase and the city would develop the property as parking, possibly a small park and in the future a restroom facility. The county took no action as it is dealing with trying to purchase railroad right of way that part of the library facility is built on.
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The city and property owner Ronnie Webb have been in discussions for some time about the possible purchase and so far the two sides have not come to an agreement on a price for the approximately three acres between Thurman Avenue and Webb Avenue north of the library and the outdoor amphitheater.

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Councilman Danny Wyatt said the property would be valuable for parking for the library and the courthouse. Wyatt made a motion to offer the owner $275,000 for the property to include the railroad right of way and the offer would be good for 60 days. Council member Pamala Harris seconded the motion.


No other discussion was held on the matter and Wyatt's motion was approved unanimously.