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Friday, November 4, 2016

Final regular council meeting for Souza and Kerley includes ethics complaints, grants and funding request for Jet Stadium

The final regular Crossville city council meeting for the current version of council comes two days after the election for two new members of the council. The agenda for the November regular council meeting includes a long list of the ethics violations filed by councilman Pete Souza that may or may not be investigated depending on the vote of a majority of council.

Crossville city hall

The council's evening starts at 5:15 PM with the council meeting as the audit committee in conference room 317.  A public hearing on annexation progress report is set for 5:50 PM and the council's regular meeting starts at 6 PM.  

In addition to the ethics complaints that come near the end of the meeting's agenda, council will also consider grant applications for site preparation for an industrial site building pad and a tourism development grant for the shooting sports park. Council will again consider a sidewalk proposal for Dunn Ave near Walmart and a request for funding by Cumberland County High School for repairs to their football field.

The list of ethics complaints can be found at this link. City attorney Will Ridley recommended the items should be covered at a special called meeting and one was close to being scheduled but was pulled just before the notice was to go out. Councilman Souza then asked that the items be included on the regular meeting's agenda.  

All 13 of the complaints are listed as individual agenda items and in each case, the council has three options, to determine that the complaint has merit, determine that the complaint does not have merit or determine that the complaint has sufficient merit to warrant further investigation. If the Council determines that a complaint warrants further investigation, it would authorize an investigation by the City Attorney or another individual or entity chosen by the City Council to make that investigation.

The Chamber of Commerce is seeking permission to apply for a grant of up to $500,000 for a Tennessee Department of Economic and Community development site development grant. The grant will require a minimum $214,000 match up to a maximum of $500,000 match from the city to construct a 200,000 square foot pad ready for construction to start.

The site for the pad is in the Interchange Park at I-40 and 127-N and the plan would include space for some 255 parking spaces and an area for trucks as well.

Council will also consider making an application for a tourism enhancement grant to assist in the development of the Shooting Sports Park proposed for the old city landfill property at Chestnut Hill. The project construction will be funded though the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at $2.3 million to develop the park. The city can request up to $50,000 for the toursim grant and a $15,000 match will be required for the grant. The grant looks at bringing people more than 50 miles from their home and a method for measuring the impact.

Once again the council will look at a proposal for construction a sidewalk on Dunn Avenue between Interstate Drive and Matherly St. Property owners on the street have agreed to fund 50 percent of the material to build the curb gutter and sidewalk with the city funding the balance and labor.

The project was discussed at a work session in 2014 where council accepted a recommendation that the owners provide all the material and the city would fund the labor and ranking the project with other sidewalk projects. The project also came during two subsequent work session and deferred.

CCHS principal Jon Hall has requested help from the city on a project to make major repairs to their football field. Problems include drainage issues and a need to replace drain pipes under the field, redoing the sideline hillsides, irrigation system and new sod. The total cost of the work is estimated at $100,000 and so far they have received a commitment of $10,000 from Pilot/Flying J. Hall's email to the city also says the school system had “some funds” to help but no amount is known at the current time.

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