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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Council fails to pass motion to move forward with bidding downtown sidewalk work

In a special called meeting Thursday the city council went back to downtown sidewalks but a motion again to put the project on a faster track and hire a contractor to do the work again failed in a 3 to 2 vote.

The matter was brought back to the agenda by councilman Scot Shanks who moved to rescind previous action from last July and authorizing the city manager to take bids on the downtown sidewalk project from Neecham St. to Lantana Rd. including the addition of new street lights. Shanks motion received a second from Mayor James Mayberry.
Council members discuss downtown sidewalks again.
L-R J.H. Graham, Danny Wyatt, Mayor James Mayberry
and Scot Shanks.  Council member Pamala Harris got to the
meeting just after this photo was taken.

City manager Greg Wood talked to the council about his meeting with TDOT and they told Wood that they felt the pavement in downtown was in relative good condition except fro the cuts and their priority was the pave the 4 lane section for North Main Street. TDOT said they would pave the downtown portion of Mains Street but that would not be until 2020. Wood added, “That gives us a whole lot of time to decide if either we want to do the work our self or contract that out.”

Councilman Shanks said he had explained the reasons for his motion during the regular meeting but added an additional comment the council had received in an email, “You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. I think we need to think about what our first impression is because that is what people see when they first come into Crossville.”
Council called meeting discussion of 
downtown Crossville sidewalks.

Mayor Mayberry read from an email he received from Bob Weber, the general manager at Fairfield Glade in reference to someone they were trying to get to settle here saying that in Crossville shopping and dining opportunities were lacking plus Crossville's downtown is not very attractive. The email said that Cookeville had a small but well kept downtown.

Councilman Danny Wyatt said he understood that the large restaurant chains would not come until you kept restaurants full until 8 or 9 o'clock.

Mr. Shanks countered that there were no chain restaurants in Cookeville's downtown as they were all out near the interstate. All the downtown restaurants in Cookeville are locally owned.

Mr. Wyatt said he thought there were only 2 restaurants in downtown Cookeville and Mr. Shanks said there were more then that. (A quick Google Search indicates 8 in the vicinity of the western downtown footprint.)
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Councilwoman Pamala Harris came in on the sidewalk discussion late and was brought up to speed on the motion. Ms. Harris said she could not support replacing all the sidewalks. She said she supports fixing the areas that need fixed and could even support bidding out the work but she would rather see spending $1 million instead of over $2 million to fix the sidewalks.

A brief discussion indicated contractors were busy now and there was no way to tell about what a final bid would be.

Council members J. H. Graham, Wyatt and Harris voted against the motion while Mr. Shanks and Mayor Mayberry voted yes. The motion failed.  

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