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Monday, August 7, 2017

August CIty Council agenda includes sidewalks, Chamber, airport committee, city manager and depot.

Crossville city council will take up a number of items at their regular August meeting Tuesday August 8 at Crossville city hall.

Items on the agenda include a public hearing and possible action on a TDOT grant to pay for sidewalk improvements in the downtown area. Council will also consider the contract between the city and the chamber of commerce and the scorecard the chamber has developed to report their work and progress to the city. Other items for discussion include the possible reestablishment of an airport committee, the evaluation of the new city manager Greg Wood's first six months, and a revised street closing policy.

The evening starts with the monthly audit committee meeting at 5 PM followed by a closed executive session concerning legal matters with city attorney Will Ridley. A public hearing on the TDOT transportation alternative program grant takes place at 5:30 and the council meets as the beer board at 5:45. The regualr agenda starts at 6 PM.

Downtown Crossville sidewalks

It seems that the council has talked about downtown sidewalk project for years, and they have. The council has made decisions and changed their mind over and over again. The last decision was to have TDOT come and do the corners they would do and the city would use the street department sidewalk crew to do the rest of repair and patch work over a lengthy period of time. Recently the city discussed a grant now called the transportation alternatives program, a different name but a similar grant that had been part of the downtown redevelopment program canceled about three years ago.

The current grant program will fund 80 percent of the costs of the project with the city paying the remaining 20 percent. The total estimated cost for the sidewalk work is just over $2.6 million. The city's portion would be almost $530,000.

The project was discussed during the council's recent work session and the time line of environmental work, approvals and bidding pushes the construction completion of project back into the time frame of late 2020 when TDOT plans to repave the downtown area after delays from the previous attempts to complete the sidewalk projects.

The council needs to make a decision as the grant is due to be submitted on October 1 this year but the grant awards are not expected to be announced until October 2018.

A draft of a contract between the city and the Chamber of Commerce will be considered by the council. The contract has been under consideration as part of the city's funding to the chamber. During the recent work session, council member J. H. Graham asked that the contract address the inclusion of the city manager and marketing director in the process of industrial recruiting. Also discussed was the need to have agreements ready to go on property purchase credits for new jobs. This has been used for previous businesses with a lease and a purchase agreement.

Chamber of Commerce office

Council member Scot Shanks has brought up a proposal to reestablish an airport committee after a business that uses the airport brought some concerns to his attention. An airport committee made up of local pilots and airport supporters was abolished by the council in 2007 after some 50 years of existence. Discussion on the matter at the work session did not indicate support for the proposal but Mr. Shanks was unable to attend so the matter will come up on the agenda.

City manager Wood has been in his position for 6 months now and individual council members have provided feedback through an evaluation. The overall score covering 10 areas of work came in with an average score of 4 out of a possible 5 and council has provided additional written suggestions as well. The council could consider a salary increase.

Council will consider a change to a recently adopted street closing policy. Those changes could include no charge for joint or community events and a possible change in the location for cruise ins next year to the road behind the courthouse instead of Main Street.

With the C.A.T.S. Organization relinquishing the lease to operate the Crossville Depot there are two possible scenarios the city is looking at. One would let the local Crossville Model Railroad Club use the facility for their model train exhibit but that would not allow use of the facility for meetings. The other option is for the Palace Theatre to oversee the depot operation.  

Crossville Depot

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