The Crossville City Council this afternoon approved to proceed with a proposed retail shopping center to be constructed next to Dollar Tree. The plan calls for widening a section of Old Jamestown Highway at Interstate Drive to three 12-foot lanes with curb and gutter drainage. The total cost for utility relocation, road construction, earthwork, engineering and a traffic light comes in at just over $782,000. With a 10 percent contingency added, it brings the total to just over $860,000.
“This will be a major asset to the city and bring in numerous jobs,” said Crossville Mayor James Mayberry. After that statement, Mayberry made a motion to amend the budget not to exceed $900,000 for a worst case situation to cover the project. The motion received a second from Mayor Pro Tem J.H. Graham III.
The topic of the $270,000 traffic light for the intersection of Interstate Drive and Old Jamestown Highway was raised. The cost for the light is included in the projected $860,000 cost.
Councilwoman Pamela Harris asked if they could try the intersection without a traffic light once the shopping center is completed.
City Manager Greg Wood told the council that if the traffic light could be included in the TDOT project for the Northwest Connector, then the cost would be covered and $270,000 would come off the total for the shopping center project.
When Councilman Danny Wyatt questioned the near $900,000 price tag of the project, City Director of Engineering Tim Begley gave Wyatt and the council a rundown of each item in the proposed cost.
Wyatt asked Begley, “If this motion to proceed passes tonight, can we take the traffic light out of it?”
“Sooner or later, TDOT will ask for a traffic study on the intersection. With no traffic light there, you are asking for accidents and traffic backups,” replied Begley.
Graham then told Mayor Mayberry the council is sending a strong message with his (Mayberry) motion that Crossville is backing business development.
The motion passed unanimously.
In other business, the council approved a temporary street closing request by Cumberland Fellowship for a Christmas Festival. It involves a 100 yard section of Highway 70 North between the old Kmart entrance and the entrance to the church.
The council also voted to approve a CDBG grant contract in the amount of $525,000 for sewer system improvements.