UC secures grant for new water tower
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
Messenger Associate Editor
When the northern portion of the Northwest Tennessee Regional Industrial Center is developed, it will need to be served by a new water tank.
Union City Council members took steps to make that happen Tuesday night.
City manager Don Thornton said the city has been successful in obtaining a Fast Track Infrastructure Development Program grant from the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community De-velopment. The city will receive up to $750,000 to match at 79 percent the cost of a 500,000-gallon water tank. Thornton said the city will be responsible for the other 21 percent and any amount over $949,367.
The city has three years to complete the project under the grant.
“If we’re going to develop, we’re going to have to have it,” he said.
In other business, after the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Donated $10,000 to the Cal Ripken Youth League for assistance in bringing the eight-year-old Southeastern Regional Tournament to Union City. Bill Davis informed the council there will be 20 teams and an additional 2,500-3,000 people will be in the city during the tournament.
• Agreed to add additional water lines to the current infrastructure rehabilitation project between Exchange and High streets. Originally, Thornton said the city left out some of the larger lines for fear of going over budget, but that Revell Construction’s bid had such a good unit price he’d like to add them now. He said this will save time and money because a second water line project would have to go through the bidding process and he doesn’t think the city will get as good of a price. It would also delay the roads being rebuilt next year.
The additional $252,071.10 will put the total project at $689,461.10. The construction company will also get an additional 60 days to complete the project.
• Received a letter from Charter Communications saying it would cost the company $60,000 to supply service to a new subdivision in Union City and there were not enough residents in the area to justify the expansion. The company sent a representative to the city asking those residents if they would subscribe. The letter also states that a request has been submitted for the expansion during Charter’s third quarter, though it is not known if the request will be granted.
• Set a public hearing for June 17 to annex the property for Discovery Park of America.
• Received a copy of the financial statement. Thornton said the city’s revenues are ahead of the expenditures.
• Agreed to hire JR Wauford and Co. for engineering services connected to the five interchanges for Interstate 69 in Union City. The fees will be about $73,000 and the city will be reimbursed by the state. The state will also pay for any required utility relocations.
• Discussed the fact that Thornton is having back surgery and will be out of the office four to six weeks. He said he will be at home and available by phone.
The council has the option to designate a qualified administrative officer for the city should the need arise, though Glasgow recommended it only be done on a week-to-week basis.
An attempt by councilmen Bill “Rat” Harrison and Billy Jack “B.J.” Cranford to temporarily appoint clerk Kathy Dillon to the position did not progress.
Ms. Dillon said she appreciated the opportunity but, as clerk, she has the authority to sign checks and can cover for Thornton just as if he were on vacation. “If you’re looking at week to week, I’m not sure you’re not jumping into something that’s unnecessary,” she said, adding that she does not think Thornton will be that incapacitated.
Harrison said he did not want Thornton to feel pressured to return to work too soon.
“I think we’re OK right now,” Ms. Dillon said.
• Asked that Barker Brothers provide an extra truck in the city to pick up limbs. Thornton said he had already made that request.
• Asked who had attempted to mow at the former Central School, stating there are still weeds there that are waist high.
• Discussed properties which need to be cleared of debris.
• Heard the city’s public works department received 10 calls Saturday as part of the City Beautiful Commission clean up campaign. Two trucks were running and picked up six loads.
• Asked for the police department to provide more enforcement in the northern part of town. Residents have reported large numbers of people gathering on street corners.
• Asked the city to check into a home where tires have water in them. There is a concern about mosquitoes and West Nile Virus.
• Learned there has been no report from the person the city hired to call people about overdue bills and property taxes. Thornton did say people the collections person has called have been coming in to pay. He added the city has also stepped up its pressure on people to pay as well.
• Asked for the notice to remove garbage cans from curbside after pick up be placed back on the water bill.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.21.08