Gatlinburg City Commission authorizes infrastructure improvement agreements at February 2020 meeting

GATLINBURG, Tenn.—Meeting in regular session on Tuesday evening, members of the Gatlinburg City Commission approved a number agreements for infrastructure improvements.
City Commission unanimously approved six utility related agreements, including a water and sewer extension project for Glades Road to Buckhorn Road. The $1.386 million infrastructure investment project agreement provides for Mike Smith Pump Service to perform the construction of the extension, while Robert Campbell and Associates will provide on-site inspection.
Other infrastructure agreements unanimously approved during Tuesday evening’s meeting were construction and on-site inspection agreements for the Post Office wastewater pump station renovation and the repainting of the water storage tanks on Savage Garden Road and Water Tower Road. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation regulations require periodic maintenance of water storage tanks.
The City Commission also approved an agreement with Charles Blalock and Sons, Inc. for improvement projects at the intersection of U.S. Highway 321 and Parkway and the intersection of River Road and Parkway.
The project at the intersection of U.S. Highway 321 and Parkway involves the relocation of a crosswalk to line up with the intersection and is expected to be completed by May 21. The project at the intersection of River Road and Parkway involves signalization and crosswalk coordination and is expected to be completed by February 2021. The project will be completed in phases, to minimize impact on high traffic periods in the City.
City Commission also unanimously approved, on first reading, an ordinance to add an additional chapter to Title 10 of the Gatlinburg Municipal Code to allow for prescribed grazing of kudzu eradication on private property. The ordinance establishes regulations for the temporary use of goats and sheep to help eradicate kudzu and other invasive plants on private lots. Property owners must obtain a permit before using these eradication methods.
Permits will be issued for periods not to exceed 30 days from issuance. Only three permits shall be issued per lot, per calendar year. Prescribed grazing permits will be issued by the City of Gatlinburg’s Planning Department.
Also approved at Tuesday’s meeting was the City entering an agreement with SRA, Inc. for renovations and additions to the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Commissioners met in a workshop regarding the project before Tuesday evening’s meeting. The $10 million project will involve replacing the HVAC system on the convention center, replacing the rubber roof on the convention center side, resurfacing the Great Hall concrete floor, replacing all carpet and hard surface floors, and adding meeting rooms to the Mills Conference Center and a number of other external and internal renovations.
Commissioners also authorized the issuance of bonds for up to $4.4 million to cover the cost of the Glades Road to Buckhorn Road water and sewer extension project, new water meter reading equipment and generators that have been installed and activated at the City’s water plant and wastewater treatment facilities. This measure was initially approved at the Commission’s January 2020 meeting.
Commissioners also authorized the issuance of general obligation refunding bonds not to exceed $25.37 million. City Finance Director Robert Holt told the Commission that the Resolution was a refunding of present debt to take advantage of lower interest rates and would save the City $2.5 million over the remaining term of the debt.
 In other business items, City Commission unanimously approved:
  • A renewal of the City’s Humana Medical Insurance Plan, at a 5.5 percent increase, effective June 1, 2020.
  • A renewal of the City’s Blue Cross Blue Shield Dental Insurance Plan, at no increase, effective June 1, 2020.
  • Appointed Randy Watson and Andy Taylor to the Environmental Design Review Board.
  • Re-appointed Heath Soehn, Jan Lapides and Dennis Reagan to three-year terms to the Gatlinburg Tree Board.
  • A Certificate of Good Moral Character for Neel Patel of Clarion Pointe, 200 East Parkway.