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Construction Resumes on Smithville Police Department Building After City and Contractor Reach Agreement

November 3, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Construction has resumed on the new Smithville Police Department building.

City leaders and the contractor have agreed to split the cost on removal and replacement of unsuitable soils. The estimated cost is $100,000 but the city’s portion will be no more than $50,000. If the actual cost exceeds $100,000 the contractor, Boyce Ballard Construction of Murfreesboro, has agreed to pay their $50,000 share plus any amount above that.

Construction Resumes at New Smithville Police Department Site from dwayne page on Vimeo.

Construction recently ground to a halt only weeks after groundbreaking when areas of unsuitable soils were discovered on the site. In some places, the ground was too soft to proceed.

The question was who should address the soil problem, the city or the contractor?

Each side had said it was the other’s responsibility but over the last week they kept the lines of communication open hoping to reach an agreement.

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, Mike Ballard, the contractor, offered to split the cost with the city if the mayor and aldermen would agree.

“It was our interpretation that the unit price was to be used for paying for the unsuitable soils and we bid accordingly. We interpreted that the unit price was to be used that way. I am coming to you tonight because we want to move on with the project and the city is anxious to move on with the project. If it is acceptable to the council, we would like to split it down the middle with a maximum amount for the city to be half the estimated quantity at what we estimate to be $100,000. The city’s part would be only $50,000. We will take care of anything that goes over that amount,” said Ballard.

Mayor Josh Miller asked the city’s architect, Wayne Oakley of Studio Oakley Architects of Lebanon what would be the city’s next move should the aldermen not accept Ballard’s offer.

“The first step would be to terminate the contract. There would have to be just cause for that. It would possibly have to go to some mediation to decide if the contract was duly warranted to be terminated and or what payments would be due to Boyce Ballard at that time. There would be significant time delays of possibly 4-6 months and there would be legal costs. They way the contract is defined they (contractor) would be due certain dollars above what they have actually completed out here so there would be some additional monies required by the city,” said Oakley.

Last week City Attorney Vester Parsley and Oakley recommended that the city hold the contractor responsible and not bear any extra costs for addressing the soil issue but during Monday night’s meeting Parsley said splitting the costs with the contractor would be the least expensive solution for the city as long as such an agreement is signed by all the parties.

“I think we have a good basis to fight it (in court) but sometimes you have to look at the time lost and money spent to fight it because time could be months. This may be a good resolution,” said Parsley.

Oakley added that if the city were to terminate the contract with Boyce Ballard and rebid the project it probably wouldn’t be any cheaper since the costs of building materials is on the rise and the expense for removal and replacement of the unsuitable soils would be included in the new contractor’s bid amount.

Alderman Danny Washer made a motion to accept Ballard’s offer in writing to split the cost up to $50,000 for the city’s part. Alderman Shawn Jacobs offered a second to the motion. Aldermen Jessica Higgins and Beth Chandler voted with Washer and Jacobs. Alderman Brandon Cox was absent. Chandler was also absent but participated in the meeting via conference call.

Boyce Ballard’s actual bid for construction of the police department building is $2,395,000 but the city issued up to $2.5 million in bonds for the project which will cover the extra $50,000 costs to the city.

After the vote, Ballard said “we are ready to go to work”. Construction resumed this morning (Tuesday).

Tickets for Friday Night’s DCHS/Spring Hill State Playoff Football Game Go On Sale Online Only Today (Tuesday)

November 3, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School Football fans wanting to buy tickets for Friday night’s TSSAA play-off game will have to purchase them online.

As the Region 3 champs from Class 4A, the Tigers (6-3, 3-0) will play host to Spring Hill (3-7, 2-3), the 4th place team in Region 4. Kick-off will be at 7 p.m. and WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

“TSSAA is requiring all tickets for playoff games must be purchased on line through GoFan. Tickets will be digital and must be shown and confirmed on a smartphone at the gate upon entering the stadium. There is a limited number of tickets available for Friday’s game. If you would like to purchase a ticket go to the following link. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning at noon on Tuesday, November 3” said DCHS Principal Randy Jennings.

Election Day Has Arrived

November 3, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Election day has arrived.

Voters across the state and nation will be making their choices today (Tuesday, November 3) for various state and federal offices including President of the United States.

Voting at all 15 precincts in DeKalb County will be from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage when the polls close at 7 p.m. Listen for local returns along with updates from the state and national radio networks.

Safeguards will be in place at the polling locations to help protect both workers and voters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeKalb County hit a record high for early voting/absentee turnout at 5,089, up by 1,097 over the early voting/absentee turnout for the 2016 Presidential election. DeKalb County has 12,509 registered voters. In the Presidential election four years ago, 7,065 people cast ballots in DeKalb County including 3,073 on election day and 3,992 early votes/absentee.

“Our office, in conjunction with the local election commission and state office, has worked to make the voting process as ‘No Touch’ as possible, just as it was in August” said Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley.

“Voters will have access to a disposable pen when they arrive to vote which will minimize contact with shared surfaces and voting machines. Voters may also use their own pen or may use disposable gloves.”

Hand sanitizer will be available at the polling locations and poll workers have been equipped with face masks and/or face shields and some will be stationed behind plexiglass sneeze guards. Social distancing signs will be displayed either on the floor or walls throughout the entrance and voting area.

“We encourage all voters to do their part in making the voting experience a safe and efficient process,” said Stanley.

The following candidates have qualified to appear on the November 3 General Election ballot:

Candidates for President and Vice President of the United States:
*Republican Party Donald J. Trump for President and Michael R. Pence for Vice President
*Democratic Party Joseph R. Biden for President and Kamala D. Harris for Vice President
* Independent Don Blankenship for President and William Mohr for Vice President
*Independent Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente for President and Darcy G. Richardson for Vice President
*Independent Howie Hawkins for President and Angela Walker for Vice President
*Independent Jo Jorgensen for President and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen for Vice President
*Independent Alyson Kennedy for President and Malcolm Jarrett for Vice President
*Independent Gloria La Riva for President and Sunil Freeman for Vice President
*Independent Kanye West for President and Michelle Tidball for Vice President

Candidates for the United States Senate
*Republican- Bill Hagerty
*Democrat-Marquita Bradshaw
*Independent- Yomi “Fapas” Faparusi Sr.
*Independent- Jeffrey Alan Grunau
*Independent- Ronnie Henley
*Independent- G. Dean Hill
*Independent- Steven J. Hooper
*Independent-Aaron James
*Independent- Elizabeth McLeod
*Independent-Kacey Morgan
*Independent-Eric William Stansberry

Candidates for the United States House of Representatives-6th District
*Republican- John Rose
*Democrat-Christopher Martin Finley
*Independent-Christopher B. Monday

Tennessee House of Representatives-40th District
*Republican-Terri Lynn Weaver
*Independent-Paddy Sizemore

Tennessee House of Representatives-46th District
*Republican-Clark Boyd

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