Smithville Denied $1 Million Grant for New Sidewalk Construction

June 30, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville’s plans to build new sidewalks and improve pedestrian crossings with up to $1 million in grant funding will have a wait a little longer.

During a special meeting Thursday evening, June 25 Mayor Josh Miller informed the aldermen that the city’s grant for a Tennessee Department of Transportation Multi-Modal Access Grant has been denied.

This program is a 95/5% match for construction of up to $1 million. If fully funded, the city would have received $950,000 in grant funding with a $50,000 local match requirement for construction of new sidewalk and crosswalk improvements along the State Route 26 (Highway 70) and State Route 56 (Congress Boulevard) corridors and intersections. Ragan-Smith Associates of Nashville designed the project at a cost of up to $5,000.

“We were not successful in getting the Multi-Modal Grant this year and one of the reasons they said we were not successful is because the gap is so long where there is nothing (sidewalks) and it (grant application) didn’t score high enough,” said Mayor Miller.

The city plans to change the scope of the project and re-apply for the grant next year. Another company, James C. Haley of Nashville, will handle the design and engineering for this project with no up-front fees. Haley would be paid for services rendered only if the city gets the grant.

“The scope of this project would be sidewalks so far out Highway 70 (Sparta Highway) and possibly redoing the intersection on Highway 56/70. Maybe, if there is money left, doing something on the Short Mountain Highway/Highway 70 intersection as well to dress it up,” added Mayor Miller.

If approved the city could get up to $950,000 in grant funding with a local match of $50,000.

The grant application will be filed and if approved be administered on behalf of the City by the Upper Cumberland Development District.

In other business, Renee Steff has been appointed to succeed Dr. Steven Cooper as a member of the Smithville Industrial Development Board. Cooper has resigned.

In Public Works, Tyler Fulton has been hired at Greenbrook Park to replace another worker who has resigned and Michael Wiley will be going to work in the sanitation department to replace Darrell Atkins who has retired.

In the Police Department Cody Jenkins has been hired as a patrol officer. He comes from the Watertown Police Department.

Officer Brandon Donnell has been promoted to detective to fill a vacancy.

Officer Will Judkins has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and Officer Tyler Patterson will become a corporal in charge of the Field Training Officer (FTO) program.

Sergeant Travis Bryant will be going back to patrolman.