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City moves forward with plans for splash pad, river access ramp
Karen House
Aug. 17, 2018, 3:21 p.m.

Lesa Read addressed the City Commission Thursday, requesting water service for her neighborhood.

Aug. 17, 2018 – At the Aug. 16 commission meeting, the Dunlap Mayor and City Commission discussed several projects the city has planned that have been somewhat delayed in construction.

Ben Farmer, of the Farmer-Morgan design firm, told the commission that bids are being accepted for installation of a children's splash pad, farmer's market pavilion, restrooms, and site work for Phase 2 of the Harris Park renovation. Bids will be opened the afternoon of Sept. 6 at Dunlap City Hall.

Great Southern Recreation has submitted a quote for playground equipment to be installed at the proposed splash pad on the east side of the park amounting to a little over $339,000 for equipment and $185,000 for labor, but the commission voted Thursday night to authorize Mayor Dwain Land to negotiate lower labor costs. If negotiation fails to secure a better price, the commission is prepared to consider bids on the labor from other companies at the Sept. 6 bid opening.

Commissioners were in agreement on accepting the price quoted for the equipment itself.

Farmer said that while the projects appear generally to be on track, he admitted, “I'm a little concerned about the pavilion.”

The farmer's market pavilion is supposed to be constructed on the west side of Harris Park, but there is some question about whether the grant money the state has allocated for the park projects will be enough to include the pavilion.

In addition to Harris Park, the city is planning a boat ramp for canoes and kayaks on the Sequatchie River, next to the city's pump station on Old York Highway East. The City Commission approved a contract with Farmer-Morgan for design of the project at the meeting, with a couple of amendments.

Mayor Land asked Farmer if he would consider offering his services “pro bono,” and Farmer agreed, noting that his family will enjoy the new access point to the river.

We do float a lot,” he said. “So, we will strike our fee in the agreement.”

Commissioner Allen Jones made a motion that two amendments be added to the contract: One striking the design fee and another allowing the firm to expense any direct costs to them.

A $50,000 state grant through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) will cover site preparation, an access ramp to the water, and a gravel parking lot.

Farmer suggested Dunlap Stone “might donate materials.”

The City Commission also heard from a city resident who wants to have city water service extended to her neighborhood at the foot of Fredonia Mountain, behind the Coke Ovens Park.

I came to you about this five years ago,” Lesa Read said. “There are eight families behind the Coke Ovens in the city limits, and we want water.”

Farmer-Morgan has donated their services in designing a river access ramp for canoes and kayaks next to the city's pumping station on the Sequatchie River at the location above. File photo.

Mayor Land pointed out that water system expansion in other areas of town were funded by other government entities – the water system of an adjoining county, the state of Tennessee, or Sequatchie County. Any expansion to Read's community will be entirely on the city, he said.

We're going to have to pump the water up there,” Comm. Jeff Johnson said. “We're going to have to put in a pump station, because of the elevation.”

Read said her home is 200 feet outside of the city limits, but all her neighbors are inside the city.

We should at least get a cost estimate about how much it will cost to install water for all the residences,” Johnson said.

City Treasurer Norman Hatfield said a study had been done on that very topic a few years ago, and the city could use that. Hatfield recommended the City Commission postpone any decision on the matter until that study could be found and brought up to date, and the commission agreed.

In other business, the Dunlap City Commission:

  • Approved Resolution #2018-5, “Update on Drug and Alcohol Testing Policies.”
  • Heard Police Chief Clint Huth report that his department had been awarded the Al Schneider Memorial Award for Employer Excellence.
  • Heard Chief Huth report the Dunlap Police Department answered 380 calls during July, with 177 arrests and citations.
  • Heard Dunlap Fire Chief Norman Hatfield report his department responded to three alarms in July.
  • Approved a one-time water bill adjustment of $2,502.23.

Jeff Harmon was the only commissioner not present at Thursday's meeting, and all votes were unanimous. The Dunlap City Commission meets the third Thursday of every month at City Hall, on Rankin Avenue in Dunlap, at 6 p.m. CDT. Meetings are open to the public.