The Cartersville City Council voted unanimously Thursday evening to approve an infrastructure improvement project in the vicinity of Cook Street involving three municipal departments.
“The work will entail boring under Tennessee Street, CSX railroad tracks, to connect up with an existing sewer that is in the draining ditch in that area that runs behind the old gas department,” said Cartersville Water Department Director Bob Jones. “There are also some culvert improvements that need to be made in that area, to facilitate the evacuating water from downtown by that route, which will be done as well.”
The city received three bids for the project, with Corley Contractors Inc. — doing business as C&L Contractors — turning in the lowest bid at $987,000.
“This is a joint bid between public works and the water department,” Jones said. “Because we both needed to do this, we would join forces and do this under one contract.”
The city FiberCom department, however, is also playing a role in the improvement project.
“The casing that we would be putting in under Tennessee Street and the railroad tracks, we’ll actually be installing multiple two-inch conduits that will allow FiberCom to take an aerial crossing over the railroad track and run it underground, which obviously is much more secure,” Jones added.
Per City of Cartersville documents, $46,750 is allocated for temporary erosion control measures while a little under $200,000 is allocated for boring and jacking.
Public pipe culverts, however, make up the largest share of expenses. Roughly $408,000 is set aside for the “complete demolition, removal and installation of all stormwater-related work [and] for the provision of all labor, materials, tools and equipment necessary for the construction as shown on the drawings and represented in the project description.”
Under the agreement, the water department is responsible for $510,809.45 of the project costs, while the public works department is responsible for paying the remaining $476,190.55.
“Our funding is a combination of sources,” Jones said, “$350,000 from the 2014 SPLOST, $122,000 out of the bond that we issued last year and the balance of the project being made up from operating revenues.”
As for the public works-funded portion of improvements, the council was presented with two options.
“Under option A, they are requesting an $80,000 transfer from the capital outlay account that was allocated to build a new shed, [to] be transferred to the storm sewer capital outlay account, combined with the money that was allocated for this project in the 2014 SPLOST, $190,921,” Jones said. “Public works is asking that you consider reallocating $200,000 that was allocated in the 2014 SPLOST to the Mission Road bridge project.”
Option B, Jones continued, would largely have the same structuring as option A, but with one noteworthy difference.
“All of the [option] A components remain the same, with the exception of the reallocation of bridge money,” Jones said. “Substituted for that would be the authorization to use $171,314.55 of stormwater reserves.”
Ultimately, council vouched for the “option A” funding structure.
“We’re not changing something that was actually voted on by the voters, what we’re doing is we’re changing our own internal list of projects,” said Cartersville Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell. “The actual SPLOST category was improvements for roads and bridges and sidewalks, and the city, once that’s approved, creates its own internal list of projects to go forward — we’re just shuffling that list around to allocate money to this project, which is now a higher priority than the Nancy Creek project.”
The council also unanimously approved a resolution establishing March 19 as the date for a special election to fill two vacancies on the Cartersville City School Board. Qualifying for the special election is slated Monday-Wednesday at the office of the city clerk, located on the second floor of City Hall at 10 North Public Square.
Elsewhere on the agenda, the council voted unanimously to approve a “hold harmless” agreement between the city and Bartow County.
“Right off 411 there’s an existing City of Cartersville gas easement the county needs to relocate as part of widening of that road,” Lovell said. “They have found a place to relocate it, which is on property owned by the Aubrey Corp. The Aubrey Corp. has placed certain conditions with respect to the relocation of that easement and the city informed the county that we’re fine with locating it here as long as the county will be responsible for compliance with all those conditions.”
The council also unanimously approved a resolution renaming Village Hill Drive in West Cartersville to Charley Harper Drive.
Harper, a founding partner of Cartersville-based H&H Realty, LLC, died last December at the age of 66.
Several members of the Harper family were in attendance for Thursday’s council meeting.
“One of the first times they drew it on a map, somebody asked them what it was going to say, what the road’s name was going to be, and he jokingly said ‘Charley Harper Drive,’” Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini said. “We’re happy to do this for you, and I hope you’ll take a lot of pride in driving by and seeing his name up there.”
Santini recused himself as the council voted unanimously to appoint Barry Henderson for an at-large position and Jennifer Smith and Alan Sanders as district appointments on the Downtown Development Authority board. Council also heard the first reading of a proposed animal ordinance amendment.
“It came to our attention that they left several blanks in there, which dealt with the actual dates of adoption for the ordinance,” Lovell said. “What this amendment is is putting those dates in the ordinance, which was Nov. 1, 2012.”
After council business concluded, three local residents took to the podium to voice their displeasure over David Archer, Jr. not being tabbed as the city’s next parks and recreation director.
“He has helped so many people in this community, and to overlook him for a position that he is overly qualified for is a disgrace,” said one of the speakers, Damian Elder, Ed. D. “So for telling people to 'buy Bartow,' we need to support Bartow by hiring people within our city.”