CROSSVILLE – A large majority of Crossville chamber members would support two highly debated city projects – a downtown revitalization and northwest connector that would join two major thoroughfares – in a survey recently issued prior to another crucial council vote on their fate.
The survey, titled “How Would You Vote” and conducted by the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, received 97 responses in a little more than 24 hours. The chamber has not take a formal position on either of the projects but is “striving to keep membership informed,” according to an email sent by President/CEO Brad Allamong this week.
Eighty-six percent of survey takers would support the northwest connector while 14 percent said they would not vote to support the three-phase road project to connect Genesis Road and Highway 70 West by upgrading both Interstate and Northside drives.
As for the downtown revitalization, which had originally included major stormwater, sewer, sidewalk and aesthetic improvements for Main Street, 75 percent said it was worthwhile, with 25 percent saying no.
It was much more difficult for respondents to choose between the two projects: 51 percent would pick the northwest connector, while 46 percent leaned more toward the downtown revitalization. Three percent wouldn’t have picked either.
“My husband and I have only lived here for 1.5 years and love everything about Crossville except the traffic patterns and congestion,” one survey taker said. “It doesn’t explain in this survey the purpose of the northwest connector project. My vote is based on the assumption that it is to improve traffic flow and congestion in and through the city. For that reason, I would definitely pick the northwest connector project.”
That appears to be the same sentiment shared by the Crossville city council. Tuesday, the board voted to reject a new round of bids for the downtown revitalization – the lowest price proposal came in at nearly $7.7 million – and construction only new water lines. Sidewalks were also included in the pared down version of the project and would be redone block-by-block by city crews over a two- to three-year period. Cost is projected to be around $1.8 million.
Later in the same meeting, the council said it would proceed with contracts for phases two and three of the northwest connector – phase one is already under construction – and approved a budget amendment to the same effect.