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Mount Carmel will fix fire hall paving in-house to save time and money

Jeff Bobo • Sep 3, 2019 at 11:30 AM

MOUNT CARMEL — The Mount Carmel Fire Department’s driveway, which is sinking in some areas and actually has a hump rising in the middle, will be repaired by city employees later this year when mowing slows down.

During the Aug. 22 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Alderman Steven McLain stated that he didn’t believe the fire hall’s paved driveway between the bay doors and Hammond Avenue would last another winter.

McLain also said fixing the parking lot in-house would be a lot less expensive.

Mayor Chris Jones noted the situation with the hump could become a safety hazard.

City Administrator Mike Housewright said he believes drains are undermining the structural stability of the asphalt, and he is awaiting the results of a state study conducted by University of Tennessee engineers.

“It was something I was hoping to accomplish with the (budget) surplus last year,” Housewright said. “... I think that likely there is a soil density problem there that just pouring concrete in would not be a permanent fix.”

That same study will also address which streets need to be resurfaced or patched, Housewright noted.

McLain said the public works and fire hall were built on a sinkhole.

“You’re never going to get compaction there,” McLain said. “So you’re just going to have to just throw concrete on it, in my opinion.

“This is getting to be the end of August. The parking lot will not make it through the end of winter.”

McLain made a motion to dig out the driveway and fill it in with at least eight inches of concrete, utilizing in-house labor when employees have more time after mowing season.

“It will be a fraction of the cost of what it would be to hire it out,” McLain added. He estimated the cost to the city for concrete at $8,000, while hiring the project done by a contractor would cost $25,000 to $30,000.

McLain's motion was approved 4-2 with one abstention.

Vice Mayor Jennifer Williams and Jones voted no, and Pat Stilwell abstained. Jones said he believes the city should wait for the engineering study. Jones also said the public works director should be making those decisions.

In other business during the Aug. 22 meeting, the BMA was introduced to new Fire Chief Jason Byington and new Assistant Police Chief Scott Alley.

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