Collegedale has money in the budget this year to start making the city ADA compliant, City Manager Ted Rogers told residents that had come to the commission meeting with concerns about sidewalks and street crossings in their neighborhood. A spokesperson for the Greenbrier Cove neighborhood told the commissioners that sidewalks in that area have cracks and storm drain covers that make them unlevel. There are also street corners that a disabled person could not maneuver, the council was told.
The city is aware of the problems, and Scott Wheeler, foreman of the Public Works Department, has been working on resolving them, he told the commissioners. The material used to make the covers of the catch basins is too hard for the city’s equipment to grind down so he had a contractor demonstrate using a material that could be used to level them. The man, however, came without enough of the product and left it unfinished. Two days later, that company went out of business. Now Mr. Wheeler said he is waiting to get pricing from another company. He said that he has already identified and marked uneven areas on the sidewalks that exceed one quarter inch making them out of ADA compliance. The city will be able to grind these places down.
The city has a list of places that need work to meet the ADA requirements and has money designated for it. Collegedale is beginning to address and fix the problems; however, it cannot be done in one year, said the city manager.
Mowing and cleaning up the city was also a concern for the Greenbrier Cove residents. Trees remain down and some areas have tall weeds growing that is unsightly, the commissioners were told. Those downed trees remain from the April tornadoes but they are not the responsibility of the city since they are on private property, said Mr. Rogers.
Toppled, broken trees and brush from the tornadoes still remain in other areas of Collegedale as well that the city is responsible for. The public works department has found another brush grinding company to get rid of the debris. Approval was given for Collegedale to “piggy-back” off the city of Cleveland’s contract for the same type of work that will be more economical than how it has been done up until now. The new company will work on an hourly rate versus a cost for a set amount of debris. The charge of $350 per hour comes with a guarantee that 35 tons will be chipped per hour. The cost estimate to clear away the remaining trees and brush is plus or minus $7,000.
The Easter night tornadoes also damaged the Collegedale Library that has caused it to be closed since April. City Manager Rogers said it will be another week before it will open and, when it does, people will not be allowed to just browse because of COVID-19. Time slots will be given for computer and office support help, and online services will still remain intact.
Mr. Rogers told the commissioners that Collegedale is due to receive COVID-19 funds from the state of Tennessee in an amount not to exceed $172,380. The state grant will reimburse the city for the amount it spends and there are guidelines for what that money can be used for. One allowable use is to buy laptop computers for city employees. Department heads have identified which employees would receive one. The city’s IT person reviewed the specs and verified that those computers were available to buy through a state of Tennessee contract.
The cost of each laptop will be $1,500. There were unanswered or unknown questions, such as if licensing for software was included in the price, and the cost of future licensing and who would be responsible if the computer is damaged. But the commission was reluctant to wait to make a decision since the purpose is to have computers available for people to work from home so the city could still function in case the offices are shut down because of the virus. The motion passed to cap the cost of 23 laptops at $45,000 with the specs and miscellaneous associated expenses provided when they become known.
Collegedale has applied for and received a tree planting grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The city will receive $2,657 to replace trees that were damaged between a city-owned park and the business next door.
Confusion with cars that are not sure when to stop at the intersection of Tallent and McDonald Roads was also discussed. The problem will be given to an engineer for suggestions.
The next meeting of the Collegedale Commission will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 8, because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday. A meeting of the Collegedale Beer Board will be at 5:50 prior to the commission meeting.