The Rhea County Commission had voted to spend $1.7 million on improvements to Smyrna Road.
Glen Varner, County Road Superintendent, came in front of the commission to request this on Tuesday night.
“From last month to today, the cost of this project has gone up $200, 000,” said Mr. Varner. He said that the project will include digging up 10 inches of the road and mixing it with cement, then putting it back in the road bed before any paving is done.
“This will make it an industrial grade roadway that will hold up for a while, “said Mr.
Varner. He also added that the shoulders will be widened as well and other improvements will be made to the road.
Interim County Executive Jim Vincent said, "We need to do this project right the first time and not have to go back and keep redoing it."
Commissioner Leo Stephens, who represents District 4 that Smyrna Road is in, made the motion. It included that $750,000 will come from Santek Waste Services, which leases the 56 acres from Rhea County, and the rest will come out of Rhea County’s COVID-19 funds.
The motion was seconded by Third District Commissioner Philip Dunn. Smyrna Road runs through both their districts and they have been working on this project for several months.
Both commissioners added there would be no local tax money used in this at all.
Commissioners also voted to buy another new truck for the solid waste operations of the county without the use of property tax.
Mr. Vincent said that he was shocked by the condition that the current trucks are in. “One is 21 years old and the other is 22. The front end loader for dumpsters is facing some $50,000 to repair it and it’s not worth it. “
The cost of the new roll off truck will be $212,064 and will be delivered sometime this fall. Mr. Vincent added that a new front end loader will run about $308,000.
Commissioner Bill Hollin brought up the landfill itself. “We need to appoint a committee to look into the landfill and see how it’s doing and where were at on it. I know of at least 40 trucks a day that are going into the place and we're only getting 47 cents a load for them."
Mr. Vincent said he has asked the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to look into what all is coming into the landfill and what it weighs.
He said, “I think it’s prudent that we get all the facts first before we bring the landfill people in. I am very displeased that they have gone up on tipping fees and fees for the citizens of Rhea County without letting us know. I don’t see how you can operate a county landfill and not tell the commission or the county citizens what you are doing.”