Gap Creek ‘yes’ ADA Compliant ‘not right now’

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, May 21, 2020

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The Claiborne Commission chose to fix a portion of Gap Creek Road rather than use funds that could have gone, among other things, to making county buildings ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.
Claiborne county has been approved for a Local Government Support Grant in the amount of $746,261. The commissioners took a good bit of time on May 18 to wrangle the best use for this money.
The commission had two resolutions up for consideration. Resolution 2020-038, sponsored by commissioner Sherry McCreary Neal, spelled out plans to raise a section of Gap Creek Road and install two 18’ x 7’ concrete box culverts. The resolution also calls for the installation of two 60 inch pipes at the intersection of Gap Creek and Yellow Branch roads.
Resolution 2020-048, sponsored by commissioner Stacey Crawford, was null-and-voided by the body when the first resolution was adopted.
The voided resolution essentially requested the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration to approve three projects that would use $746,221 in Local Government Support Grand funding.
If adopted, this resolution would have asked that the state allow $46,221 to be used in feeding projects under the COVID-19 response category. The document would have also requested approval to use $300,000 under the Public Safety category to renovate several county buildings to ADA standards.
The document also addressed the major ongoing flooding problems along Gap Creek Road in the 7th district. Residents along that portion of the roadway have spent possibly decades battling the pooling of rainwater, leaving them stranded for days and weeks after every heavy rain.
The plan, if given permission to proceed, called for spending $400,000 to construct a double barrel concrete box culvert to replace the obsolete low water crossing – something that will now occur with the state funds provided under the adopted Resolution 038.
Commissioner McCreary Neal, who made the original motion, asked that the surplus funds in the amount of $26,261 be used for the COVID-19 Feeding Program. She specified that the Hunger Ministries be allowed to use the surplus money to distribute the food.
During discussion, county mayor Joe Brooks outlined the voided resolution. Brooks explained the urgency of the county becoming ADA compliant.
“If we don’t do those (projects) over a time period, which is five years, we won’t be eligible for grants. I’ve been saying this for the last two years. If we got that money here now, we could go ahead and knock that out and not have to budget for anything,” said Brooks.
Just prior to the vote, commission chairman Mike Campbell explained what the body was being asked to do.
“Since we have two resolutions, I want everyone to make sure they understand. If you pass the first one, the second is null-and-void. (If you vote for the first resolution), you already committed the money. I don’t want you to be confused what the results are,” said Campbell.
Resolution 2020-038 was adopted by a vote of 19 to 2. Those voting against the resolution were commissioners Anthony Rowe and Zachery Mullins.

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