Council approves next step in Millennium Square project
Morristown Mayor Danny Thomas on Tuesday received authorization from his fellow councilmembers to enter into a $1.2 million contract with East Tennessee Turf & Landscaping for the construction of a downtown parking deck and trailhead.
The money is a pass-through from a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant to the local construction company.
Construction will begin on the sharply scaled-back project in three to four weeks. The construction company has nine months to complete the project.
Ownership of the parking platform and trailhead will ultimately transfer to Millennium Partners, a business group that owns the downtown Millennium Square office complex.
Initially, Main Street storefronts were envisioned as a part of the project.
TDOT excluded Wild Building Contractors, which is owned by two of Millennium Partners, David and Tim Wild, from the bidding process because the Wilds knew the estimated cost of the project.
Presumably, if Wild Building Contractors had been allowed to bid on the project, the cost of the building would have dropped dramatically.
David Wild said earlier that Millennium Partners has sunk approximately $200,000 into the project, which approximates how much would have been spent on a street-level parking lot, the business partners’ initial plan.
City government approached the group about a public-private partnership to avoid what city officials felt would be an eyesore.
During the public portion of the meeting, city leaders heard a request for Millennium Partners to pay approximately $3,000 in delinquent interest on architectural fees to city government.
Morristown City Administrator Tony Cox said this morning the business group was waiting on cash flow from their financing before paying the money.
In other business Tuesday, councilmembers confirmed the firing of a Morristown Fire Department employee. The former employee repeatedly failed “to comply with the requirements of a mutually agreed-upon improvement plan,” according to Fire Chief Bill Honeycutt.
Another firefighter, David Smith, was promoted to the rank of driver.
Honeycutt says that leaves one opening for an entry-level firefighter.
Britney Holbert Moore was appointed to a three-year term on the Morristown Tree Board. Moore was recently appointed to the board to fill the unexpired term of Sara Turk.
-From Staff Reports