The council is scheduled to discuss this resolution at tonight’s study session. “Team Athens has paved more streets in the last three years than ever,” said Sumner. “We are solidly focused on improving our infrastructure to handle the growth we are experiencing and to make sure we are paving the way for future Athenians.”
To avoid the loss of this money, the city council is expected to vote soon on a resolution to roll those funds into a project with a total estimated cost of $1.1 million, which would include paving on Tellico Avenue, Park Street, Glendale Avenue, Mt. Verd Road, Sharp Road, Woodward Avenue, Forrest Avenue and Dennis Street. “As always, our public works streets team, led by Director Ben Burchfield, did their homework and actually found and fought for the extra the $155,000 that Athens is entitled to and has been able to work those funds into the next round of paving,” said City Manager C. Seth Sumner. “This is critical both to maximize our citizens’ tax dollars, making sure their money is coming back home to work for them, and to stretch our already record setting paving schedule.”
Assuming council approval, the city would apply to TDOT for full project funding when additional STBG money becomes available. The unused $155,000 would be part of that project and, as a result, would not have to be forfeited. In the event additional STBG money does not become available, the city could scale back the scope of the project to still utilize the $155,000 pending council and TDOT approval. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) initially informed city officials that the money must be allocated prior to Sept. 30 or it would be lost. Following conversations between city officials and staff with TDOT Local Programs Development, an extension was granted until Nov. 15 to allocate the funds.
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