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Town enters engineering contract on Morgan industrial site

Sue Guinn Legg • Jun 4, 2018 at 10:21 PM

ERWIN — The town of Erwin is one step closer to the pad-ready development of a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing building at the former Morgan industrial site.

On Monday, the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized a $50,500 contract with S&ME Engineering Services to develop plans for fine grading, underground utilities hookups and the closing of a waste disposal area on the 15-acre industrial site located on Highway 107 near Interstate 26.

The engineering services and subsequent pad-ready development of the property is being funded with a $500,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

It comes on the heels of the recent completion of demolition and rough grading of site paid for with an “Invest-Prep” grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The new contract includes an environment study, development of a work plan for closure of an onsite waste disposal area, a topographical survey, construction drawings, bidding services and limited construction administration.

Upon completion of the bidding process, construction is expected to take approximately 180 days. When complete, the site will be ready for the pouring of a single 150,000-square-foot pad with potential for a 60,000-square-foot extension.

Town leaders have been reporting a steady stream of inquiries about the availability of the town-owned industrial site for more than a year.

Consultants have recommended the town choose the type of development it would like to see on the property and leaders of the local economic development board have emphasized a desire for a single, large manufacturing facility with living-wage jobs.

In other business Monday, the board approved a continuing budget resolution that will allow the town to operate under last year’s budget in the event the 2018-19 budget is not finalized by July 1.

The group also granted the YMCA of Erwin’s request for a road closure for the town’s first Kids Triathlon.

YMCA CEO Frank Cooke said the requested two-hour closure of portions of Love Street and Mohawk Drive will provide a one mile loop for a kid’s bike race that will be coupled with an indoor swim and a two-lap track run for kids in first through fifth grade.

Cooke said the triathlon will also include a “Mom and Me” or “Dad and Me” race for younger children.

The board also received updates on the construction of the Erwin Linear Trail tunnel to Fishery Park and on a redesign of The Gathering Place Park downtown.

Public Works Director Riki Forney said the tunnel under Harris Hollow Road is nearing completion, with guardrails up and the road reopen to traffic.

Town Recorder Glenn Rosenoff said bid documents are being prepared for the The Gathering Place renovation with help from Jason and Julie Gilliland, the landscape architects and downtown Erwin property owners who helped the town win a $60,000 state Department of Tourism grant for the project.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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