Work may begin soon on Riverview Road slide

John Thompson • Sep 9, 2019 at 10:57 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Work may soon begin on repairing a portion of Riverview Road between Valley Forge and East Side. It is a section of road that had been badly damaged in a landslide during a flood earlier in the summer.

Roger Colbaugh, superintendent of the Carter County Highway Department, told the members of the Budget Committee of the Carter County Commission on Monday night that bids on the project will be opened next week.

The process of awarding the contract will be expedited as much as possible. The bids will be opened at 8:30 a.m. next Monday. The low bid will be presented to the Budget Committee, which will meet at 5 p.m. Monday to review the bids.

The committee will make a recommendation that will be presented to the Carter County Commission, which meets at 6 p.m. 

If the low bid was not presented to the commission Monday, it would be another month until the next regular meeting of the County Commission. Committee members pointed out that there was not much good paving weather left this late summer and fall.

Riverview had been damaged when floodwaters undercut the section of the road nearest to the Doe River. Colbaugh said a 210-foot section of the road was sliding toward the river.

Colbaugh said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the county for much of the cost of the road repair.

Until the federal funds are available, Colbaugh recommended that funding for the project should come out of the Highway Department’s fund balance. The committee voted unanimously for Colbaugh’s recommendation.

In other matters, the Budget Committee took the first step toward making it possible for county employees to retire after 25 years of service. The matter was presented to the Budget Committee on Monday by Chief Deputy James Parrish and Lt. Mike Fraley. 

Projections are that the early retirements would save the county money because senior employees with a more generous pension and other benefits would be replaced by employees who would be hired under plans that require contributions from the employees.

The committee voted unanimously to send the early retirement matter to the Financial Management Committee for review.

Parrish also presented the Budget Committee with the latest data on the sheriff’s department motor pool. He told the committee that the department’s vehicles are now low mileage and in good maintenance.

He said the front line patrol cars are particularly low mileage. He said the department is now on a rotation of buying three new cars every year, at a cost of $105,000 a year.

He proposed using a lease purchase plan to keep the front line vehicles and circulating the current front line cars for school resource officers and other uses.

Parrish said there was no need to take action at this time, he was merely keeping the Budget Committee members informed on the department’s transportation status.

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