Tennessee Valley Authority crews have finally begun pouring the concrete that will make up the cutoff wall embedded in the earthen embankment beside Boone Dam, considered the major portion of the construction project.
Constructed from a series of overlapping cylindrical pillars, each individual cylinder will have a circumference of about 55 inches. The pillar that crews were preparing on Tuesday plunges to a depth of 131 feet, but TVA anticipates the height of the cutoff wall could vary from hole-to-hole. Crews will be working on the wall for two years and are scheduled to complete the structure in spring 2021.
TVA officials continue to clear vegetation around the dam and lake, with the project finally reaching completion in July 2022, “within the five- to seven-year timeframe initially outlined.”
Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy told members of the county’s Budget Committee he has vetoed a resolution that was passed by the County Commission last month to prepare athletic fields at the new Boones Creek pre-K-8 school. He asked the committee Wednesday to send commissioners a new resolution on July 22 authorizing grading, irrigation and dirt removal at the new school site for a track, as well as football, soccer, baseball and softball fields.
Officials believed doing the work for the athletic fields while the contractors still had equipment on the site could save the county money, but there was no provision in the contract with BurWil Construction that would allow for such a change order. He also noted the $800,000 allocated for the project, which includes money for design and architect fees, exceeds the amount allowed by state law for projects to be approved without seeking bids.
He said the project would now be put out for bids and returned to the commission for final approval.
Johnson City police said James Cranfield, a 64-year-old Georgia man, lured a minor into his vehicle Wednesday and took the child to a hotel, resulting in his arrest on a kidnapping charge Thursday. Police also reported finding pornographic images of another minor on the man’s mobile phone.
Police say Cranfield enticed a minor, whom he did not know, into getting into his vehicle. He then took the child to multiple businesses in Johnson City and his hotel in Boones Creek, finally returning the minor to a location on Princeton Road.
He has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.