From the Desk of
J. Michael Cross
County Executive

As I write this column (It’s early Tuesday morning…trying to meet the Courier’s deadline) Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks are getting ready to depart for the Millard Oakley Public Library in Livingston to attend the Dale Hollow RPO meeting hosted by the Upper Cumberland Development District. The purpose of the meeting is to let County officials discuss and rank and prioritize the various TDOT projects for the near future in the surrounding counties. As officials review the Dale Hollow RPO Rural Regional Transportation Plan, it is crucial that Fentress County’s voice is heard. Completing the Highway 127 Project from I-40 in Cumberland County to the divided four-lane section near Grimsley is critical to Fentress County’s future. Additionally, the completion would increase our chance to recruit business and industry to the county. Speaking with good friend Edgar Parker (Parker Charcoal) this morning, he stated that “That road won’t be built ‘til I’m 70 years old”. I don’t think Edgar has ever tasted “Crow”, but I’d like to serve him a big platter of “Crow Kabobs”, “Fried Crow” or “Crow-B-Que” and just sit and watch him choke on it (No offense Edgar). So….if there’s anything I can do to speed up the process, I’m in.

In the last week or so, we have met three times with TDOT Right-of-Way and Project Development Personnel to examine several parts of the proposed Highway 127 Project project through the Clarkrange area of the county. We have discussed TDOT’s acquisition and relocation of the Clarkrange Volunteer Fire Department and the Clarkrange Solid Waste Convenience Center. Additionally, we have discussed and examined the impact of the project on Clarkrange Baptist Church and the South Fentress Community Park. At that particular meeting, representatives from Fentress County Government, Park Board Members, Members of the Clarkrange Baptist Church and community leaders discussed the implications of the project with several TDOT personnel. As we move forward, it is important that we continue to foster a mutually beneficial relationship with TDOT Executives and their Project Managers.

Another aspect of the 127 Project that we have discussed is the proposed “Multi-Use Path” that would connect Clarkrange High School with South Fentress Elementary. This walking path would add approximately $900,000.00 to the total cost of the project with a significant portion to be paid by the County. Thus far, the overwhelming majority feel that the negatives far outweigh the benefits. We are continuing to gather input concerning this portion of the Project.

We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at vog.n1524351988Tytnu1524351988oCsse1524351988rtneF1524351988@skci1524351988H.adn1524351988amA1524351988. County Commission Meetings are held every third Monday at 6:00 p.m. following a 5:00 o’clock work session. All meetings are open to the public.