Loudon City Council approved two projects Sept. 28 to add traffic signals to the area.
Council moved forward with an agreement with Tennessee Department of Transportation to build a new intersection at the entrance of Sugarlimb Industrial Park and Highway 11. A new Malibu Boats manufacturing facility is planned near the location, Jeff Harris, Loudon mayor, said.
Loudon’s responsibility will be utility relocation.
“We’ve been talking about this among the utility department heads,” Ty Ross, city manager, said. “It’s actually in (Lenoir City Utilities Board) territory. It’s at the bottom edge of their system. So it’s not necessarily as much relocation as it is an extension of our own system up to this new property, which this council recently annexed into the city. We’ll take that on as an economic development project and negotiate with the economic development client in terms of aiding in construction.”
Because Highway 11 is a state route, TDOT covers the cost of the intersection through an industrial highway maintenance program.
“There’s absolutely no cost to the city, right?” Tim Brewster, councilman, said. “… I think when we agreed to annex that, Malibu agreed to pay for the utilities.”
Jack Qualls, Loudon County Economic Development Agency executive director, was available via Zoom to field questions from council.
“They’re relocating utilities for the facility,” Qualls said. “This is part of that project but this is a TDOT contract that will be necessary to relocate those utilities at the intersection.”
Councilmen Tim Dixon and Johnny James motioned and seconded, respectively, to approve the contract. The vote passed unanimously.
The second project approved TDOT to build traffic signals at the intersections of Interstate 75 and Exit 72. Some of the cost will be covered by TDOT under the Spot Safety program. The city will be responsible for $60,000, Harris said.
The project has been approved by the city before, but TDOT didn’t build the traffic signals because interstate widening plans took the forefront.
Qualls said there is no timeframe for work. After council approves the measure, he can take the resolution to TDOT for planning.
Brewster claimed council had approved a similar resolution a year ago. He wondered if that resolution could be used.
“There were some distractions a year ago,” Ross said. “I know we discussed it at length at a workshop, but it was never presented to council as a resolution.”
Harris said approving the measure now would be a housekeeping item to make sure it’s on record.
James and Dixon motioned and seconded, respectively, to approve the contract. The vote passed unanimously.
In other news, Loudon City Council:
• Authorized a fuel bid from Petroleum Traders Corporation.
• Amended the 2020-21 fiscal year budget.
• Rezoned property at Mulberry Street from P-1 Professional and Civic District with H-1 Historic Overlay District to C-2 Highway Business District with H-1 Historic Overlay District.
• Approved the PNC Equipment Finance LLC resolution.
• Approved the purchase of fire department equipment through grant funding.
• Authorized the installation of walking trail lighting at Loudon Municipal Park.
• Authorized the purchase and installation of an outdoor warning system from Mobile Communications America.
• Approved a content licensing agreement with Gremlins Consulting LLC.