Carter County Jail lot allotted more time for paving

11:00 am | November 8, 2013

The Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission agreed to give the Carter County Sheriff’s Department a 15-month extension to finish paving the new parking lot at the Carter County Jail.

Planning Director Jon Hartman said he was approached by the sheriff’s department concerning the requirements from the city in the contract with the CCSD regarding the construction of the new jail.

Hartman said the engineers ran into complications while paving the lot when an underground storage tank, which was possibly used for diesel fuel, was found where the new lot would be built. The lot will be constructed where jail pods once stood.

He said the department had contacted the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation regarding the tank to find out if the tank should be filled or removed. However, the engineers were expecting some time to pass before the response was given.

Another reason behind the extension request was that the old jail needs to be reroofed. Hartman said the department was afraid that if the lot is paved before the new roof is installed, the heavy construction equipment needed to access the roof would damage the new asphalt.

Commissioner Melanie Sellers questioned why other portions of the jail project were not completed, like the pedestrian gate between the jail parking lot and the Cat Island Park parking lot. She said the lack of the gate was mostly hurting the citizens who came to the courthouse for new juror training rather than those where at the courthouse for a trial or other case.

Ron Kirby also questioned why the landscaping at the jail was not completed.

Hartman said the landscaping could not be finished until the parking lot was installed. He said he had made it clear the old pod site would need to be cleaned up until the reroofing was complete and the lot could be finished.

Sellers made a motion that the commission approve the recommendation with provisions that the city receive updates on the project every three months and that the pedestrian gate and landscaping be finished by June 1.

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