As the City of Knoxville Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) begins to investigate further studies about the potential for new greenways and safer roadways for South Knoxville, 9th District Commissioner Carson Dailey has aided in saving taxpayer dollars throughout the process.
Though the TPO has received a federal grant of $400,000 that will be accessible in October, other county commissioners urged it to be necessary to use taxpayer money to fund the studies.
“At the commission meeting, I pointed out that we needed to wait and use the federal money, not waste taxpayers’ dollars. We can save $70,000-$80,000 just by waiting on the TPO study,” Dailey said.
The upcoming greenway corridor studies, which includes Chapman Highway, which will run north from the Sevier County line to Gary Underwood Park, and John Sevier, which will run from Chapman Highway to Alcoa Highway and ultimately connect the Knox-Blount Greenway, will be covered by the $400,000 federal grant.
A motion was then made by 3rd District Commissioner Randy Smith to defer the proposal for 90 days, which Dailey seconded. Thus, the proposal has been deferred for 90 days.
Dailey has also been in contact with Knox County Public Works Senior Director Jim Snowden about saving the $148,000.
In an email, Snowden agreed that it would be feasible to solely use federal grant money for upcoming studies.
“Much like a larger scale construction project, we hope to use the scope of the larger County Study to leverage the consultants’ fee. Short answer, yes, we think we can get the price down for the primary roads in South Knox. TPO is slated to vote on the [Transportation Improvement Program], including the new County Study in October, so we will work on the scope during this lag time,” Snowden said.
Dailey is adamant about saving taxpayer money, but he also believes it’s imperative to conduct mobility studies to keep greenways and roadways safe to travel.
“It is important that we have the mobility through traffic, biking and walking in South Knox County. These studies need to be done, but we need to do it in a fashion where taxpayers will not have their tax dollars wasted,” Dailey said. “That $400,000 will pave you a mile of road and probably fix a thousand potholes.”
A meeting for the Greenway Corridor studies will take place at Bonnie Kate Elementary School on June 12 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The county will schedule a second and final round of meetings later in the year. For more information, go to knoxgreenwaystudy.com.