Aug. 5—The city of Crossville has been awarded a $525,060 Community Development Block Grant to assist with ongoing sewer system updates.
"The line we're talking about is about 50 years old. Over a period of time, things deteriorate," Crossville Mayor James Mayberry said during a grant presentation July 21. "This is going to help a bunch."
The grant will support replacement of about 5,500 feet of sewer line on Waterview Dr. in Crossville and improvements to sewer manholes. Past grants have also allowed the city to use video inspection of sewer lines to determine areas in need of repairs and prioritize its ongoing sewer rehabilitation work.
The city budgets about $500,000 each year to address "inflow and infiltration." This is when storm water enters the sewer system through cracks in the aging sewer line. The stormwater must then be treated along with the wastewater, taking up capacity at the Crossville wastewater treatment facility.
"It's ongoing," Mayberry said. "There's so much we need to replace."
Kent Archer, grants director for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, which oversees the federal grant program in the state, said funds to support infrastructure were vital to community growth.
"You can't increase your housing stock, you can't recruit new companies, you lose existing businesses if you have substandard water and sewer facilities," Archer said.
The funds will help make the city's sewer system more efficient, which benefits the ratepayers of the community, he added.
"That's $525,060 of money that the ratepayers would have to support for those improvements," Archer said. "For a community like Crossville with a larger-than-average retirement population, that can be a significant burden."
Tennessee typically receives about $25 million in federal funds to support the CDBG grant program. Most — 80-85% — of the money goes toward water and sewer projects.
Mayberry thanked Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton and state Sen. Paul Bailey for their support of the community in Nashville.
"Whenever we have a problem, they always hook us up with whoever we need to talk to," he said. "The support we get from them is awesome."
Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at email@example.com.