The idea was discussed during a Board of Mayor and Aldermen work session on Monday afternoon and, according to information provided to the BMA, the plan essentially calls for the city coming up with $500,000 later this year and then using those dollars to leverage an additional $2 million in federal funds.
This money could then be used to pave sections of main roads within the city, including Fall Creek (from the bridge to the city limits), Harbor Chapel, Netherland Inn (Hawkins County portion), the city’s portion of Moreland Drive and Meadowview Parkway.
Since federal dollars would be involved, the paving work has to be done on main roads and not neighborhood roads, city officials said.
Ryan McReynolds, the assistant city manager for operations, said this money would be a “one-time injection” of money that would be used to leverage additional funds through the Metropolitan Transportation and Planning Organization.
“Mayor (Pat) Shull mentioned a desire to inject $500,000 into the paving budget ... so we’ve been thinking about creative ways to address our major roads,” McReynolds said.
The condition of Kingsport’s roads was a major issue during the May city election, with then-candidate Shull saying the city needed to do more to address the condition of its roads.
McReynolds said Kingsport’s portion — the $500,000 — could come from remaining money in closed-out projects and other leftover money from the fiscal year 2019 budget. The actual amount of leftover money would not likely be known until September, said City Manager Chris McCartt.
“Our year-end money is not going to be at the level it’s been in the past,” McCartt said. “It’ll be a little less than what we’re used to.”
If the money is there and the measure is approved by the BMA, McReynolds said the paving would take place beginning in the summer of 2020. The end result would also mean $7.5 million will have been spent paving roads in Kingsport over a 24-month period.