Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Sparta Expects To Complete Gateway Monument Project By Late-Summer

Bids will go out for Sparta’s gateway monument project Monday in hope to complete the project by late-summer.

This comes following approval from the board of mayor and aldermen Thursday night. City Administrator Brad Hennessee said there will be a recommendation of who to award the project to by Sparta’s next meeting on May 6.

“We really don’t know what they’re going to cost at this point,” Hennessee said. “We have our evaluation that was done back when the plans were formulated, but we don’t know if that’s been affected by the supply and demand or the price variation in building materials at this point.”

Hennessee said another price factor is not knowing which materials or colors that Sparta will choose based on samples that contractors will provide. He said the plan to create the two welcome signs has been on his desk since he started roughly 18 months ago.

“No body on a small scale had done this, so it’s new for everybody and that’s part of what the next city that takes this on shouldn’t have the delays that we’ve had,” Hennessee said. “We were the guinea pig of sorts on this but we’re glad to see it moving forward.”

Hennessee said the north sign at the city limits on Highway 111 will be 15′ X 27′ with the south sign being slightly smaller. Hennessee said the signs have to be able to be seen while driver’s eyes are on the road and out of T-DOT’s Safety Clear Zone.

“Our first attempt at this failed because it didn’t meet the requirements but T-DOT actually changed the requirements based on what they saw in Sparta,” Hennessee said. “There are cities that have these around but not many. What we’re hoping is that people will see that we’ve spent the time and effort for that caliber of sign and say, ‘Sparta is somewhere we want to stop and check and see what they’ve got,’ it looks like we care. We hope other cities see it and say, ‘you know that looks like something we want to do,’ and take our pattern and adapt it to their situation.

He said that the required sight distance is roughly that of a football field. Hennessee said that the goal is to have the gateway monument project complete by late-August or early-September.

Thursday night the board also approved the second and final reading of its food truck vendor fees ordinance. This ordinance change cuts food truck vendor fees in half. Food truck vendors will be assessed a $25 charge for a one day permit, scaling up to $250 for a one-year permit

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