JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Commission covered a number of topics in an unusually short (90 minute) workshop on Monday night, spending about a third of that time questioning and getting a report from TDOT representatives about the ongoing highway project to upgrade Highway 63 east from LaFollette to the Claiborne County line. Watch the workshop HERE on demand from WLAF.
The first phase of the project , running from LaFollette to Frontier Grocery, has sparked numerous concerns from the public about confusing lane changes, detours and traffic diversions to Back Valley Road, according to several commissioners. Scott Kitts was particularly outspoken about receiving calls, asking the TDOT manager when the project is expected to be complete to the county line.
“The first phase is projected to be completed by late fall,” the TDOT spokesman replied. When Kitts asked “When will you have it completed to the county line,” the TDOT reply was “September, 2025. The work from Frontier Grocery to the Claiborne County line is scheduled to be complete in September, 2025.” On that somber note, Chairman Johnny Bruce accepted a motion to adjourn the workshop.
Earlier, the commission discussed a number of items that will be brought up at next week’s regular meeting, including a motion to spend $780,000 on a 100 acre piece of property located in the Twin Hills area to be used for recreational purposes. Recreation Committee chairman Dewayne Baird explained that the property, owned by the Charlie Campbell family, is under the Greenbelt, meaning the county will only lose $257/year in property taxes if it becomes public property.
The Recreation Committee met on March 3 and voted to approve the purchase and bring it to a vote before the full commission. Baird explained that the purchase “would not be a hit to our tax dollars” as it could be paid for from an account originally appropriated for industrial land purchases that has been sitting untouched for 6-7 years.
In addition to a motion to approve the purchase, Baird will also offer a motion next week to use all funds from the county’s share of the opioid settlement that are not stipulated by the agreement to treatment facilities to go toward recreational development, possibly helping pay for developing the 100 acre property. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2022-6AM)