Bartlett took a huge step toward getting its satellite campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology last Tuesday when the board approved a letter of intent to buy 13 acres of property for future construction of the campus.
Scott Quiseng has agreed to sell the acreage for $375,000. It is in two adjacent parcels southwest of the intersection of Yale Road and Brother Boulevard, and this land is across the street from the corporate park. The purchase has a due diligence period of 90 days.
The city will give the land to the Tennessee Board of Regents and make other investments for a total contribution of $1 million, according to Mark Brown, Bartlett’s chief administrative officer.
The campus will support a new medical device institute focused on developing journey worker machinists and people with other key skill sets who are needed to support the growth of the area’s 47+ medical device companies.
The land purchase adds to the millions in funding already in place for the project. Current funding lined up for the Bartlett TCAT campus includes:
- An $11.5 million investment from the Tennessee Board of Regents.
- $4 million from a grant related to Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive campaign, which has the goal of equipping at least 55 percent of the state’s students with a college degree or certificate by 2025. Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) worked toward this grant for more than a year, working in concert with the Greater Memphis Medical Device Council, the city of Bartlett and the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce. He said this TCAT expansion is a huge step to close the skills gap in the industry.
- A $1 million Gene Haas Foundation grant.
- The $1 million from the City of Bartlett, which includes the land purchase and other contributions.
Editor’s note: A $6 million grant previously reported as being associated with this grant is not related; it is a separate Department of Labor grant for work force development.
In an earlier story about the pending TCAT campus, Norris commented, “Shelby County is home to more medical device manufacturers and suppliers than almost any county in the United States.”
He said the medical device industry is Tennessee’s largest exporter, responsible for 17,000 local jobs. It contributes $2.6 billion to the economy and some $46 million in annual revenues to state and local governments.
Driving toward the goal of this TCAT expansion began with the GMMDC, which was created in 2014, Norris said. He spoke with the organization in October 2015 as the grant process gathered momentum.
He also pointed to the huge leap that Bartlett High School took in the fall of 2016 to get students as young as high-school age deeply interested in the medical device career track: The school invested about $400,000 in a brand-new machine tool technology lab, unveiled Oct. 17. The funding came from TCAT, the Tennessee Board of Regents and a state bill that recently passed.
The board also approved the site plan contract for a Youth Villages Boy’s Residential Treatment Center. This will be an expansion of the existing Bartlett campus. The developer, Youth Villages, will pay $50,482.90 in city fees. The bond is set at $186,453.33.
Other board actions
In other business, the board:
- Accepted the lowest bid to replace the Ardie Road Water Plant dehumidifier. The bid went to National HVAC Service at a cost of $105,765, plus a contingency amount of $9,235, for a total cost of $115,000.
- Accepted the lowest bid for renovating the city’s tennis courts at Madison Byrd Park and W.J. Freeman Park. The bid went to Dana Freeman Construction Inc. in the amount of $80,000 for the base bid and $15,000 for the alternate bid, for a total cost of $95,000.
- Amended the FY2017 operating budget to appropriate $50,400 for education incentive pay for Fire Department personnel. The State of Tennessee Commission on Fire Fighting has approved the 2017 Education Incentive Pay for eligible Bartlett Fire Department personnel, and the city has received that $50,400 in funding. A budget amendment was needed to add those funds to the budget.
- Accepted the lowest bid for a fuel lube truck (a service vehicle that provides mobile support when a city vehicle needs a tire change, fuel, oil, transmission fluids, etc. before it can come back to the city’s shop). The bid went to Ford of Murfreesboro at a cost of $123,923.
- Accepted the lowest qualified bid for an animal control truck. The bid went to AutoNation at a cost of $37,938.56.
- Accepted the lowest bid for a super cab 4×4 pickup truck for the city’s Engineering Department. The bid went to Ford of Murfreesboro at a cost of $25,767.
- Approved renewal of the annual service agreement with Accela for meeting agenda and recording software. The cost is $18,135.22. The agreement runs from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018.
- Authorized the purchase of a right-of-way tract from Robert and Theresa Graue for the widening of Old Brownsville Road. The cost is $16,550.
- Passed a routine resolution to request the unclaimed balance of accounts remitted to the state treasurer under the Unclaimed Property Act.
- Granted a special event permit for the Brunswick Farms neighborhood garage sale. The event will be 7 a.m.-2 p.m. April 29 in the Brunswick Farms Subdivision with a rain date of May 6.
- Appointed and reappointed members to the city’s boards and commissions. See the separate story in this issue for details.