Bartlett invests in park access, major projects

Bartlett-city-seal-300pxBartlett’s mayor and city board continued making progress on major projects at the April 25 board meeting, including work at W.J. Freeman Park, repair of Westbrook Road Bridge over Buckhead Creek, Ellis Road improvements and more.

The park project is the first phase of the parks’ master plan, addressing the access into and out of W.J. Freeman Park. Shan Criswell, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said the park currently only has one access point, which has caused safety problems for people getting in and out when the park is packed. Two new access points will be added: One across from Ivanhoe at Bartlett Boulevard, and the other at Bartlett Road.

For this project, the board accepted the lowest bid from Ferrell Paving in the amount of $757,600 and the alternate one-site lighting bid of $307,800 for a total bid of $1,065,400, plus a contingency amount of $30,000. This project also requires construction management which will be provided by Dalhoff Thomas Design at a cost of $9,700 and geological testing provided by Geotechnology Inc. at a cost of $9,998.20. The total cost of this project will be $1,115,098.20.

The board also approved amending the Bartlett City Schools FY2017 School Education Capital Project Fund to purchase a Bartlett Square property for use as a new central office for Bartlett City Schools. The district’s leaders are currently housed at the high school, and their relocation will free up space that can be used as classrooms. The Bartlett Square property’s purchase cost is $1,373,000, or about $21 a foot. Funds were transferred from the school district’s General Purpose Fund Budget.

The school district closed on the sale on Monday, May 1.

BCS Superintendent Dr. David Stephens said he hopes the 60,000-square-foot facility will be ready for the district office’s use by January 2018. He said central office personnel are likely to move over to the new location in phases, and BCS will work with current tenants in the building to see if they are interested in terminating their leases early.

Another approved amendment moved $54,166.33 from the BCS FY2017 General Purpose School Fund into the School Education Capital Project Fund. The money is miscellaneous revenue in contributions and gifts and will be allocated to the schools at which the funds were gathered.

The board approved yet another budget amendment to move $26,000 from the BCS General Purpose Fund Budget into the district’s 2016-17 Education Capital Project Fund Budget. The money will be used for a fence at the school district’s soccer field.

The board also accepted the lowest bid for repair of Westbrook Road Bridge over Buckhead Creek. The project is an update of the 1950s-era bridge and includes repairs, sandblasting and painting of the underlying metal structure, as well as a little concrete work, different guard rail protections and other maintenance. The bid went to Dement Construction for $291,449.55, plus a contingency amount of $30,000 for a total cost of $321,449.55. Contract administration will be provided by Smith Seckman Reid for $19,900. The total project cost will be $341,349.55.

The board also accepted the lowest bid for Ellis Road improvements. Bartlett is cutting the hill down in response to citizens’ concerns about the intersection with New Brunswick Road. The bid went to ENSCOR LLC for $756,038 plus a contingency amount of $25,000 for a total cost of $781,038. Contract administration will be provided by Pickering for $23,260. Construction is expected to begin within the next month. The bid included work on the north half of the roadway, which is the responsibility of the Windsor Park developer, who has contributed $50,000.

The board also authorized Mayor Keith McDonald to enter into a required agreement with the State of Tennessee’s Department of Transportation for the design of an Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plan. The action, which is 80 percent grant funded, will have as its first phase an assessment of the city’s needed improvements.

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • Made a $20,000 check presentation toward the construction of the West Tennessee Veterans Home. Bartlett raised funds during the city’s sesquicentennial activities last year.
  • Accepted a bid for weight and cardio exercise equipment for Bartlett Recreation Center. The bid went to the single-source provider, LifeFitness, at a cost of $63,453.36 (with trade-in for existing equipment).
  • Heard from Rebecca Priddy that Bartlett High School’s “Project Graduation” will be on the night of May 15 at Incredible Pizza for the school’s 2017 graduates. Intended as a safe graduation party, Project Graduation will last from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. and will include activities, fun, food and door prizes.
  • Learned from Priddy, who is president of the Bartlett High School PTSA and the Bartlett City Council PTA, that Bartlett High School’s PTSA has won an award of excellence from the Tennessee PTA for community collaboration. Some actions related to the honor included having a mock car crash activity with the police and fire departments, Project Graduation and other actions for BHS students. The organization serves both the high school and the Bartlett 9th Grade Academy. The next BHS PTSA meeting will be May 11 at the 9th Grade Academy, focusing on the high school renovation project.
  • Heard a reminder that the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center will host an evening of music by the lake (known in the past as the Pickin’ Picnic) on May 5, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. See more information at
  • Authorized the auction of surplus property. Nine items have been identified as having a potential auction-value of $500 or more and will be auctioned on
  • Approved a request to hold an additional softball tournament this year.
  • Received an update that construction has been deferred on the railroad crossing at Old Brownsville Road. The railroad has advised that it expects to conduct the work in the late spring or early summer of 2018.
  • Recognized the Leadership Bartlett Class of 2017.
  • Heard the mayor’s proclamation for Building Safety Month.

CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to