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Dresden Board Approves Debris Removal Bid

Dresden Board members approved a bid proposal for the demolition and removal of debris on the city block where city hall, the fire and police departments, as well as privately-owned businesses were located, prior to being destroyed by the tornado that came through the town in December of 2021. Pictured are (L to R) City Recorder Jennifer Branscum, Mayor Jeff Washburn and City Attorney Beau Pemberton at the board’s meeting held Monday evening in the county senior center.


DRESDEN (February 21) — Due to the damage to Dresden’s municipal buildings inflicted by the December 10 tornado, the Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen reviewed bids received for the demolition, cleanup and leveling of the block where Dresden City Hall was located, during a special session on Monday, February 21, at the Dresden Civic Center.

As the meeting opened, Mayor Jeff Washburn presented the bids for debris removal submitted by two firms for the board’s consideration and explained what work the proposals would include.

After reviewing the bids, the board voted unanimously to award the contract to Quality Contractor Services headquartered in Milan, which submitted a project proposal with prices for two options. These options were for either hauling the debris to an approved landfill at a cost of $129,472, or for hauling the materials to a dump site at the water tower located within the city limits for $84,933.

A bid proposal from Phillip Blackmon Paving of Martin, priced the work at $85 per hour for as long it takes to complete the job.

Both companies provided proof of insurance, as required.

After a lengthy discussion, the board voted to choose the bid amounting to $129,472 submitted by Quality Contractor Services.

One of the reasons for selecting this option was that it would be cheaper in the long run to go ahead and haul the debris to a landfill as soon as it’s loaded onto a dump truck, rather than taking it to the local dump site and unloading it, then loading it onto a truck later and haul it to a landfill.

Quality Contractor Services owners Trent Britt and Ryan Knight were present to answer any questions board members or local citizens might have regarding the terms of the contract.

The agreement stipulates the structures on the city block where Dresden’s City Hall, Police Department and Fire Station were located, are to be demolished in their entirety and disposed of. This includes the structures, building pad, footer and piers, and any associated concrete or asphalt.

After all of these specified materials are removed, red sand and/or dirt will be brought in to fill and grade the block, which will be brought close to street level. Quality Contractor Services will provide the transit to shoot the elevations, with an approved city planner to set the benchmark for the grade. The proposal recommends a slight slope for water shed.

The agreement provides that Quality Contractor Services will take ownership of any salvageable materials remaining on the site upon receipt of the contract.

In order to help provide for a safe and injury-free workplace, the contractor will provide a site-specific health, safety and work plan, which will be signed by attending personnel prior to the commencement of operations.

The contract also states that Quality Contractor Services will have unrestricted access to the property during work operations. Additionally, the property owner must request that all associated utility providers discontinue service.

After the structures are removed, Quality Contractor Services can request a 50 percent payment draw, with the remaining due at completion.

Concerning cleanup costs, Mayor Washburn noted the City of Dresden will be responsible for covering 12.5 percent of the cost, the State of Tennessee 12.5 percent and the federal government the remaining 75 percent. FEMA will calculate the reimbursement for hauling off the debris based on the cubic yard.

Attorney Keely Wilson, who owns a law office at 123 West Main St., located on the city block to be demolished, inquired if it would be cheaper to have her property cleared separately and not be included in the contract. However, after hearing from Mr. Britt of Quality Contractor Services and Alderman Gwin Anderson, she learned her cost would be based on the percentage of the square footage of her property in comparison to the cost per square foot for clearing the entire city block. This means it would be far cheaper to include her property in the contract.

When asked about the status of other privately-owned properties on the block, Mayor Jeff Washburn stated Attorney General Tommy Thomas owns two properties on West Main Street, and local dentist, Dickie Hutcherson, owns the old bank building property on the corner of West Main and South Poplar streets. The mayor mentioned some of these properties might possibly be donated to the city.

According to Mayor Washburn, grant funding may be available to Dresden for rebuilding municipal structures, especially if the plans include a safe room (storm shelter) to protect the public from tornadoes or other dangerous storms.

The mayor cautioned, in order to receive FEMA funding, debris removal must be accomplished within six months of the date of the disaster declaration, and rebuilding within approximately a two-year period.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned.

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