The Dickson County government is asking the Tennessee Department of Transportation to help pay for Two Mile Road upgrades as part of a broader plan for tanker trucks to access the fuel terminal proposed by Houston-based Buckeye Partners LP, according to TDOT documents.
The documents include a May 4 application to TDOT for a grant under the department’s State Industrial Access (SIA) program.
The application summary prepared by TDOT dated May 12 says the road widening-realigning plan is “to serve Project DV.” The summary describes Project DV as the fuel facility proposed by Buckeye subsidiary Titan Partners LLC to be built at the I-40/I-840 interchange.
The Dickson Post obtained the grant application and summary from TDOT Region 3 spokeswoman Kathryn Schulte. A map was included that matches the project description in the summary.
The project is for part of Two Mile Road in the Dickson city limits. The only signature authorizing the application is that of County Mayor Bob Rial, and Schulte said last week that TDOT is requesting a signature from a City of Dickson official if the city wants to pursue the project.
The grant application lists Alex Wilson, the Dickson County business development officer, as the primary contact person for the local government. It lists James as the primary contact representing industry.
Asked for comment on the TDOT application, Rial said in an email that it was a “protective measure” designed to minimize county costs by getting state aid for the road work if the terminal gets all regulatory approvals.
He noted the application was filed after the county Planning Commission cast its first vote on the terminal proposal, approving a site plan.
He said if the terminal proposal is ultimately denied, or withdrawn, the county doesn’t have to accept the grant.
If the fuel terminal gets all approvals, Rial said he wasn’t sure if the county would be legally obligated to participate in any road upgrades. However, he said, there’s a “practical reality” in seeking state aid.
“The reason would be to improve the road for safety of the people living in the community and limit the financial exposure to the county to improve the road alone.”
The application proposes 50 percent local money — from the city and county combined — and 50 percent state money for some elements of the project. The application asks TDOT to manage all phases of the project, which has a total price tag of $2.4 million.
In addition, Schulte said, TDOT needs resolutions from both the city and county before TDOT moves forward. The TDOT summary of the application refers to both the city and county throughout.
“The Department will require those resolutions from the local governments before we will proceed with any development,” she said in an email. “TDOT will need a fully executed contract which must include the City and County prior to expending any funds on the project.”
For this project, she said, it’s too early to know about any acquisition of private property necessary because there are many stages involved in the process, and land acquisition would be determined later.
“Impacted land owners would then be offered fair market value for the property” if acquisition was needed, she said.
City of Dickson Mayor Don Weiss and City Administrator Rydell Wesson said in a June 16 email responding to questions about the TDOT documents: “The Dickson City Council has not approved or been asked to approve any application for state funds and has not considered anything connected to Project DV or improvements to Two Mile Road. As mayor and city administrator, we have not met with any representative of the company. The city also has not discussed being part of an application for State Industrial Access funds with anyone connected with Project DV.”
The email added that Darrell James, the engineer for Project DV, has requested time on next month’s City Council meeting agenda.
The map provided with the application and summary is labeled “State Industrial Access” and shows plans to upgrade four-tenths of a mile of Two Mile Road in the city limits, the westernmost part of the road including the intersection with Highway 46.
The map is an aerial photograph with text and colored lines added to show the planned changes, which include 12-foot-wide lanes with four-foot shoulders and a gentle curve where there is now a sharp dogleg.
The project is part of a broader road-building plan by Buckeye/Titan to allow up to 100 tanker trucks a day to get between Highway 46 and the site of the proposed terminal. Other projects include widening the part of Two Mile Road on unincorporated county land and extending the road through farmland east of Hogan Road.
Schulte said the project for which she provided the SIA documents represents the extent of TDOT involvement so far on Two Mile Road upgrades.