Dyersburg City Board hears updates on improvement grants

Tuesday, February 7, 2023



The Dyersburg Board of Mayor and Alderman convened Monday, Feb. 6, at the Dyersburg Municipal Building for its regular session. Items discussed during the meeting were updates on city grants and ongoing/upcoming projects, the Dyer County Hazard Mitigation Plan, and the Emergency Operation Plan.

City of Dyersburg Engineer Tiffany Heard gave updates on nearly one dozen improvement grants that are expected to ready Dyersburg for further economic growth and influx.
State Gazette photo/ Rachel Townsend

All members of the board were present with the exception of Mary Claire Hopper.

Others present included: City Recorder Scott Ball, Dyersburg Police Chief Steve Isbell, Dyersburg Fire Chief Brett Sipes, and Dyersburg EOC Director Gloria Spence.

Opening the meeting, City Engineer Tiffany Heard presented numerous project updates:

Wells | Industrial park booster pumps

Heard mentioned Well #11 had failed and the casing was falling apart. Due to the damages, the city decided to abandon the well and drill a new Well #11. Heard noted construction of the well is currently wrapping up.

“Well #11 failed 18 months ago and we started to have some trouble with the well at the Roger Hawkins Water Treatment Plant...there was nothing we could do to fix it for certain so we decided to abandon. The new well is definitely going to help make our water supply more resilient,” explained Heard.

Initiated roughly 11 months ago, The Fort Hudson groundwater tank at the north industrial park, where Develey Mustard and NSK Steering are located, is getting a new booster pump. The pump will allow the south industrial park to have fewer spikes in pressure, while the north industrial park will have a more consistent fire flow, ultimately better serving the needs of industrial park businesses.

“We have been having some trouble maintaining the fire flow pressures that we needed so the decision was made to come in and install an upgraded booster pump system that will allow us to separate that pressure zone from the south industrial park pressure zone,” said Heard. “This is really going to help with reliability for the fire flows we provide to our industrial customers. The actual booster pump has been on backorder. It was supposed to be here in March and now we are hoping it will be in May. There are just lots of issues with the supply chain…we are excited about what this will do for both of our industrial parks.”


Commenting on two projects underway at the landfill, Heard said the City is currently cleaning sediment out of one of the landfill’s sediment basins and is also working on making “major modifications to the [City’s] permit.

“We have somewhere between 8-12 years left of capacity in our landfill, so we have been having some conversations lately about when to begin the process to expand it,” Heard explained. “We don’t want to run out of room or get into a panic at the end. We discovered last year when we were undergoing review from TDEC that the slopes for the garbage in one of one our cells were too steep. We were under the impression we had a 5:1 slope, but we actually have a 4:1 slope in our permit. We met with a consultant that specializes in landfills, and we have been working through that with them. A suggestion was made that we submit this major modification that would alter the maximum allowable slopes on the landfill and that would give us additional capacity in the cells that we do have. And because the major modification is such an undertaking, we have decided to go ahead with permitting the next phase of the landfill.”

Heard said she feels the design phase of the permitting will take roughly 18 months.


In 2019, FEMA preliminary flood maps did not reflect Dyersburg levees in areas of Bruce and Future City as having an accredited status despite being constructed by the Corps of Engineers.

“FEMA had not been clear with us that our levees were going to be shown as unaccredited on these maps, so when we got the map, they showed the Finley levee…and the Bruce levee as unaccredited, meaning that when they looked at the flood areas for Dyersburg, they pretended as if the levees were not there,” said Heard. “Obviously, that put some areas in Dyersburg, Bruce and Future City, into the flood zone, and that was going to require flood insurance and a lot of other things to happen. That was not acceptable, obviously.”

Heard said the ordeal was the result of a misunderstanding between the Corps of Engineers, the City of Dyersburg, and FEMA that is being addressed. Heard said FEMA reported it to be unique for Corps-constructed levees to be owned by a municipality, creating some confusion regarding accreditation. Heard made note of four steps necessary to have the levees accredited and recognized by FEMA. Levees must receive a full evaluation by the Corps of Engineers, update manuals to reflect the current operating conditions of both levees and flood pump systems, write an appendix to the hazard mitigation plan, and an interior drainage study to evaluate what would happen if the flood gates were closed and water was to back up outside of the levee. Heard said the study would need to indicate the pump system currently in place would be able to keep up with that water and not cause a flood event.

Heard also mentioned full accreditation of the levee would not happen until October. She assured the board that anyone purchasing a home in areas of Bruce or Future City would not be subject to flood insurance while the accreditation is being completed.


A TDOT grant to improve Fort Hudson Rd. and build a new bridge to connect the old industrial park and the new industrial park was discussed. Heard said the City has been approved for a $10M grant which will be used to fund the design phase and get the right of way for the project. Heard noted the grant is a matching grant, with the City only required to match 5 percent ($500K).

Site Development Grant

Heard said the $4.6M Site Development Grant would allow the City to expand utilities (water, gas, sewer) at the north industrial park to ready the property for further development.

Multimodal Grant

Awarded in 2021, the grant was initially issued for $950K, however, TDOT increased the grant award to $1.3M following an inspection of the city and proposed projects. Heard said the Multimodal Grant will be used for the development of a multi-use walking path from Horner Rd. to the soccer complex. The grant is a matching grant, with the City paying 5 percent ($65K).

Looking forward 5-7 years, Heard said TDOT representatives also discussed plans to redesign the bridges down the South Main corridor.

“[The City] was excited to hear that the bridges have moved into the right of way phase. They should move into design in 2024,” stated Heard. “That South Main corridor is going to look so different.”

State Transportation Block Grant

The State Transportation Block Grant will help fund paving projects in downtown Dyersburg. The grant is reported to provide $250K-$300K/yr. for these projects. Heard said roads being addressed in the grant are those, which have not been paved in the past 10 years. Heard said the grant funds come from an allotment of gas taxes.

Recreational Trails Grant

Heard informed board members that only two communities across the state were awarded the Recreational Trails Grant. The grant is an 80/20 matching grant allowing for the development of the Jennie Bell walking trail; a bathroom facility at the Forked Deer River Park; a lookout at the Forked Deer River Park walking trail; ADA-compliant sidewalks for the River Park; an emergency phone on the Reagan Levee; a trailhead at the Reagan Levee for ease of access.

Community Development Block Grant

Heard announced that a CDBG grant totaling $680K-700K, was being matched with $700K of ARPA funds for the construction of a new gymnasium at Future City.


ARPA funds were required to be used on water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. Heard noted the ARPA funds were used to replace Well #6 and make repairs to Well #8. Additionally, funds were used to create a water system model, which is expected to help the City troubleshoot areas of the system with weaknesses or leaks, and allow for repairs, which will strengthen the integrity of the system. Currently, Heard says the City is losing roughly 40 percent of its water. While systems reflecting this percentage of loss are still considered to be healthy systems, Heard said the model would help to identify and resolve issues that would bring the City’s water loss under 25 percent.

Heard also noted the funds would be used to purchase a new generator and a “green” water management parking area with room for permanent food truck parking. Heard added that a water and electrical hookup would be available as well as seating.

SRF projects

The SRF loan, totaling $8M, will replace the pump station generator and allow for manhole rehab and camera inspections on roughly 50 percent of the sewer systems.

In other business:

*The attorney invoice, totaling $2,133.75, was approved on a motion by Alderman Dennis Moody and second by Alderwoman Vanedda Webb, with all others voting in favor.

* The City of Dyersburg Emergency Operations Plan was approved on a motion by Alderman James Baltimore and second by Alderman Ricky Hammond, with all others voting in favor.

*The Dyer County Hazard Mitigation Plan 2022 was approved on a motion made by Baltimore and seconded by Alderman Rick Crawford, with all others voting in favor.


-A bid for $13,760 was unanimously approved by the board, authorizing Jackson Overhead Door to replace a steel roll-up door for the Water/Sewer Dept.

-A bid of $263,100 was approved on unanimously authorizing Cottrell Electric to replace a generator at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

-A bid of $167,000 was unanimously approved authorizing J.S. Haren Co. to replace existing pumps at the Public Works pump station.

-A bid of $2,498,335 was unanimously approved authorizing Portland Utilities Construction Co. to repair sewer line defects identified in the survey.

-A bid of $943,054.82 was unanimously approved authorizing SDT Contractors to repair sewer line defects identified by the survey.

In closing, Dyersburg Mayor John Holden announced that State Route 211 would be closed Feb. 18-20 for railroad crossing repair. Holden also recognized Dyersburg Police Chief Steve Isbell for being featured in a statewide periodical.

Crawford and Baltimore thanked City employees and EOC workers for their hard work and dedication during the winter weather outbreak last week.

Hammond mentioned the lack of a cath lab in Dyersburg, asking fellow board members if they knew why Dyersburg no longer provided this service. Holden replied that Dyersburg Hospital is currently working to open a cath lab.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned.

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  • When will Bruce,Future City and Bruce pool become ADA Compliant? This is a good question because grants have already been awarded for the work years ago and the money have been dispensed but still they all are NON ADA Compliant. What happened to the money?

    -- Posted by austin_aa on Wed, Feb 8, 2023, at 6:23 PM
  • Is this the same lady that her husband company was awarded 1.5 million dollars for advising the city on how to build a soccer field in South Town. I know it be her because that would be a conflict of interest..Oh it is her,they took the money from the Grant that was issues to South Town..Imagine that..

    -- Posted by austin_aa on Wed, Feb 8, 2023, at 6:28 PM
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