Featured Images

Parks outsourcing on hold

Dems claim victory, but postponement might not be for long

authors Cari Wade Gervin

The state has postponed a March 2 deadline on a request for proposals to outsource facilities management and concessions at Fall Creek Falls.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation had issued the RFP in December to solicit bids for a company to demolish and rebuild the hotel at the state’s most visited park, but the move has been since widely criticized, mostly recently for what opponents contend is a lack of oversight by the State Building Commission.

“The deadline has been postponed to make some content revisions to the RFP and Attachments which will be done through the issuance of a future amendment. Updates to the schedule will be included in the future amendment,” said TDEC communications director Eric Ward, adding that a revised RFP will be issued “soon.”

However, Democrats are already declaring victory.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” state Sen. Lee Harris (D-Memphis) said in a press release. “But, this looks like total and unequivocal victory for state employees and Tennesseans who want to keep our cherished public assets from landing in the laps of profit-driven companies.”

Harris and Nashville Rep. John Ray Clemmons have held a series of town halls with park employees and others concerned about the outsourcing.

“To a person, these hard-working Tennesseans were afraid for their livelihoods and their community’s well-being, and they were outraged about the governor’s lack of transparency,” Clemmons says. “There was widespread concern that this was a ‘done deal,’ but Senator Harris and I promised them we’d keep fighting. We did. This announcement of postponement is a significant victory for rural workers, their families and their local communities.”

A bill sponsored by House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) would prevent any outsourcing in state parks. It has not been before committee yet.

Article source: http://www.nashvillepost.com/politics/state-government/article/20853640/parks-outsourcing-on-hold

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>