Road endorsed by Whitehead, Wallace charge to be discussed

Friday, February 4, 2011

At least one Lewisburg councilman is endorsing a property owner's request for permission to build a road that could give better access to the old Murray horse farm.

"I think that's a good idea," Councilman Odie Whitehead Jr. said Wednesday when asked about the city accepting a future extension of East Hill Street where several brick rental units overlook Rock Creek.

Ernest Henegar owns the apartments and has a driveway that could be seen as one lane of a two-lane road if it's reconfigured as described by City Planning Commission Chairman Jim Bingham during last month's council meeting.

"It will enhance the value of the city property there," Whitehead said of the pasture purchased several years ago on a vote by the council.

At the time, Mayor Bob Phillips said while there were no immediate plans for the land, its proximity to Rock Creek Park and central location offer options to explore for development of that area where the Goats Music and More Festival is held every October.

Also scheduled for the 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting are continued considerations of:

* Legal issues, as they're described on the council's agenda.

Former Industrial Development Director Terry Wallace complained in December that age discrimination was a factor in his dismissal, so he's taken that to the Nashville office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Wallace is about 20 years older than his successor. Eddie Fuller, the city manager at the time, gave no reason for Wallace's dismissal.

City Recorder/Treasurer Connie Edde said she knew of no other legal issue for the council to discuss on Tuesday.

* A Community Development Block Grant request for up to $500,000 to have federal money underwrite a great majority of sewer replacement and/or repair work.

Nei-ghborhoods on the west side of town were surveyed last month by employees of the city's Water and Wastewater department to have data available to justify the need for the grant. Federal money can be awarded for the work if there are low-income households to be served.

The survey was completed on the morning of Jan. 28, and the application was submitted to a specialist with the South Central Tennessee Development District to be ready for state and federal officials.

If granted, the money could help hold water and sewer rates at their current level, utility Superintendent Kenneth Carr said

* Disposal of junk, brush and furniture that Allied Waste can't remove in the trash carts provided for residents' use.

Since the city transferred almost all of its neighborhood trash collection service to a contractor, city public works crews continued to pick up junk, brush and furniture, but disposal costs have increased since Cedar Ridge Landfill has been closed until the results of a state hearing are known. The hearing could have started Tuesday, but has been postponed at least three months.

* A Payment In Lieu Of Taxes contract with Ace Bayou will be presented by City Attorney Steve Broadway who has been adding details to the deal authorized last month. PILOT agreements grant new and expanding businesses a property tax break. It's provided on the premise that without it new jobs might not be generated, and that without the specified industrial growth there wouldn't be an increased property tax base anyway.

Council meetings are on the second floor of City Hall, 131 S. Church St.