Vision Plan to be presented next week

Friday, January 31, 2014

By Jessica Moore

Staff Writer

After months of work, the Vision Plan for the City of Lewisburg will be presented to the City Council at their work session at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3. The plan, prepared by Hodgson Douglas of Nashville, sets out goals for the city's future development, looking one, five, 10, 15 and 20 years into the future, and focusing on the areas of parks and recreation, access corridors, and downtown.

The Community Development Board and the Vision Plan committee have been working hard on the plan with the help of several consulting groups, stakeholders, and meetings with members of the public. Attending the work session would be an excellent way for those interested to see what the City Council thinks of the plan, which has been so many months in the making.

At this time, the Vision Plan is still in draft form. The City Council can approve it as is, or make amendments to it. During the work session the Council will get to see the presentation and ask questions. From there, they will decide whether or not the Plan can move forward for approval at an upcoming Council meeting.

Other news discussed at the Community Development Board included an update on the WiFi being installed on the square. The wireless Internet will be supplied by Athena Broadband. The only delay on installation is the unusually cold weather the South has been having. As soon as the weather improves, the public can expect to begin enjoying free wireless Internet on the square. The board would also like to continue thinking about the best way to increase Internet access for the rest of the county. Many portions of Marshall County are still stuck using dial-up or satellite connections. Now that many college courses are completed entirely or partially online, slow Internet connections put students at a disadvantage.

The CDB also heard good news about traffic safety. The intersection of Heil Quaker Avenue and West Commerce Street has been a high-traffic area for tractor-trailer trucks for some time. In order to make the turn into, or out of, Heil Quaker, truck drivers have to "swing wide," taking up room in the lane next to them and interfering with other road users.

This was brought to the attention of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which agreed it was a safety issue, and will be remedying it free of charge. Preliminary plans show the corners of Heil Quaker where it meets West Commerce being rounded off, so that truck drivers are negotiating a curve instead of a right angle.

The only cost to be city will be moving the utility poles, said City Manager Randall Dunn.

The city's engineer did preliminary drawings and estimates, but TDOT will be doing their own surveys and plans.

"It will be several months before they get ready to bid it," Dunn said.

Also mentioned at the CDB meeting was the news that Lewisburg Electric System will soon begin accepting e-payments as well as having their own website.