Vision Plan looking ahead for Lewisburg

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lewisburg is moving forward.

That was the message at the annual town hall meeting, held Thursday evening, to update residents on the progress of the Vision Plan 2035.

City Manager Randall Dunn and Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham briefed attendees on projects related to the Vision Plan, as well as other improvements being made in the city.

The Vision Plan was developed as a long-term plan for the city’s growth and development.

“It’s our responsibility to leave something positive for those in the future,” said Bingham.

The plan originally focused on three areas: parks and open space, the main corridors into the city, and the downtown area.

The city would like to base future planning initiatives on this plan.

“We hope, as we move forward, to turn this into a more comprehensive plan and spread out from these three areas,” said Dunn.

With 66 percent of the 60 projects initially identified either complete or in process, the city is considering adding to or expanding the overall plan.

The plan has served the city well so far.

Dunn noted that over the last three years the city has received more than $9.1 million in grants for 30 different projects.

The city’s contribution to those projects has been just over $1 million.

Dunn touched on a pair of studies underway regarding the city’s outdoor spaces.

One is a general study of the city’s open space, parks, and trails.

This is a broad overview of the city and its use of open spaces.

The other is a master plan for the city’s park system, examining present and future needs specifically at the 13 existing parks.

Dunn mentioned features such as splash pads or a skate park, which have been suggested by residents as additions they would like to see.

Another specific request he mentioned is that Rock Creek Park does not have a playground area.

The city has completed zoning and design overlays for Ellington Parkway, Nashville Highway, and Fayetteville Highway.

Dunn said that letters would be sent this week to property owners along Mooresville Highway, from the square to the West Fire Hall announcing the first public feedback sessions for planning along that corridor.

After the Mooresville Highway overlay is complete, attention will turn to an overlay for the downtown area.

Two projects funded mostly by grant money from the Tennessee Department of Transportation are finally close to starting.

First Avenue from the square to Rock Creek Park will be rebuilt with new sidewalks, lighting, and underground utilities to better tie the city’s largest park with the downtown square.

A connector from the East Commerce Bridge to the Rock Creek Greenway is also slated to be bid soon.

Both grants were announced a couple of years ago, but, due to the deliberate pace TDOT takes with projects, they are just coming ready for construction to begin.

Both Bingham and Dunn emphasized the important of public input in shaping the future of Lewisburg.

As the growth in Middle Tennessee invariably impacts Lewisburg, they stressed the city’s attempt to avoid the experience of other area cities, which did not have a plan in place before development started.

“You can’t accuse us of sitting on our hands and doing nothing,” said Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham.