Beard sworn in as interim manager

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The city of Lewisburg has a new, but familiar, hand steering city operations.

Public Works Director Buck Beard took the oath of office at Tuesday’s work session, officially stepping into the position of interim city manager.

Beard assumes the role from Randall Dunn.

Dunn notified the city council of his intention to retire after six years in the position early in December.

While Beard fills in, the council will start the process of hiring a permanent replacement to manage city affairs.

“I feel we need to get the ball rolling,” said Councilman Nicholas Tipper of the search process which can take months.

City Recorder Pam Davis provided councilmen with a general time line for filling similar positions. The last time the city was faced with decision, when Dunn was hired, the process took more than six months.

“That gives us plenty of time to find what we are looking for,” said Tipper.

For the last search the city used the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, a University of Tennessee department advising municipalities, for assistance with qualifying and interviewing candidates.

Beard’s position at public works will remain open while he serves as city manager. To cover his responsibilities, several city employees will assume additional duties.

Lueshell Taylor is appointed as the interim director of codes, planning, and zoning, Brandon Davis will oversee the public works department, and Stacey Martin will serve as stormwater coordinator.

The primary item on the agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting is a proposed PILOT agreement for a new facility to be constructed by the Minth Group.

Minth plans to invest an additional $88 million in the construction and equipping of a new 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility at the Childers Road location.

The auto part manufacturer purchased that site, which has also been home to Ditech or Hyperion, in 2017 to house a production facility for the area’s assembly plants.

The new construction would house an additional production line, expected to add another 300 jobs to the city.

Lewisburg was selected after internal competition with Minth’s Michigan and Mexico locations.

The PILOT, of payment in lieu of taxes, would allow the new location to phase in property and equipment taxes over a ten year period, starting at 20% for the first four years while the facility is brought up to production, jumping to 50% in year five, and fully paying taxes by year ten.

The Lewisburg Industrial Development Board approved the proposed agreement prior to sending it to the council for final approval.

Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

Lewisburg Director of Public Works Buck Beard takes the oath of office to serve as the interim city manager of Lewisburg from City Recorder Pam Davis at the city council work session on Tuesday evening. Beard takes over from Randall Dunn, who submitted notice of his retirement, effective Jan. 28, to the council at their December work session.