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Commissioners approve several big items Monday
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

The Board of Commissioners approved several big items in their Monday meeting. 

They included traffic improvements in Providence, renovation to the new Police Department, dedicated money to a new fire station, a resolution to help move the development of Bel Air at Beckwith along, and the purchase of a new property on N. Mt. Juliet Road. 

The traffic improvements included a few different traffic analysis studies, one of which included the readjusting of the 226B ramp and fix the one northbound lane problem that occasionally clogs up traffic. 

City Manager Kenny Martin said this was the first step in the process to fix the problems from Belinda Parkway to the northbound lanes. He said the wish is to add a second right hand turn lane off of Belinda Parkway, which would make it necessary for two northbound lanes on N. Mt. Juliet Road, which would make it necessary to fix the traffic coming off of the ramp. 

The measure passed 4-1 with Ray Justice voting against it. He felt the City shouldn’t have to pay the $28,000 for these issues because TDOT is the one that caused the problem in the first place, and they should pay to fix it. Mt. Juliet will just do the submittal, but TDOT will eventually do the work. 

“I’m not going to pay their [Mt. Juliet taxpayers] money to fix this mess up,” said Justice. 

Two items dealt with the new Police Station located on Charlie Daniels Parkway. The first was to improve the evidence room and locker room. Also on that item were ballistics vests and the mobile command post equipment. In another item, several improvements were proposed. They included putting bathrooms in the front of the building, painting the interior of the building, pulling and installing CAT wire, carpeting the courtroom, and do trim work for the courtroom, lobby area and Chief’s office. The total amount was $125,000. 

“This time I got to say no,” said Commissioner Jim Bradshaw. 

Bradshaw said that this is in addition to the $294,000 they had already approved for the renovation, and he has to stop it eventually. 

“We all knew when we paid that amount, it was not ready to go,” said Mayor Ed Hagerty, who supported the measure. 

It eventually passed 4-1, with Bradshaw voting against it. 

The City of Mt. Juliet recently sold eight acres on Pleasant Grove Road in the amount of $500,000, and a resolution was proposed to put that money toward a future fire station on Lebanon Road. 

Hagerty suggested that be changed, because Fire Chief Erron Kinney preferred the current WEMA station behind City Hall for the second location because it would cover a larger area of the city than would one near the corner of Lebanon Road and Nonaville Road. 

The commissioners decided to give $150,000 to renovate the WEMA station 3 behind City Hall, and the remaining $350,000 would go to make a principle payment on the new Police Station. A payment per year for the Police Station costs $300,000, so it would take care of a little more than a year payment. The city is paying $300,000 per year for four years for the property.  The resolution passed 5-0. 

A dispute over who provides waste water service for the Bel-Air at Beckwith project has stalled that development for several years now. Wilson County Water and Waste Water Authority claims that is there service area, but the City of Mt. Juliet claims it is there’s. They ran a line to the area when it was annexed. City Manager Kenny Martin said that the Waste Water Authority has no customers in the area. 

“There were two statutes that said the exact opposite thing on who is able to service an area,” said City Attorney Gino Marchetti. 

According to Marchetti, the Waste Water Authority was using a law that passed in 1995, but a later law in 2003, would give favor to the City of Mt. Juliet. Marchetti said State Representative Susan Lynn and State Senator Mae Beavers had been instrumental in moving this process along. The resolution, which states that the City would provide wastewater services to the area, would be sent to Wilson County Water and Wastewater Authority. It passed 5-0. 

An ordinance to purchase a property on N. Mt. Juliet Road which is next to the old Sellars Funeral Home property, which the City owns. They had finished a land swap with Sellars Funeral Home last year for the property across the street, where Sellars is building now. The property would make the old property more attractive for a possible buyer. The ordinance passed 3-2 with Bradshaw and Justice voting against it.