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Commission thanks city workers for quick response

The Board of Commissioners held its regular meeting Monday night at City Hall.

Before the Board began discussing items on the night’s agenda, each commissioner had a chance to give comments and reports on their districts.

Each commissioner thanked the Public Works Department, MJPD and FDMJ for their continuous work during the intense winter weather last week. Commissioner Ray Justice also thanked Commissioner Brian Abston for the work he has done in his district, which includes Providence. Mayor Ed Hagerty joined Justice, saying this was the first time he did not receive a complaint about Providence traffic during holiday shopping.

City Manager Kenny Martin also thanked the citizens of Mt. Juliet for listening to police warnings about driving in the inclement weather. He said even though it has been a bad winter, there have been fewer accidents than previous years.

Justice and Police Chief James Hambrick also honored Officer White, who is retiring after his more than ten years of service as a reserve officer.

Martin thanked two women, Sharon and Joan, for painting a mural in North Mt. Juliet, on the side of Elegant Diamonds. The mural has the city’s name along with the Tennessee tri-star, similar to the famous “I believe in Nashville” mural downtown.

John Rossmaier, the finance director for the City of Mt. Juliet, was also honored during the meeting. Rossmaier, who will retire soon after his 10 years of service to the City, was presented with an Employee of the Year plaque, a decision that was made before he chose to retire.

The first two items of unfinished business were second readings of ordinances introduced at the Jan. 8 meeting. A $500 donation from Walmart for community education was passed unanimously, as was an ordinance that appropriates funding for the emergency repair to Woodridge Place near Mt. Juliet Middle School.

The adoption of the 2017 Comprehensive Transportation plan, approved on first reading in October, was deferred 30 days for more discussion. Before the Board meeting, a public meeting was held to discuss the revisions to the plan.

There were many concerns about the transportation plan, mostly involving the proposed implementation of medians on Mt. Juliet and Lebanon Roads. Read more about that meeting here.

A resolution approving the memorandum of understanding between the City of Mt. Juliet and Regional Transit Authority (RTA) was passed unanimously after making amendments. This included striking “required” from required financial donation to make it clear to RTA that the $30,000 is a voluntary donation, not an obligated annual fee.

The Mayor assured the Board, and the residents of Mt. Juliet, that he will read carefully any memo sent back from RTA to ensure their understanding of the donation.

Following this resolution, an ordinance to appropriate the $30,000 funds for RTA was passed 4-1, with Abston opposed.

The first reading of a policy to handle an expenditure of more than $10,000 when deemed an emergency by the city manager was passed unanimously.

There were four resolutions on the New Business agenda. The first resolution approved an agreement between the City of Mt. Juliet and Wilson County Board of Education to purchase property in North Mt. Juliet. As neither the Board nor the Planning Commission have seen the final designs of this property, the resolution was deferred until a later date.

A resolution to approve the contract with The Learning Experience to purchase land from the City of Mt. Juliet, located on Belinda Parkway, was passed unanimously.

A resolution to use the remaining city funds from the Golden Bear Gateway project to pay for upgrades of electric light poles from wood to steel was passed 4-1, with Commissioner James Maness opposed.

The final original resolution of the agenda was to approve an agreement for the project on Old Lebanon Dirt Road, which would widen the road. According to Abston, the wording of the resolution made it seem as if the widening of the road was for including bike lanes instead of simply improving the two-lane road.

After the wording was amended, the resolution passed unanimously.

A last-minute addition to the agenda was a resolution declaring city property as surplus to be disposed of at GovDeals Auction, which passed 4-1.

The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 12. A public will be held before the meeting at 6:15 in the same room.

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