The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners met Monday night for the first regular meeting of 2018. With Mayor Ed Hagerty and Commissioner Art Giles absent, only three commissioners were in attendance.
During the meeting, a proclamation was read declaring Jan. 8, 2018 as MJ Heath Care-First Responder Day and honoring Virginia Bates. The 96-year-old alerted the staff at Mt. Juliet Health Care of a fire that began in her room in November. Her actions, along with those of the Health Care staff and Mt. Juliet Fire Department, helped save lives and prevent a devastating outcome.
There were only two items of unfinished business on the agenda, both of which passed second readings unanimously and without discussion.
Six items of new business were scheduled for first readings, but an ordinance requiring businesses selling firearms to follow security procedures was deferred. This ordinance was in response to a local gun store that has repeatedly been broken into and firearms stolen.
According to Commissioner Ray Justice, there are federal and state laws that prohibit the city from mandating these stores; however, the city can issue restrictions through codes.
As a follow-up, City Manager Kenny Martin wanted to assure Mt. Juliet residents that their city government is trying to do something about the repeated break-ins.
An ordinance to rezone the Land’s End Property on Saundersville Road was passed 3-0. According to Justice, there are pockets of land on the property that are not in city limits, so this ordinance will ensure city workers, such as police or emergency services, are able to respond to the area.
Traffic regulations for bicycle lanes were added to the city code through an ordinance that passed unanimously as well.
The Commission accepted a donation of $500 for community education from Wal-Mart.
Commissioner Brian Abston introduced a reading for a tether law, which the city does not currently have. Without a tether law, there is no one to say legally a resident cannot keep a pet chained outside all day, every day. A law will allow the city to implement regulations to reduce situations of animal cruelty and neglect.
An amendment was added to the ordinance stating the “extreme temperatures” in which an animal cannot be left tethered outside. If there is a heat index of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or above, as determined by the National Weather Service, or if it is 31 degrees or below, animals must be provided with a weatherproof, enclosed shelter.
The ordinance, with the amendment, was also passed unanimously, to the applause of Animal Care and Control volunteers and everyone in attendance of the meeting.
The Commission unanimously appropriated funding for the emergency repair of a failing culvert at Woodridge Place, near Mt. Juliet Middle School. A resolution declaring the emergency repair was also passed.
According to Andy Barlow, deputy public works director, crews will be out on Jan. 15 to begin repairs, when schools are closed for Martin Luther King Day, weather permitting.
Two resolutions were passed approving agreements between the city and Tennessee Department of Transportation for the widening a two Mt. Juliet roads: Lebanon Road from Park Glen Drive to Golden Bear Gateway and South Mt. Juliet Road from Central Pike to Providence Way.
While the resolutions were passed, construction is not set to begin for years due to all of the planning and meetings involved in projects of this size.
The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners hold regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Public hearings start at 6:15 p.m. and the meeting will follow at 6:30.