Mt. Juliet discusses major future roadway projects
Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners met on Monday night with a hefty agenda of proposed items regarding major road project resolutions, some of which were in relation to recent state government proposals concerning local and county tax programs that could assist in funding the construction and upkeep of roadways in Wilson County and Mt. Juliet if passed.
The meeting began with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance by Teresa Snyder of Children’s Ministry Friendship Community Church.
Mayor Ed Hagerty opened the floor for Snyder to educate the audience of the future church’s new location.
Snyder informed listeners of the church’s new upcoming location which has been meeting in the Elzie D. Patton Elementary school building for the past ten years.
“We have purchased the old Shiloh Plaza location and are scheduled to begin construction, slated to open the facility in August,” said Snyder.
The Commission Board began with the proposed beginning agenda items, quickly moving on to the highly discussed road projects and proposal resolutions that were of talk since last Thursday when a town hall meeting was called regarding local taxes.
Governor Haslam spoke at the town hall meeting that State Rep. Susan Lynn held last Thursday at the Wilson County Courthouse in regards to upcoming proposals from state government that, if passed, could help largely with road construction and additions in Wilson County.
Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners decided to get ahead of the game, regarding the recent project ideas proposed by state leadership, and propose resolutions for some of the city’s roadways. Resolutions included major Mt. Juliet roadway sections widened, roundabouts, and a possible interchange at Central Pike and Interstate 40.
A resolution was passed approving the proposal of an agreement between the City of Mt. Juliet and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for the widening of Mt. Juliet Road over Interstate 40 to be submitted for approval by the state and TDOT.
In addition to the positive recommended resolutions for local and major roadway construction projects, a resolution supporting the construction of an Interstate 40 interchange at Central Pike and current & future city funding towards the completion of the interchange and subsequent interstate connector roadways was discussed between commissioners.
Commissioner Brian Abston remained in disagreement regarding the use of the funds, not wanting to vote for the resolution until further studied.
The resolution was passed by the board in parallel with a proposed bill submitted by State Representative Holt.
“Governor Haslam has a proposal out that most likely will not fly, but State Representative Holt has a proposal that is likely to pass which would give us a leg up on 9 roadway projects that are on this agenda for the upcoming proposals for these state roads,” said Mt. Juliet Mayor, Ed Hagerty.
Commissioner Ray Justice got in a heated discussion with Mayor Ed Hagerty causing several of the commissioners to walk off stage during the meeting in disagreement to gather their thoughts.
As Hagerty came back to the microphone he gave Justice the floor to speak.
Justice stated, “I have nothing to say.” therefore leaving the commission to vote on the agenda topic.
A resolution approving an agreement between the City of Mt. Juliet and Ragan-Smith Associates (RSA) for professional design and construction oversight services for roundabouts at the intersections of S. Greenhill Road & Willoughby Station and the area of Providence Parkway & Providence Commons/Marketplace was passed in positive recommendation from city commissioners.
Barlow went on to state that projects regarding the Tuscan Gardens subdivision roadways and pedestrian walkways would be considered as well as a possible southern entrance to the subdivision. The 3-way intersection at Curd Road and Woodridge Place was a concern to local residents as the city population continues to grow and more traffic is generated in the area with the current routes.
Andy Barlow was involved in an uneasy exchange of words between Commissioner Ray Justice and himself. The two argued to disagree with one another regarding whether Golden Bear Gateway was in city or county jurisdiction.
“The roadway is in the county’s jurisdiction,” said Justice.
Barlow answered back, “No, it’s from my understanding and written under city guidelines that the road is part of city zoning.”
“It is county zoning because police officers are not able to write tickets on that part of the road,” replied Justice.
Barlow and Justice continued to exchange words in regards to the zoning of the location being discussed concluding that the area is in fact part of the city zoning jurisdiction. Concluding the fact, the board continued discussing the topics of funding use towards the North Mt. Juliet roadway and neighborhoods involved.
City Engineer, Andy Barlow, commented on the project proposal, “We have some money left over from the Eastern Connector project. Depending on the outcome of collecting the funds and timing, certain projects will be considered,” said Barlow. “Personally, I’d like to see an extra turning lane in front of Mt. Juliet High School and minor construction to improve the slightly dangerous curve next to the high school entrance.
Along with the roadways and intersections concerning the area near Mt. Juliet High School, a resolution was discussed for the possible design services of Gresham Smith, by the agreement of the City of Mt. Juliet, for the widening of Golden Bear Gateway from South of Cedar Creek to Lebanon Road.
The board voted unanimously on the recommendation due to future concerns of traffic congestion once the new Eastern Connector is opened, which is currently scheduled for this July as confirmed by City Engineer, Andy Barlow.
Next was a budget ordinance appropriating funds for the repair of the exterior of City Hall building on North Mt. Juliet Road to not exceed the amount of $530,000.00 in renovation. Over half a million dollars in repairs to the building would consist in restructuring the outside of the building in the same materials that currently constructs the establishment.
Commissioner Justice stated that he had requested the bids twice concerning the City Hall building remodel project and had still not received the bids as of the meeting.
The meeting was concluded with the resolution passed by the board of commissioners leading to an adjournment until the next meeting scheduled for Monday, February 27.