News Ticker

Windtree Pines moves forward

The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners approved Windtree Pines on second reading, as well as $300,000 to local sport leagues Monday night.
Windtree Pines is the over 400 home development that is to go where the Windtree Golf Course used to be. The development has had issues to address over the last couple of months including building a sewer pump station because of the stress on the existing pump stations in the area.
The project was approved with Commissioner Scott Hefner voting against it. He didn’t think the developer was contributing enough money to the pump station project, and passing it off to the builders because part of the money would come on a per lot fee. Hefner proposed $300,000 maintenance funding that was going to be used for the existing stations in the coming years, lifting a requirement on a restroom facility at a frisbee golf area in the development which was to cost $300,000, and donating of parts from existing pump stations that would also total $300,000. The cost of the pump station is estimated to be $1.6 million.
“$900,000 is a good chunk of change,” said Hefner.
The rest of the money is to come from a $1500 per lot fee into an independent escrow account. There is also $2000 per lot for area improvements. That $3500 fee was amended into the ordinance, and was approved by the board with Hefner voting against it.
Before the meeting, the developers agreed to make some changes to lots along Cedar Creek to keep flooding from happening in the area.
The ordinance as amended was approved by the same numbers.
The board also approved $300,000 to local sports leagues for improvements to their parks. The original ordinance was to give $100,000 to Mt Juliet League to help with their flooding cleanup. It was sponsored by Hefner.
“This couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” said Hefner. “It’s time for the city to give back.”
Earlier in the meeting, Vice Mayor Ray Justice applauded the effort of the community for coming out to help clean up the fields.
The season has been put on pause until everything can be cleaned and repaired.
“It reassures me I’m raising my kids in the best place I can raise them,” said Justice.
Before the vote, Parks Director Rocky Lee said that there was going to be a surprise donation to local sports leagues from the Hotel/Motel budget in the amount of $300,000 in the near future.
Lee recommended they do it now and give $100,000 to Mt. Juliet League, Mt. Juliet Youth Football and Cheer and Wilson United Soccer League.
The amendment to the ordinance to make it $300,000 was approved unanimously as well as the resolution.
The Board of Commissioners also approved the annexation of a property on Central Pike that will be the future home of WEMA Station No. 10. Justice was against the annexation.
“The reason for the annexation is for the sewer, don’t convolute it,” said Justice.
Justice said he didn’t see any benefit bringing the parcel into the city limits. He was the lone vote against it, as it was approved 4-1.
An ordinance to amend the Commercial General zoning to prohibit automotive related businesses that are adjacent to residential lots failed.
Justice has been attempting to clean up the Lebanon Road corridor because of the large number of automotive businesses. He wanted to attract a variety of businesses.
“I believe this eliminates competition,” said Commissioner Jennifer Milele. “I just can’t support it.”
Other commissioners like Bill Trivett echoed that the area is improving with new development, it will just take some time. In the end, Justice didn’t support this approach as well and it failed unanimously.
The Board of Commissioners also approved a reduction in the food to alcohol ratio that has been used since liquor by the drink started in Mt. Juliet.
Restaurants had to earn $5 for food for every $1 spent on alcohol.
The effort was brought up to get more in line with what the State of Tennessee does. It was reduced to 2.5-to-1 ratio as a placeholder, and by second reading the number would be changed to reflect more of what the State of Tennessee does.
It passed 4-1 with Milele voting against it. She wanted a less drastic change.