Over the last two months, Mt. Juliet has seen its challenges. First, a tornado impacted our town on so many levels. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, students displaced, emergency services stretched in ways we hope to never see again. This setback, followed by the COVID-19 threat a short time later, both had profound effects on our community that no one could have ever imagined.
It’s not all bad news. The threat from COVID-19 has been less than first predicted by some. The community has rallied around the ones impacted directly by the tornados. I believe that very soon, the same community will rally to support our local businesses who have been so affected by the economic downturn.
Hundreds of volunteers helped with the cleanup effort
Tornado cleanup is in full swing. We have entered into agreements with DRC Emergency Services for debris removal from the right of way, as well as Thompson Consulting Services for monitoring DRC to meet FEMA regulations. It has taken several weeks to navigate the state bid and FEMA requirements to get the process started. The cleanup is expected to take between 30 to 40 days to complete.
Electronic Board Meeting
Mt. Juliet made history on April 13th with our first-ever meeting using video conferencing. This option is not usually allowed, but part of the governor’s executive order enables city governments to meet using conference tools and adhere to the safer at home orders.
March Virtual Town Hall
On March 24th, with the help of co-host Jackson Gallagher, we hosted our fourth virtual town hall. We fielded several questions, and the video has been watched several hundred times. Due to the safer at home order, Jackson attended the town hall using video conferencing.
One of our goals is to provide inclusive engagement by offering a variety of ways for the public to participate. The purpose of the virtual town hall meeting is to give residents another way to interact and engage who might not have an opportunity or preference to do so otherwise.
Click here for information on our next virtual town hall to be held on April 28th.
Click here to view the March town hall.
On Monday, April 27th, the Board of Commissioners will meet to start budget discussions. Hard copies of the budget books have been delivered to the board members to review in advance of the meeting. The budget is the biggest and most important thing the commission is responsible for each year. I do not want to see a repeat of last year's budget, which despite my efforts, cut the number of first responders.
Using video conferencing, I have been able to aid several Boy Scouts in earning their Community Citizenship badge. Part of the requirement is to interview an elected official, so we have put this stay at home time to good use.
Updates for the Public Works Director.
- Town Center Trail – Construction is underway. The estimated completion date is May 30th, 2020.
- Belinda Parkway Sidewalks – Construction is underway. We expect construction to be completed in May of 2020.
- Elzie Patton Safe Routes to School sidewalk project – Construction is underway. Project expected to be complete in May of 2020.
- Woodridge Place Sidewalks – Construction is underway. Project expected to be finished in May of 2020.
- Lebanon Road Sidewalks, Phase 1 –Construction to start in May and be completed by the end of January 2021. This project is 200k over budget before starting.
- Juliet Road Bridge Widening over I-40 - We are in the process of acquiring ROW (right of way) and easements from affected property owners. We have eight tracts to acquire ROW/easements from. We’ve closed on 5 of the tracts and have three remaining tracts to close. We expect TDOT to bid the project in the fall of 2020 and construction to be completed by December of 2021.
- Cedar Creek Greenway – Fisher Arnold is still working with TDOT to get construction plans and documents approved. We have acquired all necessary easements from the property owners to construct and maintain the future greenway. Construction expected to start in the summer of 2020 and to be completed in the summer of 2021.
Grant projects in design:
- Lebanon Road Widening from Park Glen to Golden Bear - Volkert has completed, and TDOT has recently approved and signed the Transportation Report. Volkert is currently working on the preliminary design, environmental documents (NEPA), and geotechnical exploration. Geotechnical and design work is progressing. It is too early to define a construction timeline for this project.
- Mt Juliet Road widening – We are working with TDOT to make a few minor adjustments to the transportation report before TDOT will approve and sign. While the transportation report is being finalized, Ragan-Smith is proceeding with the preliminary design and NEPA process. It is too early to define a construction timeline for this project.
- ITS and Signal Improvements Project - Kimley-Horn is in the preliminary engineering phase of this project. They recently completed the Systems Engineering Analysis (SEA) and have submitted it to TDOT for approval. It is too early to define a construction timeline for this project.
- Lebanon Road Sidewalks, Phase 2 – Wiser has begun environmental and preliminary engineering work. Construction is estimated to start in the Spring of 2021.
- Old Lebanon Dirt Road Widening/Realignment – WSP has finalized the alignment and profile of the roadway. They are currently working on finalizing ROW and easement plans, grading/drainage, and driveway tie-ins. The next step is to coordinate with utilities. It is too early to define a construction timeline for this project. There will be a lot of property acquisition and utility relocations for this project, which can vary the timeline greatly.
- Golden Bear Gateway Widening from Cedar Creek Bridge to Palermo Dr./Curd Rd. - Gresham Smith and Partners (GSP) is currently in the preliminary design phases of this project and has finalized the layout. We recently met utility owners to discuss impacts and relocations. Also, we are coordinating with Wilson County Schools on impacts on their driveway and parking lot. It is too early to define a construction timeline for this project.
- Providence Parkway Traffic Signal –Ragan-Smith is finalizing the design of the signal and developing ROW plans. We will be acquiring ROW from Kroger soon. Also, we have begun utility coordination. We expect construction to begin in the winter of 2020.
Greenhill Road Roundabout - Ragan-Smith is proceeding with the final design of this project. A sidewalk/multi-use path connection from the Town Center Trail to Willoughby Station and Mt. Vernon Subdivision. Ragan-Smith has begun with the additional survey work and design for the sidewalk/multi-use plans. We expect construction to start in the spring of 2021 and construction to be completed by the spring of 2022.
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Thank you for your prayers and support!