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I want to say a special thanks to the Del Webb Lake Providence Men’s Club for the invitation to speak.
We reached a major milestone in February. The transportation plan passed! Work on the plan started as part of the 2015/2016 budget. I plan to waste no time in pushing the needed improvements the plan outlines. This plan is a key component to justify additional impact fees for new development. (See January Newsletter) This plan is the first step in overhauling our entire process with new development. Otherwise, we will never catch up on infrastructure as a city.
While the transportation plan was a success, two other items I sponsored failed to gain the needed support even to be discussed at the board meetings. Both items dealt with government transparency.
The first banned the use of private email while conducting city business. Every member of the Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission, and city staff have city emails. Anyone doing business on behalf of the city must use their city-issued accounts to conduct business. This ensures there is a record of the communication and that the information is available to citizens in the event of public records requests. This is a simple policy change that costs the taxpayers nothing to implement.
The second was a change to our ethics ordinance. Currently, if someone wishes to file an ethics complaint, they only have a 30-day window to file the complaint. My legislation would have expanded the time frame to one year. We must give the citizens the tools they need to hold their elected officials and the city accountable.
Channel 4 caught up with me to ask about my struggles to pass open records laws. To see the full story click here
My final piece of legislation for the month was to instruct the City Manager to begin the process to obtain a portion of the old Windtree Trace golf course for parkland. Using the recommended numbers that PARTAS (Parks and Recreation Technical Advisory Service) who works in conjunction with TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation) and TRPA (Tennessee Recreation & Parks Association) recommend Mt. Juliet is very underserved. The resolution was presented and approved by the Parks Board before going before the Board of Commissioners. At the Board of Commissioners, three other pieces of land were added to the resolution. The resolution also calls for the Parks Board to formulate five and ten-year plans for the property. It is very doubtful all four parcels can be obtained, but it is promising to know the city had $2.8 million in reserve dedicated to parks capital projects.
Tuesday is Election Day!
On the ballot -
County Republican Primary -
Circuit Court Judge
General Session Judge
Wilson County Property Assessor
A referendum to Increase Sales Tax from 9.25% to 9.75%.
Wilson County voters will decide whether to raise the county's sales tax by a half-cent in March. The county has designated their portion for classroom teacher pay. For full disclosure, my wife is a teacher, and I will gladly help her spend her portion of the raise if the initiative passes.
I have also been asked what I would like to see happen with the city’s portion of the sales tax if the referendum passes, so I put together a top ten list:
1 - Roads
2 - Roads
3 - Roads
4 - Roads
5 - Roads
6 - Roads
7 - Roads
8 - Roads
9 - Roads
10 - Roads
Virtual Town Hall
On February 4th, with the help of co-host Gerard Bullock, we hosted our third virtual town hall. We fielded several questions, and the video has been watched several hundred times.
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 March 24th.
If you missed our February town hall, the recording is now online. Click here
The Mt. Juliet High School FFA Chapter did an excellent presentation on the Emerald Ash Borer.
Special thanks to the Chandler Pointe neighborhood for asking me to speak at their annual meeting.
Walk Across Wilson
I was honored to help kick off Walk Across Wilson by walking during the kickoff of the event.
I was able to ride with first, second, and third shifts. With every ride-along, I learn something new and leave with a newfound respect for the men and women who do so much to keep us safe.
Public Work Director Transportation Update
Town Center Trail – Construction is underway. The estimated completion date is April 30th, 2020.
Mt. Juliet Road Bridge Widening over I-40 - We are in the process of acquiring ROW and easements from affected property owners. We have eight tracts from which to acquire right-of-way (ROW)/easements. We’ve closed on 4 of the tracts and have four remaining tracts to close. We expect the Tennessee Department of Transporation (TDOT) to bid on the project in May of 2020 and construction to be completed by December of 2021.
Lebanon Road Sidewalks, Phase 1 – We just received the Notice to Proceed with construction and are advertising the bid this week. Bid Opening is scheduled for March 17th. Construction should start in May and be completed by the end of January 2021.
Belinda Parkway Sidewalks – Construction is underway. We expect construction to be completed in April of 2020.
Cedar Creek Greenway – Fisher Arnold is still working on the final design and 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. We expect construction to start in the summer of 2020 and construction to be completed in the summer of 2021.
Lebanon Road Widening from Park Glen to Golden Bear- Volkert has completed the Transportation Report. TDOT recently approved and signed the Transportation Report. Volkert is currently working on the preliminary design, environmental documents for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and geotechnical exploration. 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 approves 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. See below for work performed in previous and coming month:
Work Performed in the previous month
- Technical Report – updated crash data, statistics, analysis, diagrams and submitted to TDOT
- NEPA – Archaeology - Waiting on TDOA to assign a number and boundary for tracking purposes for the archaeology sites
- NEPA – Project Archaeologist is recommending the site is not eligible for the national registry of historic places since the findings are not historically significant
- NEPA – Archaeology report is in production and will be submitted once site number is established
- NEPA – Architecture – Completed Architectural inspection and interview on Oct 16 with property owners to gather additional information on two buildings on Central Pike.
- NEPA – Coordinating with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) regarding ecological responses on Bats/Red Darter and possible Programmatic Biological assessment
- NEPA – Noise – coordination with sub-consultant on noise study
- NEPA – Noise – final model revisions complete and final document submitted for TDOT approval
- Survey – Finalized property line and easement establishment in cadd
- Survey – Finalized Tract numbering and develop acquisition table
- Survey – Develop profile and project utilities into a profile
- Survey – Cleanup of the survey for the final deliverable
- Design – Continued cadd sheet development and prepare status set submittal
- Design – Identify culvert sections and substantially complete with analysis
- Design – hold for resolution of cultural resources
Work Planned in the coming month
- Technical Report – approval
- NEPA – Continue NEPA process - continue Technical studies coordination for Ecology, Cultural Resources, and Air/Noise
- NEPA – Update city on Bats/Red Darter commitments before resubmitting
- NEPA – Update city on Architectural/historic if scope changes
- NEPA – Coordinate with TDOT Archaeology & TDOA and determine if additional subsurface exploration is needed
- NEPA – finalize the architectural, technical study and submit to TDOT for review
- Design – Hold preliminary design and culvert section analysis for profile impacts
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. We recently met with WWUD to discuss waterline impacts. In the coming month, we plan to meet with other utility owners to discuss impacts. 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.
Elzie Patton Safe Routes to Schools Grant– Construction is underway. We expect construction to be completed in May of 2020.
Woodridge Place Sidewalks – Construction is underway. We expect construction to be completed in May of 2020.
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 summer of 2020.
Greenhill Road Roundabout - Ragan-Smith is proceeding with the final design of this project. We recently met with the Willoughby Station HOA to discuss design options and how they will impact their landscaped median at the entrance. The Board of Commissioners (BOC) has approved a budget amendment to add funds to this project for 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.
Central Pike I-40 Interchange – TDOT recently selected an engineering firm to begin the environmental and preliminary engineering design phases of 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 survey and preliminary engineering work. Construction is estimated to begin in the Spring of 2021.
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If I can be of service or help in any way, feel free to reach out to me directly at 615-357-7440.
Thank you for your prayers and support!