By:  Bonnie Davis Guy

The January city council meeting came to order with Mayor Kevin Parsons, Vice Mayor Jerry Jordan and all aldermen in attendance. City Recorder Sheila Shaw, City Attorney Steve McEwen and several city department heads were also in attendance.  The council moved directly to the consent calendar as no public hearings were scheduled.  Unanimous approval via roll call of both last month’s minutes and the second and final reading of budget amendment ordinances Number 1524- Number 1527.
Each council member was then given the opportunity to express any concerns or comments. Vice Mayor Jordan stated he felt the changing over of the cross-walk signals to LED and repairing those that had been broken was a very positive improvement. Jordan also mentioned he had received several complaints about the Christmas tree debris. Mayor Parsons responded saying the city would work with the Christmas tree plant allowing them to haul the leftovers and burn it at the city’s burn site.
Alderman Kenny Icenhour then brought up the ongoing issue of the Ralph Stout Park tunnel graffiti problem as well as graffiti already appearing along the newly opened Goose Creek Trail. The council agreed that police presence will be increased, lights will be installed, and when caught an example will be made of the persons defacing city property. In the meantime, city employees will paint over the graffiti each day at the early morning park check.
Alderman Bud Crosswhite brought up that he had received several questions regarding the guardrails on the new bridge. Mayor Parsons answered that he too had received complaints and was considering the situation. Parsons stated that although the guardrails are exactly to Tennessee Department of Transportation standards, inquiries are being made about the possibility of moving the rails closer to the bridge edge, making the lanes slightly wider.
Alderman Bob Morrison asked the mayor to assign a date for a formal dedication for the new bridge so it can be scheduled and advertised. They agreed the date would be set as soon as the weather permits an outdoor event.
City recorder Sheila Shaw told the council that a new water plant operator has been hired and will begin immediately. She also shared that the state had approved the time extension on the Goose Creek Trail project to April 1, 2017.
Attorney McEwen confirmed that the easement contract with the First Baptist Church was nearly ready to record. He further stated that the contracts needed for the Dry Run Utility were nearing completion.

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