Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

City buying new site for Water Dept.

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The City of Lebanon is planning to spend $1.7 million on approximately 39.9 acres on Carver Lane to relocate its Water/Wastewater Department and to provide extra storage space for the Public Works Department.

The purchase is being fast-tracked, as the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance approving it on first reading at Tuesday night's regular meeting, and it was scheduled for second reading at a special-called meeting on Thursday night.

The site in question, known as the Floyd and Baxter properties, is located at 200 and 204 Carver Lane.

200 Carver Lane consists of about 38.5 acres and has a 25,000-square-foot warehouse building and a 10,500-square-foot equipment shed. The property at 204 Carver Lane is only .4 acres, but it has a 1,200-square-foot house on it.

Funds from loan, savings

The money to buy the property would come from two sources - $1.1 million from a loan previously approved to build a new water/wastewater facility, and $600,000 from the Lebanon Water/Wastewater Department's fund balance.

Located northwest of Baddour Parkway's intersection with West Main, the property is due north of First Tennessee Bank and north of the railroad tracks.

The former winter quarters of the Cumberland Valley Shows carnival, the property has also served as trucking company offices and the home of a Fire Pit Art firm.

In February, it also was the emergency shelter where over 60 dogs and cats were brought following a New Leash on Life rescue of the animals from a site in Morristown.

City going solar

In other action connected to the Water/Wastewater Department, the City Council voted unanimously to approve on first reading a plan to have Energy Source Partners (ESP) design, build and operate a one-megawatt solar power system at the Wastewater Treatment Plant on North Hartmann Drive.

ESP would build and maintain the system at no cost to the city, and contract with TVA to purchase the entire output. For the first 71⁄2 years, the city would get 10 percent of the revenue, and ESP would get 90 percent.

After that, for the rest of the 20-year contract, the city would receive 80 percent and ESP would receive 20 percent.ESP estimated that the city's share of the revenue would be about $2,000 to $2,500 per month for the first 71⁄2 years, and then between $20,000 and $25,000 per month for the last 121⁄2 years.

At the end of the contract, the city could choose to buy out ESP, have ESP remove the equipment, or extend the contract.

Greenlawn going historic

The City Council also voted by a five-person majority, with Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath choosing to pass, to approve the second reading of an ordinance designating a Local Historic District along Greenlawn Drive.

Only two residents spoke to the council about the proposal - one in favor and one against.

Resident John Dumore, a local country singer who performs under the name Johnny Counterfit, protested the new district, saying it would interfere with his property rights.

Dumore told the council that he should have the right to make decisions about what he does to his own home. "Let this be my decision, not someone casting his eyes on my property," he said.

He also suggested that if someone doesn't like how he deals with his property, the free market could solve the problem - the person could buy his house.

On the other hand, Greenlawn resident Pamela Burdine spoke in favor of the ordinance, saying she thinks it would increase property values.

'Fareless Friday' announced

Mayor Philip Craighead told the City Council about plans for "fareless Friday" the day after Thanksgiving, when the Music City Star will not charge any fees to ride the train either to Nashville or to Lebanon.

The city will be offering free bus rides to the Outlet Mall and free trolley rides to The Mill to shop. The train will be stopping one block from the Square so people can shop there, the mayor said.

There will be special activities for children at The Mill, Santa Claus will be on the Square, and the Old Capitol Theater will be showing the Christmas movie "Elf" free at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.

Zoning code being revised

The City Council also voted unanimously to approve on first reading a comprehensive update of the Lebanon Zoning Code. Planning Director Paul Corder said all this update is intended to do is "to update from language used in the 1968 version of the code, and delete outmoded zoning classes."

Corder said he plans to continue to work with the Planning Commission and the City Council to address changes and revisions that may be needed in specific areas of the code.

The council also approved two ordinances on first reading to amend the city paving contract with LoJac to add several streets which the city Engineering Department has identified as needing new paving.

The council likewise approved the first reading of renewing Cigna/Health Spring Insurance for city retirees and their spouses with some changes in the benefits. The new plan would eliminate vision benefits and require a higher copay for prescriptions.

Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at

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City buying new site for Water Dept., city council, City of Lebanon, Greenlawn drive, historic, solar, water department, zoning code
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