Today is Sunday, July 23, 2017

City sets road paving

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Chuck Boyett, city engineer, said the two paving and striping projects would cost $91,960 to complete. South Castle Heights Avenue and Winwood Drive had significant work done in 2010, and with the work complete, the city is able to smooth those stretches of road. “We did a waterline upgrade on those three areas and we didn’t have the funds at the time to complete the paving,” Boyett said Wednesday.

The third area the city is looking to add to the list is the Oak Hill Drive subdivision, which also had waterline repair work done beneath the street last year. Boyett said during Tuesday afternoon’s work session they’ll look into adding it to the list on Wednesday.

Jeff Baines, commissioner of Public Works, said Tuesday afternoon the city had $300,000 set aside in the current budget for paving, which they hadn’t had in previous years due to the lack of funds.

The Castle Heights Avenue work would cost $15,420 while the Winwood Drive repaving would cost $76,540. Boyett said the construction company that repaired the waterlines still has to do some finish work before the city can begin paving the streets.

The city is under contract with LoJac to complete the paving projects, which will also include striping on Coles Ferry Pike, specifically on the curve in front of the Lebanon Country Club. Boyett said that striping project would cost about $6,500 for a total of $98,460.

“I’m hoping that within a month we can get this done,” Boyett said about the paving.

Also during the work session, Boyett informed the council of federal funds that would allow them to repave and stripe South Hartmann Drive from Interstate 40 to West Main Street, as well as put up street lights on the same stretch.

While the city would have to spend the money up front, Boyett pointed out the money is reimbursable and the city will get back 100 percent of their costs for the project. The total amounts to $770,000 and the paving would take at least three years to get underway. The lighting however, Boyett said could begin to go up within the year.

Boyett said there are a number of hoops they have to jump through and requirements that make the process very tedious to receive the federal reimbursement money, which is why paving can’t begin for some time.

“You have to play by their rules. We don’t like them any more than you do,” Boyett told the council members. Several members of the council agreed to do the project, especially the lighting portion, as long as it was done quickly. Boyett did point out they can’t begin work until July 1 when the next fiscal year begins.

“I’ll agree to this as long as you expedite the lighting,” Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler said.

While the council was on the topic of paving and street work during the work session, Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Huddleston and Buhler were concerned about the new schools being built on South Hartmann Drive and Leeville Pike and what the city would do about sidewalks in those areas.

Winfree-Bryant Middle School, located on Leeville Pike, and the new Lebanon High School on South Hartmann Drive, have no plans for sidewalks along those streets. However, Will Hagar, Lebanon planning director, pointed out the schools don’t have much street frontage for sidewalks and avoid the requirement as a result.

He said Lebanon High School does have a plan for a sidewalk along Blue Devil Drive, the access street from South Hartmann Drive onto the school campus. For various reasons, Hagar said a bike lane was included along the access to Winfree-Bryant instead of a sidewalk.

“Go ahead and see what it’s going to cost to get it done because we’re going to have to do it,” Huddleston said about putting sidewalks along Leeville Pike and South Hartmann Drive.

He said the sidewalks should be finished before the schools open for the 2012 school year. Buhler also noted a crossing guard and crosswalks would be needed as well to keep children safe if they were walking to school.

During the council’s regular scheduled meeting Tuesday night, the focus was flooding and storm water run-off, which has factored into several council decisions since the May 2010 floods.

The council defeated an ordinance to change the zoning of 17.45 acres on the southeast corner of Hickory Ridge Road and South Hartmann Drive from agriculture to highway business.

During the council’s Jan. 18 meeting, the same ordinance was deferred due to flooding concerns, and Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said he would not put the ordinance back on the agenda until all council members were present.

With all members present, they expressed concern about what the rezoning and possible development of the land could mean to homeowners on the other side of Barton’s Creek.

“I don’t see how in the world they’re going to keep from putting more water in the creek,” Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry said.

Barry visited the site after a recent heavy rain and said he reconsidered his vote from the last time the ordinance was on the agenda. Barry previously voted in favor of the rezoning, but after seeing a large pond of water on the property after the rain, he decided to change.

Members of the council were worried about developers filling in the land to raise its elevation, causing serious run-off that could flood homes across Barton’s Creek. Craighead pointed out the land that would be developed is along the road and won’t affect those homes.

“The part that they have the approval to fill, it won’t affect those people,” Craighead said.

Baines said a developer cannot fill in the entire tract of land, and during the Jan. 18 meeting pointed out that parts of the property in the floodplain can’t be changed due to federal regulations.

Buhler and Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath said no one can guarantee the homes won’t be flooded as a result of development and it wasn’t a risk they were willing to take.

The ordinance failed 4-2 with only Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino and Ward 4 Councilor Joe Hayes voting yes. Craighead expressed his disappointment with the decision, saying “I still feel like you’re doing an injustice there.”

The council unanimously approved three ordinances related to Hamilton Springs, Middle Tennessee’s first transit-oriented development that would be centered on the Music City Star route in Lebanon.

The 221 acres of land owned by Jack Bell was rezoned to the Hamilton Springs Specific Plan and 60 acres were annexed into the city limits along Old Horn Springs Road and the Nashville & Eastern Railroad and a Plan of Services was also approved for the property.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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