Today is Sunday, July 23, 2017

Council defers animal ordinance

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There was mention of Wright possibly rewriting Chapter 1 of that same Title, which concerns all animals. The council voted to defer 5-0, with Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry absent from the meeting.

The topic of large debate at the meeting was the issue of two Hydrology studies that were to be carried out in Ward 6. The disagreement between the councilors was rooted in questions about funding as well as ensuring that these types of studies are carried out in all six wards of the city.

“I’ve got concerns about where we’re going to come up with the money to do the rest of these studies, because they need to be done,” Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Huddleston said.

Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines indicated there is $50,000 in the Public Works budget to account for projects such as these studies and said the two proposed in Ordinances 10-3738 and 10-3739 were bid at $30,000.

This raised concerns from other councilors about where they would get the money to conduct other studies since the necessary amount will cost more than $50,000. Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler said he would rather wait to vote on approving the studies until all the proposed areas have been properly assessed and the total cost of all studies has been figured.

“Let’s see what they would charge us for all areas,” Buhler said. He noted it was smart to include them all, and because of past developments in dangerous areas that are prone to flooding and have natural drainage problems, current residents are at incredible risk.

“If there’s only so much money in there, why didn’t we have a work session?” Huddleston asked, referring to the Public Works’ $50,000. He added, “Let’s sit down and talk about where we get the money for this.”

Baines and City Engineer Chuck Boyett indicated that not all areas of concern required a Hydrology Study to alleviate the risk of flooding, or to fix drainage issues. Some areas’ problems can be solved with regular public work involving improved ditches, culverts and pipes. However, some areas will require more extensive work like the Watershed/Hydrology studies.

“The thing to do would be to have all the numbers in,” Boyett said, before they passed a vote on one study and not the others.

Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath, who proposed the original Watershed/Hydrology studies, said she hopes “one thing doesn’t die for the lack of another.” She said it’s not about one side of town and never has been, but said these studies will help in the long run, despite their costs.

“If it takes $100,000 out of our $7 million then we take it,” Warmath said about conducting studies for all areas that need them.

The council voted to defer the issue to a work session, but the council was also unsure about when the session could take place. Boyett indicated it could be within the next week or two weeks because they still haven’t looked at every ward’s issues.

The council also debated a rezoning issue that they discussed at length in the Sept. 14 work session.

The councilors and the Mayor Philip Craighead disagreed about what they decided in the work session and deferred the ordinance to rezone 17.45 acres of land on Hickory Ridge Road and South Hartmann Drive until it can be brought up with further restrictions.

The debate concerned the possibility of a service station being built there considering part of the land is within the floodplain, which concerned Buhler, Huddleston and Ward 3 Councilor William Farmer. The council said at the work session they wanted to create an ordinance that would restrict what you could put inside the floodplain that would pertain to all zones.

However, Farmer, Buhler and Huddleston didn’t want to approve the rezoning before those restrictions were in place. Craighead said there was no reason to hold the zoning up, but the councilors pointed out if someone begins building and it floods before restrictions are in place, it could pose problems.

The council voted 5-0 to defer the rezoning ordinance until it could be brought back up before the council paired with the ordinance that would add restrictions to the floodplain ordinance of the Lebanon Municipal Code.

Also, Trevor Dean, a 17-year old lifeguard, was bestowed with the highest honor given by the American Red Cross, The Life-Saving Award of Merit for Professional Rescuers, at the council meeting by John Lanier, Health and Safety Services manager for the Nashville chapter of the Red Cross.

Dean is a lifeguard at the Don Fox Community Park wading pool and on July 23 he saved the life of a 2-year- old child who had fallen into 18 inches of water and was unable to swim. Dean pulled the child from the water and administered CPR until the child began to cough up water. Wilson County

Emergency Management Agency then transported the child to the emergency room where he made a full recovery.

“He did exactly what he was trained to do,” Lanier said of Dean. Lanier further commended Dean “for selfless and humane action.”

The councilors all expressed their appreciation and admiration of Dean, who was at the meeting with his parents.  Cindy Baker, aquatics director at the Jimmy Floyd Family Center, was also present with Dean. She is a certified instructor and trained Dean as a lifeguard.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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