Despite severe winter weather which kept two councilors from attending the Lebanon City Council meeting Tuesday evening, the remaining four who were present voted unanimously to approve all the items on the agenda, including the first reading of an ordinance "dropped in" to the agenda to approve sidewalk repairs on the northwest corner of the square.
Mayor Philip Craighead said he considered postponing the meeting, but he said that since city employees had been asked to come in to City Hall and work Tuesday despite the slick roads, he felt obligated to go ahead and hold the council's regular meeting, too.
Craighead and all the councilors present praised the city employees - especially those in emergency services - for their response to the storm.
The meeting didn't last more than 20 minutes, but the councilors got a lot done. Present were Councilors Tick Bryan, Bernie Ash, Rob Cesternino and Fred Burton, while both Lanny Jewell and Kathy Warmath were snowed/iced-in at their homes.
'Waste to energy' project
The council approved, on first reading, an ordinance to authorize an engineering and construction agreement with PHG Energy Management Services for a "waste to energy" project, which will gasify organic wastes to convert them to fuel.
The organic wastes will be sewage solids, but Public Works Commissioner Jeff Baines assured Ward 2 Councilor Burton that the plant will not create any odors.
The process is self-contained, Baines explained in response to Burton's concerns.
In a related action, the council also approved a resolution allowing the city to issue $3.5 million in Water and Sewer Revenue (WSR) and Tax Qualified Energy Conservation (TQEC) bonds to pay for the "waste to energy" project.
Also approved was a resolution requested by Purchasing Agent Lisa Lane allowing various city departments to sell or scrap surplus items, which will initially be offered for bids online at govdeals.com next month.
If the surplus items don't sell on the website, a silent auction will be arranged, Baines told the council.
Approved on second reading was an ordinance rezoning property owned by Zack Craighead at 96 Franklin Road in Ward 3 from RD-9, medium density, to RM-6, high-density multi-family residential.
In other rezoning action in the same ward, approved on first reading was an ordinance changing 4.87 acres at 2541 Old Murfreesboro Road owned by Young's Rental from RR, rural residential, to IP, industrial/business park.
Likewise, the council unanimously OKed a certificate of compliance for a retail package store at 1123 N. Castle Heights Ave. to be operated by SanJay Patel under the name Castle Heights Wine & Spirits.
In yet another first reading, the council approved paying the city's share ($5,000) of the cost to replace the rotating beacon at the Lebanon Airport. A Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Aeronautic Division Grant will pay the other $95,000 to install the new beacon.
The ordinances approved on first reading Tuesday evening were scheduled for a second reading after press time at a special called meeting on Thursday evening, moving them along to be put into effect the same week they were proposed.
Writer Connie Esh can be contacted at email@example.com.