MT. JULIET -- Mt. Juliet City Commission gave its final OK, 5-0, Monday night to lowering the city’s hotel and motel occupancy tax by 20 percent.
Commissioners approved the second, final reading of an ordinance to lower the tax, which had been 5 percent but, as of July 1, will be 4 percent.
The ordinance, sponsored by Mayor Ed Hagerty, states that Mt. Juliet believes it is good economic policy to reduce taxes to recruit new businesses and that the city is actively recruiting a full-service hotel complete with expo space.
For these reasons, Hagerty’s ordinance stated that the tax should be lowered. The other four commissioners agreed, voting unanimously to lower the tax.
In another final approval of an ordinance on second reading, the commissioners voted unanimously to adopt changes in the city rock-crushing ordinance that will allow developers to move rock from one site they are developing to a second site they also are developing.
The ordinance will require developers to obtain permits and post letters of credit to cover any repairs to roads used in the transfer of rock as well as the restoration of the crushing site.
Plus, the changes will allow rock crushers to be installed 500 feet from the front door of occupied structures, instead of the 1,000-foot buffer zone previously required.
The commissioners also passed, on first reading, an ordinance regulating open fires. The ordinance would allow open fires only with a city permit and under certain conditions.
Recreational fires, for example, are required to be 50 feet from structures and to be no larger than 3 feet across and 2 feet high. The ordinance would not affect barbecue grills or other enclosed fires.
The commissioners also passed a resolution accepting $11,100 from Woodmen of the World to be used to develop Jones Family Park on Mt. Juliet Road. Hagerty requested City Manager Kenny Martin to arrange to recognize the Woodmen for their contribution at a later commission meeting.
In another money matter, the commissioners voted to appropriate $90,000 to upgrade three railroad crossings to allow the city to complete the second phase of the Town Center Trail.
They approved a resolution supporting grant applications which originated with the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC). The grants would fund a sidewalk to Mt. Juliet High School from Stone Hollow Subdivision, and a much-longer pedestrian connector from the planned new Chuck E. Cheese store to Mundy Park along Belinda Parkway.
The city would provide the 20 percent match for the grants if they’re approved. The resolution calls for the city to provide up to $287,928.31 in matching funds for the projects.
The resolution, passed unanimously, also authorizes the mayor to sign the grant proposals.
Hagerty also signed and presented proclamations recognizing the Mt. Juliet Middle School Golden Bears baseball team and new Eagle Scouts Tyler Stanfield and Robert Smith.
The baseball team, coached by Rick Johnson, won the Tennessee State Middle School Championship for the first time in the school’s history.
District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice, who presented the team, also pointed out that 18 of the 26 members of the team had started playing baseball on one of the Mt. Juliet Little League teams.
The proclamation declared Tuesday, May 14, as Mt. Juliet Middle School Baseball Team Day in the city.
Similar proclamations honor the new Eagles: Monday, May 12, was declared Eagle Tyler Stanfield Day and Monday, May 19, will be Eagle Robert Smith Day.
Finally, in two rezoning approvals on second reading, the commissioners gave their final nod to:
Rezoning 2.4 acres owned by Cecil Smith on the southwest corner of Lebanon and Curd Roads from residential single-family (RS-20) to commercial retail center (CRC).
Annexing and rezoning .72 acres owned by Glen Holmgren at 111 Medearis Drive from Wilson County R-1 to Mt. Juliet single-family (RS-40).
A third rezoning request was deferred until the commissioners’ next meeting on June 9 to reclassify 2.98 acres owned by Ruby and Agnes Garrett at 2665 North Mt. Juliet Road from residential single-family (RS-40) to commercial retail center (CRC).
The commission will not meet again in May on the fourth Monday of the month, as it is usually scheduled to do, because that Monday, May 26, will be Memorial Day.
Correspondent Connie Esh may be contacted at email@example.com.