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Trial of the trail at MJ commission

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MT. JULIET -- Mt. Juliet City Commission approved $110,000 for the survey and design phase of the final section of the Town Center Trail Monday, Dec. 9 -- but not without some serious questions about the total cost and value to the city of the project.

The first section of the trail, which is already complete, has on occasion been called the sidewalk to nowhere, since sections two and three are incomplete.

Public Works Director Marlin Keel pointed out that recently, funds from grants had become available to finish the project. Now the city needed to add its 20 percent match, of which Monday night’s $110,000 was part.

“When it’s finished, it will in effect be a little over 2 miles of linear park,” Keel added. The trail, which will be 10 feet wide in its two sections that remain to be built, will accommodate both bicycle and pedestrian traffic. It will start at South Greenhill Road and end at the Music City Star train station.

District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice pointed out that the entire project would cost about $2 million and chose to vote no to the appropriation, but the other four commissioners voted yes and the funding was approved.

In other action, an agreement between the city and WEMA concerning call response planning was deferred until January after the commissioners explained what needed to change in the resolution before they would vote on it.

The resolution was changed to an ordinance. District 2 Commissioner James Maness asked that the ordinance include a requirement that a previous resolution by the county be rescinded before this one was accepted. The earlier county resolution stated that WEMA would not expand its coverage in Mt. Juliet and that when Mt. Juliet created its own fire department, WEMA would cease to have a presence in town.

Fire Chief Erron Kinney agreed to rework the ordinance and represent it at the next commission meeting, which will take place Jan. 13 since the regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 23 has been canceled for the holidays.

The commission also voted to approve on first reading:
* Zone changes needed to create the Nichols Vale Planned Urban Development, which will include 324 single-family homes and 56 townhomes off US 70 on Mt. Juliet’s north side.

* An amendment to the Mt. Juliet Commons development plan to lower the number of townhomes and add single-family homes instead.

* Annexation of 2.48 acres and zone changes to allow the construction of a “memory center” that would serve Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. The property adjoins the existing Carrick Glen Senior Living Facility on Northwest Rutland Road.

* An agreement with the State of Tennessee to design and install additional lighting at the intersection of I-40 and Mt. Juliet Road.

* The city also recognized Josh Lo as employee of the month, pointing out that he not only does his work well, but regularly volunteers to help with charitable projects such as Relay for Life.

Connie Esh may be contacted at

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