The Clarksville, Tennessee City Council met yesterday in an executive session that was led by Mayor pro tem Barbara Johnson. The meeting covered a variety of topics ranging from flood plain issues, zoning and even touched on eminent domain while not specifically addressing the recent blight declaration controversy. Some agenda items did not generate discussion and these are not covered in this report.
To view the full agenda, please see: The City Council’s agenda page.
First on the agenda was the first reading of Ordinance 68-2007-08 which was to bring the city code into compliance with the new FEMA insurance rate maps. The changes are intended is to allow the city to continue participating in the national flood insurance program which is administrated by FEMA. Many of the changes are already in place in other sections of the city code such as the storm water plan.
There was one zoning change covered this evening. Ordinance 67-2007-08 was a request by Twosome Partners GP to amend property located at the intersection of Tiny Town road and Needmore road from R-1a Single family residential district to O-1 Office-Medical-Institutional-Civic District. The recommendation was to reject the change requested. There were two comments by the public which discussed resident concerns about worsening traffic issues already present on Tiny Town road. Twosome Partners GP did submit a traffic study which suggested that there would be no worsening of traffic issues. Twosome Partners originally requested a R-4 Multiple Family Residential District for an Apartment development, city council members noted that the O-1 zoning would still allow that use.
Would allow the city attorney to use legal means to remedy ongoing code violations, the location of which was not discussed. This is related to code violations which have been outstanding for several years, covering three properties owned by two separate individuals. During the discussion it was mentioned that the individuals in question have ignored several summonses, and that this ordinance would allow the city to take them to a “bigger court.”
The Customs House Museum had several issues before the council relating to repairs to the roof of the city owned facility, and repairs of their HVAC system:
HVAC is an acronym that stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.” HVAC is sometimes referred to as “climate control” and is particularly important in the design of medium to large industrial and office buildings such as sky scrapers and in marine environments such as aquariums, where humidity and temperature must all be closely regulated whilst maintaining safe and healthy conditions within. – The Wikipedia
The measure has been approved and recommended by the finance and Administration Committee. City council members expressed concerns relating to the possibility of using a Trane HVAC system on the museum. They also expressed a distinct lack of desire for doing the job piecemeal.
The costs broken down are approximately: $90k for the roof repairs, $30k for re-insulation of the roof, and $223k for the HVAC system.
This is an urgent issue and one that the city should rapidly approve. The Clarksville Fire Department was already dispatched on at least one occasion relating to the system.
Deals with amending the operating budget for the golf courses to cover additional expenses related to the watering of the courses during last summers extreme heat and drought conditions. Broken down the amounts are $20k for the Swan Lake course and roughly $8k for the Mason Rudolph course. The city golf courses are open to the public used by both private individuals and Austin Peay State University’s golf team.
Amends the operating budget to reflect approximately a $9,750 donation for the Independence Day city fireworks display.
This appoints an interim city attorney which will be Mr. Tim Harvey of the firm Harvey and Silvus. A benefit of this appointment is the fact that if for some reason Mr. Harvey is unavailable, his partner David Silvas would be able to fill in.
The firm has defended the city in several of the racial discrimination lawsuits filed against the Clarksville police department.
Is an amendment to the city fireworks code which would prevent people 16 years old or younger from being able to purchase certain types of fireworks, they would still be able to use fireworks under the supervision of a parent or guardian. This brings the city code into compliance with Tennessee state code.
This is the item on the agenda I was most interested in as it covers eminent domain. The city wishes to bury power lines along Legion street and improve the side walks. They stated that the improvements would be similar to the improvements made on 1st street. This authorizes use of eminent domain to obtain rights of way and or easements, which is “not likely to be used.” Ward 2 Council Member Deanna Mclaughlin commented, “After all, who wouldn’t want buried power and better sidewalks?”
Another eminent domain issue was raised in relation to sewer main improvements in the Hazelwood sewershed. This is another urgent issue and should be a priority for the council as it was behind the recent moratorium on new constructions in the exit 1 area.
Mayor Piper, in reporting to the Committee, said that the Hazelwood lift station, which serves 4500 homes, is overloaded; it’s running at 100% capacity and has overflowed five times in the past year. Now the problem has become an issue with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation – Sewer Problems Plague Hazelwood Area: Moratorium on New Construction.
Fixing the sewershed issues is expected to cost between five and ten million dollars. A substantial portion of this expense is likely to be passed on to the developers responsible for the out of control growth in that area.
The city council were informed of covered board appointments:
- Susan Thomas to the audit committee 01/08-12/08
- Pat Hickey to the Natural Gas Acquisition Board 01/08-12/10,
- Lane Lyle’s appointment to the parking authority was corrected. The term is now set for 01/08-12/10.
- Bryce Powers was reappointed to the Storm Water Board of Appeals from 01/08-10/09
Roxy Regional Theatre
The Roxy Regional Theatre’s new arts center plan was brought up with council members making arrangements for representatives from the regional theater to appear at a future council meeting to show the council a visual walk through of the proposed arts center. The representative from the theatre will likely need longer than the standard five minutes allocated for members of the public to address the council. This item was not on the agenda. The city council has a direct interest in the planned development as they transferred the city parking lot located next to the theatre for $100 to allow for the expansion of the existing theatre.
No public comments were made at the meeting.