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Clarksville, TN – The Clarksville City Council met in its first regular session of the New Year on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014. Not much was going on, as it was again a very light agenda.
There are a couple of items of interest and an update that I will provide.
Sango Road Improvement
The Sango Road improvement is one of the several road intersection pieces I have pushed and fought for in the Exit 11 area since being in the council. It is the last piece that should help make the Sango – Exit 11 intersections as safe as possible.
The traffic lights were another piece I have worked for starting back in 2000 before I got on the council and made repeated attempts to get after being on the council. We now have them. Several years before the traffic lights were installed, I worked another item with our Street Engineers and TDOT to realign the Hwy76/MLK cross-through to Sango Road. If readers/drivers recall, that cross-through did not align with where Sango Road entered 76/MLK.
Fixing the Exit 11/Sango Road intersection has been a loooooong and slooooooow process over the years. We are entering the sixth year of trying to get this last piece/project accomplished. The funding has been there from the start, but as this road connects to a state highway and is using grant money, the state has final say on all aspects of the project. The split is 80%-20% of grant vs. city match.
This project has been so long in trying to finish that the bids to do the job came in higher than what was budgeted for the job years ago. The basics of this project are widening the road from the Exit 11 Park & Ride to Hwy76/MLK. There will be dedicated lanes for left, right and center flow traffic. It will also address the congestion of the entrance and exits of the gas station by the intersection of 76/MLK.
The ordinance to increase the city’s payment to finish this project equated to $40,000. The increase was approved by the council with no dissenting votes.
Readers will recall that at last month’s regular council meeting, the Mayor requested approval for some appointments for the many boards and committees the city has.
Due to missing the required timeline of board/committee nomination submission the mayor needed ¾ approval from the council to even consider the nominations. She did not get that approval last month. I voted “no” on that consideration due to having a concern over one of her nominations. Due to the compressed review period, I had not been able to contact the legal office with my concern.
My concern was validated upon review by the city legal office. The nomination I questioned, and sponsored by Mayor McMillan, was illegal according to the city charter. This by no means casts any illegal intent upon the person being nominated, but the mayor was not enforcing the charter requirement that persons that do business with the city cannot be place upon boards or committees that review or conduct city business.
Since this was a major issue about 12-18 months ago with many people being taken off of boards due to this unobserved requirement, it was surprising to see it ignored again.
This month, the board nominations were on time and a replacement for nomination I questioned had quietly been installed. All nominations were approved.
Madison Street/Hwy 76-MLK Access Road Concept (non-council agenda item)
Readers will recall that after success with traffic lights at Exit 11 and now the project with Sango Road about to happen, I got frisky and cranked-up another road project that I had been pondering with our Street Engineers for a couple of years.
I approached our engineers back in August/September of 2012 with a diagram/concept of access road around the Ruby Tuesday- Sonic area and the same for the other side of Madison. This could be tied into the full road widening that the state was working on Madison through McAdoo Creek Road.
The proposed meeting in December 2012 with the mayor was cancelled and we rescheduled for January 2013. By that time, due to various reasons, the state halted further work on the widening of Madison. I stopped pushing the idea at that point due to the delay and the concept was not presented in January.
Several months later, through TDOT announcements, I found out the road project was back on the table and I contacted them for information. I contacted TDOT directly and was told the project was back on the schedule. They also told me Mayor McMillan had taken my access concept and run to TDOT with it. TDOT told me they liked the idea and would explore it more.
An effort to communicate with Mayor McMillan over questions and information about what had transpired with the concept were met with silence. Thus, to get any information about the project, I now referred back to the TDOT office that is willing to actually communicate with me.
In the last communication that I got before the holidays the access road project was proceeding with cost estimates and looking positive to be included. I’ll keep you posted as I get updates from TDOT.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. I fully expect this to be an interesting and eventful year.
Bill Summers is the City Councilman for Ward 10 in Clarksville, TN.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the City of Clarksville or Clarksville Online.
Web Site: http://www.cityofclarksville.com/
TopicsChristmas, City Council Regular Session, Clarksville City Charter, Clarksville City Council, Clarksville Mayor, Clarksville TN, Exit 11, Highway 76, Hwy 76, Kim McMillan, Madison Street, McAdoo Creek Road, New Year, Ordinance 42, Park and Ride, Sango Road, TDOT, Tennessee Department of Transportation, traffic lights, Ward 10
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