|Minutes of the
January 25, 2001 meeting were approved with a motion by Commissioner
Beard and a second by Commissioner Gowen. Motion passed
Commissioner Lindsey presented a retirement award to E.O. (Bozo) Shelton, Jr. whom has served almost 30 years in the Police Department. Commissioner Lindsey stated that we appreciate his service and wished him all good things in his retirement. Mayor Lay congratulated Assistant Police Chief Shelton upon his retirement, and thanked him for his service to the City of Lawrenceburg.
A few weeks ago Mayor Lay asked Commissioner Lindsey and Commissioner Gowen to address an end of the year report on their departments. A summary of Commissioner Lindsey's report is below with complete report attached to official minutes. Commissioner Gowen's report is included in these minutes.
Commissioner Lindsey 's report:
LAWRENCEBURG POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENT
END OF YEAR REPORT FEBRUARY 1, 2001
The purpose of the Lawrenceburg Police and Fire Departments is to protect the lives and property of our citizens. I believe it is because of the dedication and the professionalism of the employees of the Police and Fire Department that we are pleased to say we have had a pretty good year. This report will have some statistics that I will probably leave out because it will take up too much time. I am going to begin with the Police Department. Our Department has an exceptional reputation for cooperation with all legitimate law enforcement agencies local, state and federal. We have been recognized as a leader in the personnel training. Statistically the year 2000 shows that stepped up enforcement in traffic and narcotics have paid off in the drop of property crimes and traffic accidents. More notable are the categories of buglary down 27%; thefts (shoplifting) etc. down 18%, traffic offenses did show an increase of 12%, and traffic accidents were down 7%.
Lawrenceburg Police Department has done an exemplary job of obtaining the maximum benefits to the city through the use of federal grants and has saved the city quite a bit of out of pocket money, while providing maximum service to the citizens of Lawrenceburg. Our Police Department is a leader in the Middle Tennessee area and has earned a reputation for law enforcement effectiveness. The Police Department, the Domestic Violence Program has been a pioneer in the Middle Tennessee Area and stands as a model for other law enforcement agencies much larger than we are. The Police Department has been a driving force in the Southern Middle Tennessee Area for organizing different agencies to combine forces in a successful battle against drugs and is continuing to do so. The Police Department has had an increase in area and of calls partly because of the annexation of the Dunn area. This had increased miles driven by the Police Department by 5,000 miles per month. The traffic enforcement and accident investigation has increased and demanded more use of manpower.
Now I will say something about our very professional fine Fire Department. Sometimes it seems I am boastful and I guess I am. There use to be an old expression that "He that tooteth not his own horn, winds up tootless", so I am going to brag on the Fire Department. In 1999 the Fire Department responded to1,739 calls, that includes fires, rescue medical, hazardous conditions, service calls, like getting the neighbors cat out of a tree. I have a comparison, most people think most of these calls are response to fires, but actually out of the 1739 calls only 103 were actually responding to fires. That means we have other duties, hazardous spills, service calls, response to accidents with injury and things like that. Our calls fell 169 calls in 2000, we only 1570. This year we upgraded the fire hydrant maintenance program. This program is where we added color-coded fire hydrants to indicate the amount of water pressure that flow through it. We began work on a hazardous materials trailer that will be very beneficial to the department in case of a hazardous material incident. The goal is to have it in service by April 1. We have finished training all personnel on hazardous materials, and added two emergency medical technicians and added a second thermal imaging camera. Trained eight members in swift water rescue, added a second automatic defibrillator for heart attack victims. We have seven members trained in confined space rescue. This year we replaced a 1978 International Fire Truck with a new Rescue Pumper. The Fire Department hosted this year a Practical Performance Training Seminar, and it was the first department in the state to host this seminar, and it was responded to very highly. It is my opinion Mr. Mayor, that there is no issue more important, no service more fundamental, than insuring the safety and welfare of our citizens. With that I thank you. Complete report attached.
Commissioner Gowen's report:
DEPARTMENT OF STREETS AND SANITATION
END OF YEAR REPORT FEBRUARY 1, 2001
We have discussed as a Board of Commissioners, we have been looking for ways to keep the public more informed on what's going on in our city and some of the unknown tasks that we face daily. I think the general perception of the Street and Sanitation Department is that we try to fix and repair our streets and we pick up garbage and brush.
This past year has been exciting for our Street and Sanitation Department, with the introduction of our new containerized garbage collection system; we have greatly improved this critical area of services for our citizens.
The new system utilizes a standard garbage container that is now found in all private residences of the City of Lawrenceburg. It has enabled the department to provide a stable, consistent service while reducing the overhead costs of our residential solid waste collection system.
We knew there was always a demand for a more efficient system, yet one which we would be accepted by the public, as the true test of this progressive and innovative program. I believe that the new system has been accepted by our citizens and has helped present a neater neighborhood during the scheduled time for the pick-up of the containers.
This system has clearly enhanced the Sanitation Department, especially in the area of cost cutting that will enable the Department to now recoup the savings and invest in a capital equipment replacement program. A little know fact is that the Sanitation Department equipment runs every single day, and has very little down time. This has been a significant point as in the past; the Sanitation Budget had required additional funding from the City of Lawrenceburg General Fund.
Our demolition landfill at Wildcat Ridge is nearing its capacity. Closing a landfill is a very demanding program. Horseshoe Bend is a prime example. Sited as a toxic waste dumpsite by the State of Tennessee, we were mandated by State law to clean up and revitalize this area. A joint effort began with the State Department and Murray Ohio Manufacturing. We are now into our third year of a five-year program, and must undergo testing by state as well as federal agencies, to meet our date of final closure.
The Lawrenceburg solid waste stream is a real immediate concern for all of us that cannot be overlooked and just glanced over. There is only so much land, and we need to address the life expectancy and find alternative ways to handle these needs as well as preparing for the day when we will eventually have to close our landfill. One program that is now located at the Lawrence County Landfill actually began with the City of Lawrenceburg, that was our old tire recycling program which allowed citizens to bring in their old tires which were stored and then recycled.
In coordination with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Street Department, as well as our Utility Department, participated in upgrading North Military, Pulaski Street, and Weakley Creek Road as part of a paving plan that will affect every section of the City of Lawrenceburg over the next six years.
The opportunity to coordinate with the Lawrence County Highway Department in purchasing asphalt and rock has been a tremendous boost to the ability of the Street Department to stretch the taxpayer dollar a little further in meeting the paving demands of the City of Lawrenceburg. This local government agreement clearly demonstrates that cooperation in joint ventures to save both the city and county taxpayer in this period of reduced resources is the way to move forward together to handle the repair and upgrading of our street system in the city as well as the county.
The coordination with the Department of Transportation continues to enhance the Street Departments capability, and outlined the efforts, which will affect the Prosser Road Bridge, which is a major transportation connector for the area and has been a concern for a lot of our citizens. The bridge had been closed down a number of times in recent years, and in cooperation with the Department of Transportation, and the Street Department. We anticipate that the upgrading of this bridge will be completed and reopened in the fall of 2001.
The short-range plan, which addresses our city streets also, involves a coordinated effort with out Utility Department. This spring we are conducting a study of the amount of rainfall and groundwater seepage, which eventually deposits the excess water into the city wastewater treatment plant. We will then subdivide the city into repair basins, and working with our Utility Department, that will revitalize the entire neighborhood, which make up the basin.
There are 110 square miles of city streets that fall under the Street Department. The department has established the goal of reconditioning and upgrading 18 square miles a year till the entire city has been addressed, and this will begin in the spring of 2001. Additionally, sidewalks and curbs and gutters will receive the same attention, similar to the opportunity that presented the Department when Pulaski Street was paved and the Department upgraded the sidewalks around E O Coffman School.
One major challenge I accepted from our residents and merchants was to evaluate the possibility to extend some of our city streets to prevent our citizens from always using Highway 43 and 64 to get to some of our retail locations, hence we have just completed one Phase which is our Springer Road extension, and we will begin Phase two this spring, when our Street Department will extend Massey Avenue into another of our major retail outlets for Lawrenceburg,
The current coating of Tar and Chip is not the final pavement for this extension. That the December cold front required the department to use the Tar and Chip till this spring, that allows the extension to settle, and then lay down the final coat of pavement.
I am extremely proud of the combined efforts of the Commission and the Departments in providing a coordinated effort to upgrade our city. This cooperation can be readily observed in Rotary Park, and Bobby Brewer Park where working with the Parks Maintenance Department we have paved and upgraded common parking areas of the park system. The Utility Department and the Street Department must work hand in glove to meet the demands of our utility system, as most of their systems are under our pavement and require constant attention.
One of the things you don't always associate with the Street Department is our Stormwater Drainage System.
Lawrenceburg has far outgrown the capacity and capabilities of our present Stormwater drainage system, and there's a lot of effort being put forth to identify the best and most cost efficient way to bring our system up to standards.
There is a lot more going on that will clearly improve our drainage system.
Through our cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, as announced last winter, the intersection at 64 & 43 to Shoal Creek will be upgraded in the near future. When this was announced, the city was already involved with the Army Corps of Engineers and our city-engineering consultants to address our needs. Consequently, by joining efforts with this one federal agency and the DOT, and our own engineers, I believe we will finally develop a plan that will transport a lot of our water drainage problems through a conveyance system that will end up in the Shoal Creek.
The Street and Sanitation Department has been very busy, and yet, we even experienced another severe storm last year, and I believe that is the 8th time Lawrenceburg has fought off Mother Nature, but we responded and continue to respond to the needs of the city, we also have supported the Beautification Effort and we are working hand-in-hand with the Planning and Development Department in cleaning up our alley-ways and identifying problem areas which we are addressing. This will remove debris from lots and help clean up Lawrenceburg; we are helping developing two new entryways to LCHS. Additionally, we continue to support the Hazard Mitigation Services to help in cleaning up the debris of homes destroyed in the 1998 flood. In that regard, we along with other departments undertook and managed the upgrading of our Shoal Creek area, and were a tremendous success.
I want to take this opportunity to thank every employee of the City of Lawrenceburg, also every citizen and business owner that lends us a helping hand in time of need.
I am proud of our recent accomplishments and look forward to new and greater challenges. It has been a great year for my departments and the city." Concluded Commissioner Gowen. Commissioner Pulley explained that the Gas Payment Management Center for high utility bills was in place Monday and so far this week we have helped 53 families. We have no iron clad answers, but we try to manage and help our citizens. We feel this has been successful. The Power system has installed the same type program.
Attorney Betz had 2 resolutions for presentation:
1. To accept the bid for aluminum bleachers from Dominica Recreation Products in the amount of $15,760.00. Motion to approve was made by Commissioner Beard, with a second by Commissioner Gowen. Motion Passed.
2. To accept the bid for soccer goals and nets from BSN Sports in the amount of $2,289.90. Motion to approve was made by Commissioner Beard, with a second by Commissioner Gowen. Motion passed.
Secretary Treasurer, Tom Head announced that the soccer fields have been inspected by LPRF, and we will be reimbursed 50% on the project. He indicated they were very impressed with what we have accomplished.
With no further business to come before the meeting, a motion was made by Commissioner Beard to adjourn, with a second by Commissioner Pulley.
Citizen C.F. McGee asked if anyone could speak. Mayor Lay did allow Mr. McGee to speak before the Commission.
Mr. McGee stated that he is not opposed to the City Charter. He feels the citizens should be notified. He asked, "Ya'll have passed the City Charter, right?"
Mayor Lay explained that we have not passed the Charter, it has been sent to the State of Tennessee to be reviewed by the Legislature, it comes back here for ratification.
Mr. McGee, "But ya'll have passed it to send it." I understand that.
I am not opposed to the Charter, as I told you I am opposed to a full time Mayor, a city manager and a city recorder. I can go along with a manager or with a full time Mayor. My next question is this, we are talking about $60,000.00 for a full time Mayor, administrator from $60,000 to $80,000, and then you are talking about a city recorder from $50,000 to $70,000. My next question is, "How are we going to fund all this?" I am a retired man, and other people are retired, we live on a fixed income, how can we continue paying unless we get some jobs into this city. I just think that we need some answers.
Mayor Lay explained, that we already have a lot of these people in place, there are funds available with cuts that have been made. Not replacing retirees and cuts of some 18 plus part time employees. The funds are there to secure these people. We are going to have a number of town meetings that will address all these points. These meetings will be open.
Mr. McGee stated, "You say we have all these funds available and you have a $5 Million Dollar credit line to MTS and we have already spent $2.5 Million of it. Where is our funds?" I would like to see the people have a voice in it.
Another thing, I thought Weakley Creek Road was a state road. Is it?
Mr. Head stated "No."