The Mayor’s Newsletter

What we did this summer…
Seeing a need to help some students with reading, several volunteers got this program off the ground. Summer Month Of Reading Experiences (SMORE) gave a full-day of reading instruction to rising second and third graders. We raised money, found volunteers, hired a staff, and relied a lot on Community Church of Hendersonville. No city resources were used on this program. At the end of the four-week camp, eight students had maintained their reading levels; ten students had improved one reading level. Students at this age typically slide back in reading skills during the summer.
Here’s is what some parents said:

“I’m so glad my son has the opportunity to be part of this camp and I can see an advance on his reading.”
“My daughter has learned and had fun at the same time.”
“Our child’s reading improved greatly, and she enjoyed every day of camp.”
“She would look forward to coming every day and couldn’t wait to read to us at night.”

The main contributors to this program were Vicki Shelton, Linda Varnado, William Slater, Katie Brown, Babs Rector, and Sandy Lovett. Several businesses provided lunches: Bojangles’ Chili’s, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, Jimmy John’s, McAlister’s Deli, and Sam’s Club. Other help came from Knights of Columbus, Volunteer State Bank, Nothing Bundt Cakes, First United Methodist Church, and Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. The Tennessean has a longer story.

Board Amends Budget to Create $1.44 million Deficit

In May I proposed a balanced budget for approval by our board of mayor and aldermen. By prioritizing the many wants and needs, I was able to add to our city services but not able to include everything that was requested.

-Finding that our employee compensation was behind other similar cities, I proposed merit raises for employees and cost of living adjustments. Most firefighters and police officers will see increases to keep their pay competitive to similar positions in other cities.
-The budget proposal had $471,525 more for paving from our general fund than what we budgeted from our general fund the previous year.
-The budget included an additional $400,000 for a new fire hall since last year’s borrowed money likely will not cover the total cost.
-Funds from blasting permits would provide $7,500 to measure nearby blasting.
-New in-car cameras were included for police.
– One additional investigator and five police officers were added in my budget.
-My budget added a fire inspector and 12 firefighters with the help of federal grants.

The board approved several amendments, resulting in a budget deficit of $1.44 million.
+Amendment 1 to add $30,000 for staff education bonuses. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, and Waters; voting no, Clary, Stamper, and Sprouse.

+Amendment 2 to fund community appropriations at a $249,400. Passed unanimously with no impact on the bottom line.

+Amendment 3 to add $45,000 for key fobs, increasing the budget deficit to $75,000 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, and Waters; voting no, Clary and Stamper.

+Amendment 4 to add $26,280 for bonus pay for some staff, increasing the deficit to $101,280 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, and Waters; voting no, Clary and Stamper.

+Amendment 5 to add $256,111 in additional police salaries, increasing the deficit to $357,391 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, and Waters; voting no, Clary and Stamper.

+Amendment 6 to add $70,000 for police tools and equipment, increasing the deficit to $427,391 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, and Waters; voting no, Clary, Cunningham, and Stamper.

+Amendment 7 to add $292,000 for possible grant obligations, increasing the deficit to $719,391 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, and Waters; voting no, Clary, and Stamper.

+Amendment 8 to add $121,000 for fire department equipment, increasing the deficit to $840,391 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, and Waters; voting no were Cunningham, Clary, and Stamper.

+Amendment 9 to postpone $400,000 in construction costs to rebuild fire hall #2, delaying the expenditure until the following fiscal year. This decreased the deficit but put off the required funding for another year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, Stamper, and Waters; voting no was Clary.

+Amendment 10 to shift expenditures to fund lights at Volunteer Park, resurface tennis courts, add to parks department salaries, and repave Country Hills Parking lot. There was no impact to the budget’s bottom line. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Skidmore, Stamper, Waters, and Clary; voting no were Petrelli and Sprouse.

+Amendment 11 to add $40,500 in human resource spending, increasing the deficit to $480,891 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Campbell, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli and Sprouse. Voting no were Brown, Cunningham, Frisbee, Skidmore, Stamper, Waters, and Clary. (This amendment failed.)

+Amendment 11 (second attempt) to add $30,000 for human resources, increasing the deficit to $470,891 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, and Waters. Voting no were Clary, Cunningham, and Stamper.

+Amendment 12 to reduce the city’s trash fee, reducing revenues by $725,283, increasing the deficit to $1,196,174 for the next fiscal year. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, Stamper, and Waters. Voting no was Clary. Abstaining was Cunningham.

At a subsequent meeting there was another amendment, #13, to add $250,000 in spending. That increased the deficit to $1,446,174. Voting yes were Brown, Campbell, Cunningham, Frisbee, Frost, Gilley, Petrelli, Skidmore, Sprouse, Stamper, and Waters. Abstaining was Woodcock. I was absent.

Construction in Hendersonville
City Working with County on Emergency Protection

For more than a year, I have been talking with our aldermen, other mayors, the county executive, and county commissioners about the troubling situation of fire service for neighborhoods that are just outside the city limits.
Those neighborhoods don’t pay city property tax, but they receive the benefit of our exceptional fire protection.
For as long as anybody can remember, the city’s fire department has assisted on fires just outside the city.
The county does not have a paid fire service. People who live outside city limits rely on volunteer fire departments and the nearby cities, like Hendersonville, to provide secondary assistance. The problem Hendersonville is running into is that the building boom outside Hendersonville (“in the county”, as we say) is generating more calls, keeping our city fire service busier. Your city tax dollars are paying for fire service for areas that don’t pay city taxes. The reimbursement rate for each call is far below what the actual service costs us. And it’s getting worse because of the growth out in the county.
I and several mayors from other Sumner cities have discussed this with the county executive and county commissioners over the past year. The Hendersonville Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed this at a workshop in 2017 and at a capitol projects meeting a couple months ago. County officials agree that the arrangement needs to be updated. The mayors and county executive discuss this often and are working on a long-term arrangement.Aside from this, several Hendersonville aldermen recently noted that three of the city’s fire halls provide space for the county-owned ambulance service. They would like the county to contribute toward the next fire halls that the city builds. The county’s contribution would be similar to back-rent. They have asked for a one-time payment of $300,000 or less. That’s not enough. The City of Hendersonville should be receiving payments annually for the total service provided. The annual payments would be part of a long-term agreement for the city to continue providing service out in the county.
I will continue working toward an agreement for recurring payments.

Update on Traffic, Roads, and Greenways

Traffic Signal Synchronization (newest update 7-6-18)
The state-funded project relies on the city staff to hire a hardware company, a software company, a contractor, and a monitor to make sure the project is done properly.
The final step was hiring a hardware company. Earlier this year our staff took information from five companies, narrowed the choices to three companies, and witnessed their presentations in June.

Drakes Creek Rd. and Stop Thirty Rd. (newest update 2-28-18)
City Hall hosted a public hearing on the environmental impact of the project. That is an EPA requirement due to the project’s impact on the flood plain.
Meanwhile engineers are working on designs to widen Drakes Creek Road with a permanent signal at the intersection.
The intersection will be raised several feet, and the bridge on Stop Thirty Road will be replaced.
The city designated money for the project that will be 80-percent funded by the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Old Shackle Island/Walton Ferry Alignment (newest update 7-31-18)
The State will be tearing down the bank building and old gas station in early 2019. Surveyors recently finished their work and painted lines to show the route of the project. Even though the two lots are now controlled by the state, I have asked city staff to cut the grass several times there.

Gallatin Rd. at Stop Thirty Rd./Bluegrass Commons Blvd. (newest update 8-9-18)
The City’s budget included money for the design and construction of the signal. Staff hired a company to design it and has the preliminary work now. The final design will enable the city to hire a company to build the signal. Since Gallatin Road is a state highway, TDoT will have to agree with the design and monitor construction

CSX Tunnel: Saundersville Rd./Vietnam Veterans Blvd./Railroad tracks (newest update 8-9-18)
Are staff recently met with the staff at TDoT and the advisors we hired to design the project. The design will include an estimate of the costs for buying land and constructing the underpass. Months ago the engineers presented an idea to CSX that would eliminate the need for a parallel track to be built. It would save money and be quicker. CSX said they are open to this idea. This engineering work will create an estimated cost. From there, the City will seek help in paying for the project.

Widening Vietnam Veterans Blvd. (newest update 8-3-17)
The Tennessee Department of Transportation is studying this project at an expedited pace.
This project has been on the books to start at least 10 years from now. The governor would like to get moving within the next three years. Governor Bill Haslam released a list of priorities In May that included planning and engineering for Vietnam Veterans Boulevard from Gallatin Road on the east of Hendersonville to I-65. That work will be followed by environmental evaluations, acquiring property, and construction. Each step will take two years at least but will start earlier because of the governor’s recent decision.

Sanders Ferry Greenway (newest update 8-1-18)
In March the city applied for a grant to cover 80 percent of the overage on this project. We should be hearing an answer on that application this month. The problem is the boardwalk. Those sections that run across the water have increased the costs. The estimates from years ago proved way too low when bids came in. The bids–actually just one bid–was $1.1 million higher than the estimated cost. So, we found some ways to further cut costs and are applying for a new grant.

Center Point Road (newest update 8-8-18)
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has granted the city’s request to build a traffic signal at the bottom of the ramp to Centerpoint Road. That ramp often experiences congestion as vehicles coming from Davidson County exit at Centerpoint Road. The most difficult situation is turning left there. We gathered traffic data to show TDoT the need. They agreed and have offered to fund half of cost. The city must provide the other half.
For years builders working in Mansker Farms have been contributing toward future improvements to Centerpoint Road. That money will be used toward the work.

Drakes Creek Rd. and New Shackle Island Rd.
This intersection is outside the city. The best contact is the county’s road superintendent Judy Hardin.
Tennessee Department of Transportation recently let us know that it is unwilling to study this intersection further.
The intersection involves vehicles turning from the county road onto a state highway where cars are often going faster than 50 miles per hour. The city has no responsibility for the intersection but had asked the state to make it safer for the benefit of Hendersonville residents. Many accidents have happened there, but the state tells us not enough bad ones for T-DoT to do a road safety Assessment.

What’s Going Where
Speedway opened at (770 East Main St.) Saundersville Road and Gallatin Road.
Two buildings soon will be built along Saundersville Road near Stop 30 Road. They will be a TOA clinic and a 23,000-square-foot medical office building. McAlister’s is open on Indian Lake Boulevard near Union University. Clarendale, which is behind McAlister’s, will have independent living, assisted living and memory care. It will open this fall.
All Air Extreme Trampoline Park is being built in the building that previously held Kroger.
Others:
Blackbox Media Management Service, 170 E Main Street;
Express Oil Change, 182 W. Main St.;
Reemo Wireless Inc., 260-217A W Main St.;
The Way Cafe, LLC, 699 W Main St.;
Str8 Drippin Promotions, 101 Cole Ct.;
Day’s Salon, 206 Indian Lake Blvd.;
All Event Vending, 350 Old Shackle Road;
Jennifer Pierce Studio, 1047 Glenbrook Way.
G&S Dance and Design LLC; 393 E. Main Street;
Stompin’ Grounds LLC; 357-B E. Main Street;
Achieve Nutrition, LLC BDA Nutrition Faktory; 202 North Anderson Lane, Suite 101;
Southern Styles Pet Salon 366 W. Main Street, Suite 3;
Better You Medical, 211 Indian Lake Blvd, Suite C;
Fox Design Services, 138 Volunteer Drive;
Companion Care Pet Nursing, 242 West Main #358;
Juliana Hale Touring, 114 Canfield Place Suite B10;
Kevin Stephens Interiors, LLC, 108 Mid-town Ct. suite 201.
Muse Automotive and Performance, 60 Industrial Park Drive Suite 2;
Tricare Medical Supply Inc, 104 Glen Oak Blvd. Suite 120.

“…to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God.”
Micah 6:8
This newsletter is paid for by Clary for Mayor.

Received 8-10-18 and reformatted for inclusion here.