Vehicle fee passes first vote

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

By a 4-2 vote, Shelbyville's City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday to adopt a vehicle registration fee for all vehicle owners in the city to pay for future road projects, including the widening of North Main Street.

Council members Wallace Cartwright and Fred Harrison voted against the measure. Cartwright said he didn't have any problem with the vehicle registration fee, "but we should have a cutoff date so when the projects are completed, we can take the motor vehicle registration fee off."

"It's going to be an on-going thing," Cartwright said. "The road study reported we'd be in a road building program for years. But there might be some other type of funding available when we get this paid off."

For example?

"Four years from now, our recreation center will be paid off at the park and that will free up about $450,000 a year," he stated.

Cartwright said he had several people call him for and against the fee. The ordinance did not set the dollar amount of the fee.

The council was told last week that the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has given approval for funding the widening of North Main. Road projects discussed in the past include the proposed widening of Fairfield Pike, which would cost the city $4.5 million. In all, the improvements for the city streets could be as much as $6 million.

Out-of-pocket expenses for the city on the North Main project would be about $300,000 which the city does not currently have, according to City Manager Ed Craig.

The council also approved the hiring of a director of Community Development and Planning.

Craig said during last week's study session that many cities the size of Shelbyville rely on full time planners and currently the city utilizes only state planners who visit once a month and receive assistance and review of matters on the planning commission's agenda. The city currently pays $12,000 for the state planners.

The salary would be in the $35,000 to $50,000 a year range and Craig suggested hiring someone above the beginning level planner pay level.

Also approved Tuesday was a contract for "Silver Sneakers" at the Shelbyville Recreation Center, which is a fitness program for people 65 or older that belong to the HealthSpring and Humana health care groups at no cost. Anyone can participate in the class but only those 65 or older qualify for the free membership.

A resolution was passed that would adopt the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which would do away with "10-codes" currently used by police and other emergency personnel and adopt new "plain English" standards being implemented by the federal government.

The city is required to be NIMS aware by Oct. 1 of this year and fully compliant by the same date in 2006.

The council authorized the acceptance of the Eakin School Regional Detention Area from the Bedford County Board of Education and authorizes the mayor and city recorder to execute a deed.

The detention area to be located behind Eakin School. Flooding frequently occurs in the areas of Lucas and Claire Drive, with about 300 acres draining into the area. A small dam would be built behind Eakin School and over 90 percent of the flow of rainfall can be retained there. A fence would be built around the detention area.

The city accepted a motion authorizing a new Harris Middle School road as a city street and to give the Bedford County Board of Education naming rights. The board has asked for street lights as well, which would cost about $30,000. The board would come up with a choice of three names for the street and then the city council will make the selection.

Also approved was a motion to approve a change in the city's 401K program from MAP V to MAP Plus. The new program would offer lower costs to participants, more and better funds, a guaranteed return of 3 percent on fixed accounts (the current program is 1.5 percent) and on-line retirement planning support for Morningstar. Craig, city recorder Betty Lamb and city clerk Alicia Holliman would be trustees.

Approved on first reading was an amendment to the city's travel policy to increase gas allowances due to skyrocketing fuel costs. Currently, the city pays 24 cents a mile for travel in personal vehicles. The proposed reimbursement would raise that to 38 cents, the rate paid to state employees.

Craig said discussion about adjusting the mileage rate paid for use of personal vehicles for city business should include the awareness that such would require an ordinance change and therefore more meetings to consider this.

A motion to OK the Shelbyville Airport Authority's recommendation to hire Barge Waggoner Sumner Cannon Engineering for the airport maintenance hangar project was approved.

In other business:

* Passed on third and final reading was an ordinance to rezone 2.66 acres at 511 Park Place from C-2 to R-4 and to rezone .56 acres at 616 Deery St. from R-3 to R-4. A public hearing to the two matters was also held but no one spoke.

* Bids for a riding lawnmower for the fire department were rejected and the city accepted a bid from Aramark in the amount of $17,405.96 for uniform service. Cintas Corporation of Nashville had the low bid of $15,975.96, but Mayor Geneva Smith stated the city should do business with people in the community. The city has done business with Aramark for 15 years.

Also approved was a bid for landscape maintenance from Robert's Lawn & Landscaping for $4,885.