City strikes out on park

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Our Town Park will not belong to the town.

Shelbyville City Manager Shanna Boyette told the City Council Tuesday that the owners of the pocket park on the square decided to sell the property. The owners, Square One Inc., are the family of the late attorney John Norton. The Our Town downtown preservation group also has been involved in the property's operations in the past.

The potential buyers were not identified by city officials. Deeds filed Nov. 14 with Register of Deeds Johnny Reed show properties on "Main Street" owned by Norton family members and Square One Inc. being sold to James E. Farrar Sr. of Shelbyville.

No donation

There were discussions between the city and the estate over the last couple of months of the park being donated to the city, which provides the property's maintenance. The agreement for the maintenance effort requires 30 days for termination.

The city has the right, by agreement with Our Town, to certain fixtures like furniture, according to previous council discussion. However, Boyette asked the council for direction Tuesday regarding the fixtures, especially in terms of abandoning all claims. For example, Boyette said she has the keys to the park's entrance gate, which the city would own.

Council member Mark Clanton gave his suggestion: "I don't think we need to take the gates down."

The council is expected to vote on the property abandonment Thursday next week as well as initiating the end of the maintenance agreement.

No full signal

In other business, council members indicated a desire to reject the low bid for a traffic signal at the busy intersection of U.S. 231 North and Airport Business Park Road. That would effectively kill the project for upgrading the flashing signals for now.

The rejection was caused because the project came in significantly over budget, according to council discussion. S&W Contracting Co. Inc. of Murfreesboro placed the low bid of $72,640; Stansell Electric Co. Inc. of Nashville placed the only other bid, for $73,700.

The budgeted amount was $41,200, according to council documents. However, the council was informed in September, by the city's engineers, that the project "would possibly be over budget," city records state. The council voted in September to let bids.

Not 'top priority'

"I say it's not a top priority," Clanton said. "I don't think it warrants going to a full-blown signal."

Council member Henry Feldhaus asked if the city had done a traffic study. Mayor Wallace Cartwright said the city had done three studies, all paid for by the city, and "about used up the money for the light with the studies," referring to funds that had been set aside from the sale of the old hospital.

Council member Thomas Landers suggested re-budgeting the project for the next fiscal year. The project would have to be re-bid.

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