The Shelbyville mayor’s gavel was turned over to Randy Carroll on Thursday night as those elected to Shelbyville City Council in November began their terms.
Carroll, new Ward 6 council member Bobby Turnbow, and re-elected Ward 2 member Marilyn Ewing and Ward 4 member William Christie took their oaths of office from Judge Wyatt Burk.
Council members chose Christie as vice mayor. He was also re-elected as the city’s representative to Shelbyville Power Board.
Carroll’s appointments of Christie as council representative and City Manager Scott Collins as city staff representative on the 231 North Business Park Oversight Committee were ratified.
Members were appointed as council representatives on various city boards by Carroll, who said his choices were made with “much thought and prayer” and after consulting with each person. These appointments did not require ratification.
Feldhaus and Ewing were named to the Bid Committee and Feldhaus and Gary Haile to the Employee Pension Committee.
Christie was named to the Industrial Development Board.
Ewing is on the Historical Zoning Commission and Senior Citizens Center board.
Feldhaus was named council representative to the Public Library and Community Development boards.
Haile will serve on the Bedford County Railroad and Parks & Recreation boards and the Public Works Committee.
Stephanie Isaacs was chosen for the ADA Authority, Zoning Appeals, and Skills Development Center boards.
Turnbow was named to the Airport Authority, Construction Appeals, and Planning Commission boards.
The new council wasted no time taking decisive action, voting 6-0 to terminate the lease agreement with Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce on the former Chamber building.
A notice requiring the Chamber to be out of the North Cannon Boulevard building within 6 months will be sent. The Chamber had asked to retain one office and a storage room. Most Chamber business is conducted from the director’s home office.
Shelbyville’s Codes and Planning and Zoning departments will be moving into the building from the nearby City Hall. City Council meetings will also be conducted at the facility.
The council also voted for up to $50,000 worth of renovations and upgrades to the building, which was built in 1964. Turnbow questioned if that large an expenditure was necessary and said the council meetings need to return to “the center of town” as soon as possible.
All decisions by the newly-installed council passed 6-0.
A decision on the future direction of city tourism efforts was deferred until officials can hear proposals on possible directions. The Chamber had previously handled tourism-related activity on behalf of the city.
Three options are available to the city, Collins said.
Offers from South Central Tennessee Tourism Association, based in Lynchburg, and Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership have been received. A third possibility, which Christie said he favors, is the city hiring its own tourism director funded through the city-county hotel-motel tax. Christie suggested this person could work from the former Chamber building.
The council voted to waive any city fees concerning construction of the new Cartwright Elementary School on Fairfield Pike.
“The state considers the county to have greater authority,” City Attorney Ginger Shofner said. She told the council waiving fees is normally done because counties don’t have to follow city regulations on school building projects. Most involve strong state-level regulations.
New facility study
Council members voted to authorize issuance of a request for qualifications for an architectural/engineering firm to study the need and feasibility for new facilities for various city departments.
The city can’t legally negotiate costs of the study until any project is approved, the council was told.
Three metal buildings used by the Parks & Recreation Department were declared surplus. They will be put up for bids.
Turnbow asked if they could be kept and used by other city departments. Public Works Director Buck Vallad responded that the city has no land or space to store surplus buildings.
Recreation Director Mike Alsup said funds may be available which would allow the buildings to be moved at no cost to the city.
Homeless task force
Consideration of a motion to work with Bedford County Commission to establish a city-county homeless task force was deferred to January’s meeting. Commissioner Drew Hooker told the council the commission is still in the process of selecting members.
Collins will make recommendations about possible members in January.
•The council voted 6-0 for a proposed resolution in support of “restoring the historic revenue sharing relationship between the State of Tennessee and its local governments and to return the local share of the single article cap to local governments.” No discussion took place.
•A resolution authorizing a grant application with the Tennessee Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division for up to $75,240 under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was approved,
•The council approved purchases of a golf cart and field rake for the recreation department at a cost of slightly over $35,000.
Several citizens were appointed to city boards by Carroll.
•Dawn Gonzales, Henry Wilhoite and David McGee II were reappointed to three-year terms on the Planning Commission.
•Ray Armstrong and Quintin Perkins were named to two-year Board of Zoning Appeals terms. They replace Carroll and John Davis.
•Lynn Hulan will serve a five-year term on the Historical Zoning Commission.
•Roy Turner was named to serve the remainder of an unexpired Beer Board term, expiring in July 2023.
Former council departs
The outgoing council voted to authorize a one-time $30,000 payment to Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford County. Director Fredia Lusk has told the council for several months that the clinic is in desperate need of funds to continue providing medical and dental services for the needy.
“We just need help,” Lusk said.
Ewing said she hopes this doesn’t start a rush of other non-profit agencies seeking city funding beyond the normal donations budgeted each year.
Outgoing Mayor Wallace Cartwright emphasized this is a one-time payment. Cartwright was running his last meeting after 25-plus years as mayor or a council member.
All actions by the old council were passed 5-0. Outgoing Ward 5 council member Ricky Overcast was not present. The two re-elected members and Feldhaus, Haile and Isaacs, who have two years remaining in their terms, comprised that council.
•Rezonings were approved on second and final reading by the old council for 5.05 acres of land north of Fowler Road, owned by James Bret Rollins, and 60.69 acres on the east side of Old Nashville Dirt Road and 4.8 acres on Dover Street, both owned by Curl Properties LLC. All will be redesignated from R-1 low density residential to R-3 medium density residential.
•A proposal from Brightly Software for the Planning and Building & Codes departments was approved by the former council. The deal is through Sourcewell National Cooperative for a first-year cost of $41,984.87, which is well under the $60,000 budgeted for fiscal year 2023, and a total of $92,081.01 for the next four years.