Aldermen amend Property Maintenance Ordinance

Dewain E. Peek/OCN photo

Warren Nevad, with Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) presents Mayor Curtis Hayes and the City of Livingston a Community Excellence Award from Tennessee Renewable Energy Economic Council. On hand for the presentation are, from left, Aldermen David Langford and Ronald Dishman, Mayor Hayes, Nevad, Vice Mayor Ken Dodson, and Aldermen Rex Dale and Chris Speck. Nevad said only three cities were given the award and that Cookeville and Bolivar were the other two.

By Dewain E. Peek,

OCN Editor

Livingston’s Property Maintenance Ordinance was once again amended Monday, Jan. 6 during the first regular monthly meeting of Livingston Mayor and Board of Aldermen in 2020.

City Attorney John Meadows presented the amendment, saying, “I was requested by the Property Maintenance Board to look into further expanding, for purposes of clarification, the definition of debris, trash, junk, rubbish, things of that nature.”

So, a new section was proposed for addition to the ordinance.

The new section reads: (2) For purposes of this section, “debris,” “trash,” “junk” and/or “rubbish” shall include discarded, damaged, broken or inoperable items left outdoors and visible on the premises including but not limited to rusted automobile and/or mechanical parts, machine parts, furniture, mattresses, tires, barrels, appliances, televisions and/or other electronics, construction and deconstruction materials, household goods, and articles of clothing.

“The board felt that it would better serve the public to have a more expanded definition so that it eliminates any confusion as to what is and what’s not acceptable,” Meadows said.

Alderman Rex Dale made a motion to approve first reading of Ordinance 2020-1-1 to amend Section 13-102 of Title 13, Property Maintenance Regulations of Town of Livingston, and Alderman Chris Speck seconded. On the vote, Aldermen Dale, Speck and Vice Mayor Ken Dodson voted yes, and Aldermen Ronald Dishman and David Langford voted no.

Ray Evans was considered for appointment to the Property Maintenance Advisory Committee to replace Randall Alsip, who resigned months ago. Vice Mayor Dodson, a member of the Property Maintenance Advisory Committee, made a motion to appoint Evans, and Alderman Speck seconded. Evans was appointed with Dodson, Speck, and Dale voting yes, and Dishman, who initially voted yes, and Langford voting no.

In other business, Evans, representing the Downtown Revitalization Committee, asked for a couple of resolutions to be adopted.

Resolution 2020-1-1 was adopted to ask the United States Postal Service to maintain the Livingston Post Office.

Mayor Hayes said he has talked to the local postmaster and that a work order has been turned in to his supervisor.

“The folks at the Post Office here locally is certainly on board and want to do their part to make downtown even more attractive,” Mayor Hayes said.

Then Resolution 2020-1-2 was adopted to modify the membership structure of the Downtown Revitalization Committee in order to help with the Main Street program application. The committee will consist of nine members with eight of those being city residents and another member that could be a non-resident who could offer some expertise. The members would be recommended by the mayor and confirmed by the Board of Aldermen.

Evans then asked that a committee member with Upper Cumberland Development District and that Shannon Cantrell from Livnigston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce go off of the Revitalization Committee and that Gene Gantt and Todd Matthews replace them. The Board of Aldermen voted to approve the membership changes.

Evans then presented a proposal to change the rental rate for using the Rotary Mainstage at Central Park from $200 per day to $200 for 4 hours and $50 for each additional hour, not to exceed a total of 8 hours.

Alderman Langford questioned requiring non-profits such as the VFW and the Rescue Squad and churches to pay the fee, and said he was against charging them.

Mayor Hayes reminded the aldermen that a sound engineer is paid for each event along with having city workers clean up Central Park after each event.

“That is where the fees are going,” Mayor Hayes said. “They’re not just in the city coffer so we could be making money.”

Alderman Dale asked about adding a clause where the Board of Aldermen would be able to waive the rental fee in certain situations, but Mayor Hayes cautioned against it.

Vice Mayor Dodson made a motion to accept Evans’ recommended changes, and Alderman Speck seconded. On the vote, Dodson, Speck, and Dale voted yes, and Dishman and Langford voted no.

In other action, a correction was made to the budget ordinance as recommended by City Accountant Joel Parks after a projected $200,000 fund transfer was found to have been left out of the approved budget.

Josh Williams and Dusty Clouse were hired at Livingston Police Department, as requested by Chief Greg Etheredge,

Chief Etheredge said that two officers had moved into being school resource officers, who are being paid through a grant, so these officers will fill the vacancies of those officers.

“These are replacement officers,” Chief Etheredge reminded. “This is not new hires as far as new positions adding, and we will still be under our budget.”

Approval was given for the Water Department to purchase a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD (diesel engine) at a cost of $47,320.50 on the state bid from Wilson County Motors. The truck will be used by the Sewer Department to pull the jetter trailer.

Approval was given for the Gas Department to purchase a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD (gasoline engine) at a cost of $38,097.70 on the state bid from Wilson County Motors. The cost includes a utility bed on the truck, according to Mayor Hayes.

Ben Winningham of Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (UCEMC) gave an update on the LED street lighting project.

“Everything’s going great,” Winningham said. “We finished Windle Road/Highway 85 and we have started around the bypass. We’re up to Greenfield Drive, starting from Vaughn’s Collision and coming this way.”

He said they were not able to work on the bypass during the holidays because TDOT did not want work done on their right of way during that time period.

He thanked Livingston Police Department for providing traffic control during the lighting installation.

“When we come around the bypass, we’re going to hit West Main and head out towards Huddle House,” Winningham said. “Then we’ll be done.”

Rebecca Clayton gave a report on the Hazardous Mitigation Plan and the process for obtaining funds to purchase property affected by flooding. A slide presented with the report identified the possible areas for purchasing and changing to greenspace as land next to Cash Street off of Highway 52, land around Pat’s Hair Studio off of Bradford Hicks Drive, and land at AAA Auto Glass, and Clayton stressed any purchase would be strictly voluntary from the property owners. FEMA would pay 75%, the state would pay 12.5%, and the local government would pay 12.5%.

Alan Lingerfelt of Centerpoint Energy gave an update on natural gas. He said a mild winter has kept natural gas prices low.

The meeting adjourned.