Dewain E. Peek,

OCN Editor

Livingston Board of Mayor and Aldermen held the regular monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 7, with all aldermen present.

First on the agenda was Downtown Revitalization, with Ray Evans presenting a few items to the City Council.

Of the TDOT Mulimodal Access Grant, Evans said, “That design is continuing, and continuing well.”

A design field review with the consultants will be held Thursday, Oct. 17. Affected property owners will be able to meet with them that day, according to Evans.

He said the TDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant application was submitted on October 3 and has been received by TDOT. If awarded, the grant would be used for improvements to the courthouse grounds.

“We haven’t received any news on the CDBG Commercial Facade Improvement Grant,” Evans said. “And I think in this case, probably, no news is bad news because I know there have been a community or two that have been announced. So, I suspect that if you were fortunate to receive the grant, you know that by now, and we don’t know that we were.”

He also presented a proposed 2019-2020 Livingston Downtown Revitalization Sales Tax Rebate Budget for $205,312.

“All of those proceeds have to be used for projects within the sales tax rebate area,” Evans said.

First listed were a loan payment of $137,000 and miscellaneous fees of $1,000 that have to be paid.

Also, $25,000 will go to Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce.

Planned projects include safety rail replacement on North Church Street at $20,000, security fence behind the Rotary Main Stage at $10,000, a new courthouse Christmas tree at $2,800, landscape and irrigation at the Main Street parking lot at $2,000, and repair of the clock at $1,500.

Other projects that would require more money than the rebate budget are the TDOT Multimodal Access Grant, which would require $33,000, and the TDOT TAP Grant for the courthouse, which would require $43,000.

Alderman Ronald Dishman expressed a desire to have more time to look at the budget and asked that it be placed on next month’s City Council agenda. Alderman David Langford seconded.

On the vote, Aldermen Kelly Coleman, Dishman, Langford, Rex Dale, and Vice Mayor Ken Dodson voted yes, and Alderman Chris Speck voted no.

Resolution 2019-10-1 was adopted to add two more members to Livingston Downtown Revitalization Committee, which will make the committee consist of nine members, with membership consisting of the mayor or his designee, the executive director of the chamber of commerce, a representative from Upper Cumberland Development District, and the other six being public members, who “shall be either property owners, business owners or residents within the sales tax rebate zone”.

Alderman Langford asked about the wording.

“Residents don’t necessarily mean they’re taxpayers,” Langford said.

He expressed that the members of the committee should be taxpayers, not just residents.

Alderman Dishman asked who are the current members of the committee.

Mayor Hayes, Arno Proctor, Shannon Cantrell, Greg McDonald, Mark Dudney, Diane Sadler, and Ray Evans are current members.

Vice Mayor Dodson made the motion to adopt the resolution, and Alderman Coleman seconded. On the vote, Aldermen Speck, Dale, Coleman, and Vice Mayor Dodson voted yes, and Aldermen Dishman and Langford voted no.

David Darnell gave an update on Highlands Economic Partnership.

Next on the agenda was an update from UCEMC, but the representative was not present, so the next item on the agenda was a report on the property maintenance committee by its chairman, Barbie Roberts.

Roberts was not present, so Livingston Codes Inspector Kristian Mansell was asked to give a report.

“This is dealing with our property maintenance, this is the results of the actions that’s been taken over the last few months on the properties that have been brought before the board, vehicles and the slum ordinance as well,” Mansell said.

“We’ve had 34 properties that have been brought here with a complaint, 22 of them are now in compliance. There’s nine properties that will be brought up on in October.

“On the vehicles, we have had 23 vehicles in the abandoned, wrecked or dismantled that have been complained on, 14 of those are now in compliance and nine are left on old business. None of these had to be towed by the city; they’ve been taken care of, moved by the owners themselves or tagged as they needed to be.

“And our slum ordinance, we’ve had two properties that have met the criteria of slum. One we have a hearing on. They have until October 22nd to make good on that. And the other one has until January 7th to come into compliance.”

Mansell continued, “I think, you know, as you can see that this is a, you know, this is a huge reflection on the property maintenance board and, you know, what’s been done. These numbers speak for theirself, you know. I think we’re moving in the right direction on…”

“Thank you, Kristian,” Mayor Hayes interjected. “This is just a reminder of the Ordinance 2019-02-02 was passed in March of ’19, the creation of the property maintenance board.

“The ordinance states, the Property Maintenance Advisory Board should be created to assist the Livingston building official in determining which property violations should be subject to the codes enforcement action.

Mayor Hayes continued reading, “The Mayor and Board of Aldermen passed the ordinance to create the Property Maintenance Advisory Board to provide a transparent forum to openly discuss potential violations. They are encouraged to offer fair and unbiased recommendations to Kristian.

“This board will be meeting on the second Tuesdays of every month at 5 o’clock.”

This is a change from the fourth Monday of each month that the board has been meeting. The Property Maintenance Advisory Board set the next meeting for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28 in its Monday, Sept. 23 meeting.

Mayor Hayes then asked if anyone had any questions for Mansell, and Alderman Langford asked where properties were located that had been billed by the city for clean-up.

After being told where the properties were, Alderan Langford said, “I’ve seen both properties, they look excellent. The city done really a good job, but I’m not sticking nobody with a $4,000 bill.”

Alderman Coleman pointed out the cleanup at the old block plant.

“I’m not certain that we would have reached the level of enforcement that we are today with the numbers that you brought to us as well as examples such as Burgess, University, the old block plant, had we not instituted some of these programs that we were talking about tonight,” Alderman Coleman said.

“So, thank you for all the work that you’re doing. Thank you to the advisory board for offering their suggestions, their input. I know they’re volunteering their time and deserve to be credited for your efforts as well.”

Vice Mayor Ken Dodson said he is honored to serve on the Property Maintenance Advisory Board and he encouraged everyone to come to its meetings.

“It’s very encouraging to see the progress that’s been made since this has gone into effect just in the before and after pictures that are shown in each of those advisory board meetings,” Vice Mayor Dodson said. “It’s making a huge difference.”

Mayor Hayes concluded by saying, “Thank you very much Kristian for the report.”

Next was a proclamation by “Imagine A Day Without Water” from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Regional Director of External Affairs Tara Wohlgemuth. The observance is set for October 23 across the state. The proclamation was unanimously approved.

Ordinance 2019-10-1 was approved to rezone Randall Norris property at the intersection of Preston Street and Bradford Hicks Drive from C-1 to I-1.

“And this is a step, by rezoning this, would be a step closer to landing our plant that is seriously taking a look at Livingston,” Mayor Hayes said.

Before the meeting adjourned, Alderman Coleman asked if Street Supervisor Wayne Peek could give an update on the paving of the Buena Vista area.

Mayor Hayes gave the floor to Peek, who said, “All that’s completed over on Carr Avenue. Buena Vista’s not been got. They’re coming back; they’re going to get it in. The rest of it’s been completed.”