First Avenue water issues main topic of discussion at City Council

Suzette Lowe

As in the previous council meeting, the issue of water runoff on First Avenue was a major topic of discussion at the July 20 session.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, avenue residents Sandra Bowles and Janie Smith addressed council regarding plans to deal with the issue.

“I know one of the main causes is the runoff from Route 33,” said Bowles. “I’ve been in touch with the governor’s office. But the city needs to take action as well. It’s my understanding now that the drains have not even been ordered.”

Chief Water Operator Jim Mitchum said that after discussion and review, the recommendation would be to pave the upper section of First Avenue, with the paving company crowning the road and increasing the height of the curb. Paving projects are normally scheduled for September or October.

“This should assist in channeling the water,” Mitchum said. “We believe this will address the situation better than the original drain option.”

Neither Bowles nor Smith were convinced that this was the best solution.

After the meeting, both expressed concern that new drains were not part of the plan.

“I’m in a ‘wait and see’ frame of mind,” said Smith. “I’ve been dealing with this problem since 2012. I just want my property protected. The deterioration since then has been dramatic.”

Bowles said both she and Smith will continue to attend council meetings and keep discussion going on the matter until it is resolved.

One action the city is going to take immediately in an effort to offer some relief is to clear the drains in the ditchline off Route 33.

“We will have our people clear those of debris at least once a week,” Mayor Carolyn Rader said.

Bowles also requested that the city council meeting agenda be posted on the city’s Facebook page and website, in addition to its current posting on the front door of the municipal building. It was indicated this change will be made.

Veterans of the Korean War will be honored on the courthouse lawn on Thursday, July 29, at a ceremony beginning at 6 p.m.

Mary Pistelli of the Old Hickory Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution shared the plans for this event which will included the laying of a wreath at the war memorial.

“This is the forgotten war,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of Jackson Countians serve in that war, but we don’t want them to be overlooked and feel unappreciated for their service.”

Members of the Old Hickory Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution watch as Mayor Rader signs a proclamation designating July 29 as Korean War Veterans of Jackson County Day.

The mayor signed a proclamation presented on behalf of the chapter by Selma Humphreys designating July 29 as Korean War Veterans of Jackson County Day.

In other business, council members Carolyn Waybright, Rick Buckley, John McGinley, Danny Martin, Bryan Thompson and City Recorder David Casto:

  • Approved a budget revision of $512,174 which the city clerk indicated was relatively close to the carryover expected from the previous year’s budget.
  • Learned that a final inspection of the Mill Creek dam was conducted on July 15 with no faults found.
  • Learned that unaccounted water loss was 7.57 percent.
  • Learned that new cameras and DVR have been installed at the city park.
  • Tabled a decision regarding slip repair to Emerald Drive until the Aug. 3 meeting.
  • Approved authorization of the extension of the Phase II Sewer Design Loan.

A planning meeting to determine improvements and projects to be considered at future meetings was held on July 21.

The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.