Goodbranch, Goosebranch added to Moore County fiber expansion

If you’ve noticed large rolls of orange conduit along Moore County roadways, it’s part of an over $1.1 million project to expand fiber Internet in Moore County. Two new roads were announced this week. (File Photo)

LOCAL NEWS — According to Mayor Bonnie Lewis, two new roads have been added to the fiber expansion project funded by a federal grant from the CARES Act. Goodbranch Road and Goosebranch Road have been added to the project allowing an additional 162 Moore County homes and businesses to connect to Monster Broadband’s fiber Internet network.

The $192,330 grant will be issued to Metro Moore County as part of the Local Government Allocations portion of the CARES Act monies. This grant money is in addition to the $1.1 million grant that Monster recently received to add 26 new miles of fiber Internet coverage inside Moore County. (To read our full coverage of that grant, click here.)

“We had to make sure our plan for the CARES Act funds was not duplicated with any other requests through the PATRIOT Act or other sources of funding,” explained Mayor Lewis. “Because most all of our PPE and employee expenses were met through other sources we decided to apply for additional broadband coverage in the county. Monster Broadband had already applied for and received their CARES Act grant ($1.1M) paid to businesses to expand coverage. We decided to use our allocation to pick up where their grant stopped.”

All hands on deck for the December 15 deadline

The deadline for both projects is December 15 and the Monster team is working overtime to get the work done including hiring additional contractors.

“This is really an all hands on deck situation,” says Monster Broadband co-owner Charles “Boo” Johnston. “We are working day and night to get the project up and running — not only to meet the deadline but also because we realize that quality Internet is now more important than ever with so many Moore County citizens working and attending school from home. We really appreciate the public’s patience.”

As a public utility, Monster works along Moore County roads in the right of way. Johnston says that even though he knows it’s disruptive, he instructing his crews to do everything possible to put things back exactly as they found them — though that often takes a little time.

Johnston and Steve Baker, two MCHS class of 1990 graduates, launched Monster Broadband in 2009. Last year they launched their first fiber network in the Ridgeville subdivision along Tims Ford Lake. Since then, they’ve brought fiber speeds of up to 250 megabytes per second to over 500 homes in both Tennessee and Texas, where Baker now lives.

Citizens who live along Goodbranch and Goosebranch can contact Monster Broadband via email at sales@monsterbroadband.com to pre-order the service. Once they have your name, address, and a phone number, they will contact you as soon as your home is install ready, Johnston says.

Click here to like the Monster Broadband Facebook page and stay updated. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro Council meets Monday night

The Metro Council meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. There will be a Budget Committee meeting and two public hearings prior to the regular meeting.

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Council will meet tonight in a regular session meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Lynchburg Legion Building. There will be a Budge Committee Meeting at 6 p.m. and two public hearings prior to the regular meeting. At 6:20 p.m., the Council will hear public comments regarding the Metro Utility Board Amended Ordinances and a 6:25 p.m., they will hear public feedback regarding the MUD SRF Loan for the $2.5 million sewer rehab project. To read more about that project, click here.

Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis will also ask the Metro Council to approve Moore County Public Library Board members: Meghan Bailey (chair), Tammy Owens, Larry Luzader, Mary Thompson, Debbie Hart, Tim Moses, and Shelly Maynard.

In new business, the Metro Highway Department will present its annual inventory list for approval. The zoning committee will present a rezoning request from Seth Smith to change property near Skyview Lane from industrial to agricultural.

Several Metro Codes items will be discusses including a discussion of grandfathering in recreational vehicles and a new fees schedule.

Council member Sunny Rae Moorehead has asked to address the Metro Council regarding the Urban Services District (the former Lynchburg city limits footprint).

Mayor Lewis will also present a new $192,330 CARES Act grant to help Monster Broadband provide fiber Internet to 162 additional houses and/or business along Goosebranch and Goodbranch roads in Moore County. Monster previously won a $1.1 million grant to expand 26 miles of fiber in Moore County on August 21. (To read more about that fiber grant, click here.)

The Council will also consider a resolution from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to install a turning lane on Highway 55 at Moore County High School.

All Metro Council meeting are open to the general public and take place at the Lynchburg Legion Building just off Highway 129. For questions, or to have your agenda item added to the November Metro Council meeting, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro Board of Education meets on Monday

LOCAL NEWS | The Metro Board of Education will meet on Monday at 6 p.m. in a regular session meeting at the Lynchburg Elementary School Cafeteria. To view the complete agenda, click here.

In new business, the board will discuss a potential Moore County High School wrestling program as well as procedures and rules for displaying signage and displays in the new MCHS Gym. The board will also discuss the 2020 Local Education Agency Compliance Report.

Director of Schools Chad Moorehead will as report on school construction projects and the 2021-22 instructional calendar.

All Metro School Board meetings are open to the general public and may also be attended virtually. To address the board with public comment, click here. For more information, contact the Moore County School Central Office at 931-759-7303. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Council approves $2.5 million sewer project

Collapsed pipes, blocked sewer lines, sewage back ups, and even a moratorium handed down by the state limiting growth, Metro Utilities seeks to avoid these bad outcomes by moving forward with a $2.5 million sewer system rehab. [File Photo}

LOCAL NEWS | Collapsed pipes, blocked sewer lines, sewage back ups, and even a moratorium handed down by the state limiting growth … these are just a few of the bad things that can happen if Metro Moore County does not address pressing issues in its sewer system. That’s the opinion Metro Utilities Department (MUD) General Manager Russell Sells presented to the Metro Council on Monday as he appeared before the council to request permission to move ahead with a $2,500,000 State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan to repair the sewer system and restore capacity with an eye towards growth in the county.

Together with S&ME Project Manager Travis Wilson, Sells stated that recent flow studies during both wet and dry conditions revealed multiple root balls, cracks, and other defects that could result in major failures in the future. He also explained the flow monitoring uncovered a massive increase in peak times sewer flow.

Designed and build around 1960, the current system’s built to managed around 300,000 gallons a day. Flow monitoring revealed that during wet weather the system was trying to handle more than 940,000 gallons — a 526 percent increase.

“There’s just no way it can pump that much over a six inch main line,” Sells explained.

According to Sells, if that flow has nowhere to go it can back up into local homes and business, or even overflow through the tops of local manholes.

“The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) allows us five overflows in a single calendar year and we’ve come right up to the edge of that several times.”

Not only could overflows cause Metro problems with state and federal regulatory agencies but they can also fine the local utility. Instead, MUD would like to rehab and repair the older concrete and clay sewer lines with a $2,500,000 project funded by money already baked into the most recent water and sewer increases and facilitated through the low interest loan.

“We try to think four to five years ahead,” explained Sells.

Wilson added that proactive fix are less costly than emergency repairs. The plan calls to rehab 7,000 – 10,000 of Metro’s 40,000 feet of sewer line.

“Point repairs cost around $10,000 each,” Wilson said. “You can rehab it with lining for around $48 a foot. It’s a very economical repair.”

The Metro Council voted unanimously to move ahead with the project. The resolution will require two more readings and a public hearing. If it receives final approval, MUD anticipate work to begin next spring with an estimated completion date of February 2022.

For questions about the project, contact MUD at 931-759-4297. The Metro Council will meet again on Monday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lynchburg Legion Building. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Rural Roadside Rescue: TDOT presents herbicide plan to Metro Council

Johnsongrass is an invasive species that often blocks visibility where Moore County roads intersect with state highways. {Photo Credit: USDA}

LOCAL NEWS | Drive Highway 55 between Jack Daniel’s Distillery and Moore County High School and you’ll notice a constant down both sides of the road … shoulder high Johnsongrass. Growing unchecked, it can block Moore County driver’s vision as they turn onto local and state roads.

If you drive into Lincoln County, the grass isn’t a menace. What’s the difference? Several years ago, the Metro Council voted to opt out of the state’s roadside herbicide spraying program and mowing is more costly and can’t keep up.

According to TDOT, the state highway department and Metro Highway Department receive numerous complaints from locals each year concerning obstructed views when attempting to turn onto Highway 55, Highway 82 from numerous county roads including Good Branch Road, Cobb Hollow Road, Firetower Road, and the Five Points area near Motlow College.

Keeping the grass in control is an important but costly job. In the most recent year, TDOT spent $26,963 mowing 178.77 acres in Moore County. For comparison, the state agency spent $59,352 mowing 855.98 acres in Lincoln County. That’s a difference of $69 per acre in Lincoln County versus $151 per acre in Moore County, according to TDOT.

The State Highway Department will present a plan to spray Johnsongrass on local roadsides during Monday night’s Metro Council meeting. Two individuals from TDOT, Jarrod Bonar and Lance Roland, will appear to explain the states herbicide program and to ease any concerns about the “all kill” chemicals that have been used in the past.

Specifically, they will address UT Extension’s Larry Moorehead’s previous concerns about Round Up, which caused erosion and drifted into other areas, according to Mayor Bonnie Lewis. TDOT now sprays Out Rider, an herbicide that kills Johnson Grass only as well as a drift control chemical called Sharp Shooter.

Moorehead recently rode Moore County roads with TDOT and local farmer Jody Preston — who works as a Operations Tech for TDOT — to visualize the difference in the mow versus spray methods.

According to Mayor Bonnie Lewis, Moorehead did his own research after the ride along and agrees with the use of Out Rider on local roadsides.

The Metro Council meeting takes place on Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Lynchburg Legion Building located just of the Booneville Highway. For a complete agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076 or read our meeting preview click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Johnson Grass control, sewer repairs on Monday’s Metro Council agenda

The Metro Council will meet on Monday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lynchburg Legion Building off the Booneville Highway. {Lynchburg Times Graphic}

LOCAL NEWS | The Metro Council will meet in a regular session meeting on Monday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. Prior to the regular meeting, there will be two public hearings. At 6:20 p.m., input will be welcome on adding a sentence to the Temporary Use Permit. At 6:25 p.m., the Council will hear public input on changing the variance fee from $20 to $50 in Moore County.

In new business, the State Highway Department will present a plan to spray Johnson grass on local roadsides. Two individuals from TDOT, Jarrod Bonar and Lance Roland, will appear before the Metro Council to explain the states herbicide program and to ease any concerns about the “all kill” chemicals that have been used in the past. {To read our complete coverage of this issue, click here.}

Specifically, they will address UT Extension’s Larry Moorehead’s previous concerns about Round Up in previous years, which caused erosion and drifted to adjacent crops. TDOT now sprays Out Rider, an herbicide that kills Johnson Grass only as well as a drift control chemical called Sharp Shooter. Johnson Grass is a safety issue on Moore County Roads because it blocks driver’s vision as they pull onto state highways

The council will also hear a proposal to amend a Metro ordinance for the Metro Utilities Department (MUD).

MUD will also present a proposal to request a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan to repair the sewer system and restore capacity with an eye toward growth in the county. SRF loans are low-interest loans issued to utilities districts throughout the state with qualifying projects. The $2,500,000 loan will address rainfall overflow issues in the Metro Sewer System, which sometimes cause sewage overflow. Sewage spilling on the ground during any condition is a violation of the US Clean Water Act and are regulated by both the state and federal governments.

All Metro Council meetings are open to the general public and take place at the Lynchburg Legion Building located of Booneville Highway. If you have questions or concerns, contact Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Metro School Board meets Thursday

The Metro Board of Education will meet in a regular session on Thursday, September 17 at 6 p.m. at the Lynchburg Elementary School (LES) Cafeteria. {Lynchburg Times Graphic}

The Metro Board of Education will meet in regular session on Thursday, September 17 at 6 p.m. at the Lynchburg Elementary School (LES) Cafeteria.

In new business, the board will consider several personnel issues. It will consider tenure for two teachers: Belinda Smith and Amber Neal and also be informed of the immediate resignation of two teachers: Special Education Teacher Eric M. Davis and LES Art Teacher Whitney Ferris.

The LES Library will present a list of materials for “weeding out” … or items currently in library inventory that will be re-allocated to classrooms. The list includes books, science equipment, anatomical models, CDs, and other items. LES Librarian Sarah Gammon submitted the list.

Other new business items include a proposal to create a MCHS Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program at the high school as well as removing several early release dates (9/24, 10/8, 11/19, and 12/10) from the school calendar.

The board will also consider the appointment of five members to the Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority: Wendy Hart, Danny Mooney, Jacqueline Cates, Monica Hardin, and Penny Smith.

Director Moorehead will also discuss several budget issues including a transfer from the ESP Fund Balance, and an MCHS Construction Project Budget Amendment.

To see the complete meeting agenda, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Sheriff asks council to reduce speed limit on Tanyard Hill Road

Based on the recommendation of the Highway Advisory Board, the Metro Council voted to lower the speed limit on Tanyard Hill Road from 55 mph to 45 mph on Monday night. {File Photo}

Based on speeding complaints from local residents, Metro Sheriff Tyler Hatfield along with SRO Mike Rainey and Captain Shane Taylor appeared before the Highway Advisory Board on Monday night to request that they recommend lowering the speed limit on Tanyard Hill Road from 55 to 45 miles per hour.

“It’s a narrow road with sharp curves and very little shoulder,” Sheriff Hatfield stated.

“There’s also a lot more boat and camper traffic now,” SRO Rainey added.

“We’ve actually had a deputy run off the road along Tanyard,” Sheriff Hatfield continued.

When not posted, the road defaults to the state limit of 55 miles per hour. Hatfield, Rainey, and Taylor requested that the committee recommend to the Metro Council that the speed be reduced and posted to 45 miles per hour.

They also recommended two other narrow, dead end roads — Beech Court and Crest Drive — be reduced from the county wide 45 mph to 25 mph.

The recommendations passed unanimously and the Highway Department will work to get the changes posted immediately. •

Metro Council meets tonight

LYNCHBURG — The Metro Council will meet tonight in a regular session meeting. The Highway Advisory Board will meet at 6 p.m. just prior to the Metro Council meeting at 6:30 p.m.

In new business, the council will consider a couple of recommendations from Metro Sheriff Tyler Hatfield and the Highway Advisory Board. The council will also consider procedural changes to Metro’s purchasing process. Lastly, the council will consider revision’s to Moore County’s cell tower ordinance.

All Metro Council meetings are open to the general public and take place at the Lynchburg Legion Building located on the Booneville Highway. If you have questions or concerns, contact Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

School Board will discuss COVID re-opening plan on Thursday

MOORE COUNTY — What’s the continuous learning plan and/or COVID re-opening plan for Moore County Schools? That question will be front and center at the Metro School Board meeting on Thursday, July 16 at 6 p.m. In order to accommodate what could be a larger crowd, the meeting will take place at the LES Cafeteria.

On June 18, Director of Schools Chad Moorehead told The Lynchburg Times that he planned to stick to the Metro School Board approved schedule if possible. (To read that article, click here.)

“We have a school board approved schedule in place and I’m going to do everything I can to stick to it,” he said. “The one variable I can’t control is the virus.”

Whether or not schools should re-open to onsite learning and what that would look like has been a hot topic in Moore County recently as confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise. After holding steady at five total cases up until June 26, Moore County’s case count has since more than quadrupled. As of Monday, July 13 there were 21 total cases with 15 of those being active.

All Metro School Board meetings are open to the general public. To full the full agenda, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}