Metro Council meets Monday

The Metro Moore County Council meets on Monday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. All Metro Council meetings are open to the general public. (File Art)

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Council will meet on Monday at 6:30 p.m. in a regular session meeting. Prior to the start of the regular meeting, there will be a Highway Advisory Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. and a Budget Committee meeting at 6 p.m. There will also be two public hearings. At 6:20 p.m. the Council will here public input concerning rezoning property belonging to Seth Smith from industrial to agricultural. There will also be a public hearing at 6:25 p.m. to hear public input regarding the new turning lane at MCHS.

At the November meeting, the Council will elect and approval all council committee appointments. They will also consider members for the Historical Zoning Commission for approval.

In new business, the Council will consider a change to local zoning ordinances concerning the number of employees allowed for Type II Home Occupation. Currently, the ordinance limits in home businesses to one additional employee other than family members. The zoning committee would like to change that language to “no more than 10 employees per five acres of land.”

They will also vote on whether or not to grant permission for Christmas in Lynchburg to block off the public square on December 5.

All Metro Council meetings are held at the Lynchburg Legion Building (formerly the American Legion Building) near the Moore County Pool and located off Booneville Highway. For questions, contact Mayor 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.}

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.}

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.}

Metro Council meets tonight

LYNCHBURG — The Metro Council will meet in person for the first time since Governor Bill Lee issued the Safer at Home Order back in March. Both the April and May Metro Council meetings limited in person attendance to 10 people. All others attended virtually.

Prior to the June 15 meeting, there will be an unprecedented five public hearings. Two will deal with the upcoming fiscal budget and the other three will be an attempt to clarify language in the Metro Ordinances.

The first, at 6:05 p.m., will be to hear public comment regarding folding the Urban Services District (the former Lynchburg city limits) fund into the Metro General fund. The second, at 6:10 p.m., will be to hear public input on the Metro Budget for fiscal year 2020-21.

At 6:15 p.m., there will be a public hearing regarding the Metro Council’s intent to clarify wording on Metro Zoning Ordinance 7.7.100 regarding fines for violations of zoning ordinances. The Mayor requested clarified language to give the Sheriff’s Department and Codes Enforcer “teeth” when dealing with violations. At 6:20 p.m., there will be a public hearing regarding the Metro Council’s intent to clarify language of Metro Zonig Ordinance 7.7.030 regarding required building permits. According to Mayor Lewis, they’ll just be cleaning up the language. The final public hearing, at 6:25 p.m., will seek public input on the council’s intent to correct duplicate numbering in ordinances 6.4. 140-160.

The regular meeting will begin t 6:30 p.m. In new business, the council will consider new planning commission members, Metro Budget amendments, appropriations for non-profits, and adjusting the tax levy for fiscal 2020-21 to $2.38 and $2.40 for the Urban Services District.

The June 15 meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building off Highway 129. There will be a special session meeting on June 22 to hear the second and third readings of the 2020-21 Metro Budget. All Metro Council meetings are open to the general public. •

{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 tonight … virtually

LYNCHBURG — The Metro Council will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. In order to follow social distancing recommendations, 10 people (including council members, the mayor, department heads, and the media) will meet at the American Legion Building. Other council members and the public will attend remotely. For credential to login into the meeting, contact the Metro Mayor’s office at 931-759-7076.

Monday night’s agenda is packed. In new business, the council will consider language clarifying language for several Metro ordinances. They will also hear a resolution to adopt personnel policies and to apply for a litter grant. Additionally, they will consider a resolution to allow the Metro Water Department to lease or purchase new water meters.

On budget news, the council will consider the final budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year and consider a recommendation from the Budget Committee to dissolve the Urban Services Fund into the General Fund. The Metro Council will also consider a spending plan for the Governor’s Local Government Support Grant.

Metro Council member Wayne Hawkins has asked to speak to the council at large about two items HB 2038/SB 2076 and a Car Club Event Resolution. As you’ll recall, during the March 16 meeting, Hawkins appeared before the Metro Council on behalf of the Whiskey Runners Car Club, the organization behind Lynchurg’s fall car show, Cruisin’ in the Hollow. The organizers were concerned that their event, which traditionally happens on the first weekend in October, would conflict with the Lynchburg Music Fest’s new date, October 2-3. However, after The Times spoke with LMF organizers, we confirmed that there was no conflict because the music festival would be held at a different location this year. Click here for that article. •

{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.}

Social distanced Metro Council meeting held tonight

LYNCHBURG — Despite the current Stay at Home order, Metro’s business must go on. As such, local officials got clever when planning this month’s Metro Council meeting … typically held in person at the former American Legion Building.

Tonight, the Metro Council will hold their first “socially distanced” meeting – 10 local officials will attend in person and stay six feet apart while others attend remotely. The new meeting format is based on Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 16, which allows city, county, and metro governments to conduct business by electronic means rather than in person during the COVID-19 health crisis. Prior to tonight’s meeting, each individual council member informed Mayor Lewis whether they intended to attend via phone, online, or in person.

Due to the trend of hackers “bombing” public meeting, The Times won’t publicly post the credentials to view the meeting. However, any citizen who wishes to attend tonight’s virtual meeting can contact the Mayor’s office for log in credentials at 931-759-7076.

Electing new fourth district council member

In elections and appointments, council members will vote on someone to replace Shawn Adams as fourth district council member.

Per guidance offered by Metro Attorney John T. Bobo prior to the meeting, “all references to a majority of its members or membership shall be interpreted as a majority of the then existing Metro Council member seats, not merely a majority vote of the quorum present and voting.” These guideline were established in 2009 .

Each fourth district candidate must be nominated by an existing council member and then receive a majority of voice votes. If there are multiple candidates, at the end of each vote, the candidate with the lowest number of votes would be dropped.

In other business, the council will also be asked to approve new members of the Metro Utility and Mayor Lewis will appear before the council to give an update on state grants.

All Metro Council meetings are held on the third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the former American Legion Building. Officials have not yet determined whether the May 18 meeting will be held virtually as well. •

{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.}   

Metro Council names 2020 boards and committee members

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Moore County Council named and approved committee member for 2020 on Monday night. They are as follows:

Budget Committee: Amy Cashion (Chair), John Taylor, Gordon Millsaps, David Boyce, and Gerald Burnett

Finance Committee: Lynn Harrison (Chair), Sandy Lewis, Wayne Hawkins, Keith Moses, and Shawn Adams

Industrial Board: Tommy Brown (chair), Sunny Rae Moorehead, Wayne Hawkins, Keith Moses, and Arvis Bobo

Policy and Procedures Committee: Arvis Bobo (chair), Sunny Rae Moorehead, Meghan Bailey, Houston Lindsey, and Gerald Burnett

Ambulance, Jail and Fire Committee: David Boyce (chair), Amy Cashion, John Taylor, Houston Lindsey, and Denning Harder

Building and Grounds Committee: Sandy Lewis (chair), Meghan Bailey, Houston Lindsey, Shawn Adams, and Denning Harder

Highway Advisory Board: Wayne Hawkins (chair), Sandy Lewis, Gordon Millsaps, Arvis Bobo, and Denning Harder

The Metro Council meets on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{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.}

Mayor: Sanitation ordinances need teeth

LOCAL NEWS — Garbage being thrown out the back door to collect on the lawn … garbage being thrown out the front door and rolling down the hill … properties that look like a junk yard there are so many dead vehicles lying around. Issues like these affect property values, cause neighbor disputes, attract vermin, and tie up local officials with constant complaint calls, according to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis, and she needs “teeth” to address them properly.

“We have these laws on the books,” she told the Metro Council on Monday. “But we need teeth to be able to enforce them.”

She’s right. There’s an entire chapter in the Metro Codes book relating to health and sanitation. For example, Metro Code 5-102 states that all persons within Metropolitan Moore County are required to keep their premises in a clean and sanitary condition, free from accumulations of refuse. Metro Code 5-206 addresses health and sanitation nuisances stating that it’s unlawful for any resident to allow any premise owned, occupied, or controlled by them to become and remain filthy. There are also laws revolving around stagnant water, weeds, dead animals and other public health issues.

Sheriff Tyler Hatfield reminded the Metro Council that these offense are civil and not criminal.

“We can cite them into General Sessions court but without consequences and fines, it won’t do much good,” he said.

Mayor Lewis did not come to the meeting without a plan and offered several recommendations which included: official letters from a Metro official to offending homeowners, a fine schedule, the formation of a Metro Sanitation Board, and even charging repeat offenders for clean up and adding it to their property tax bill.

Metro Council member Sunny Moorehead recommended looking at how surrounding counties handle the issue and using the parts of their plans that make sense for the county.

Metro Attorney John T. Bobo also added that Metro would need to handle situation where the offender and the property owner are not the same.

“We’d also want to be very careful not to place ourselves in the middle of private disputes,” he added.

The Metro Council will address the issue further at a future meeting. The next Metro Council meeting takes place on March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Building. To have your item added to the agenda, contact Mayor Lewis’s office at 931-759-7076.•

{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.}

Metro Council meets Feb. 17

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Council will meet on Monday, February 17 at 6:30 p.m. in a regular session meeting. There will be a public hearing at 6:20 p.m. to consider the rezoning of the Eakins property in the second district from agricultural to industrial.

In new business the Highway Department will submit the 2020 Roads Improvements List. Metro Public Safety Director Jason Deal will also give an Emergency Management Agency report.

Mayor Bonnie Lewis will also make public announcements about the Moore County Health Department and announce that Moore COunty will receive a Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Traffic Signal Modernization Program Grant.

All Metro County meetings are open to the general public and take place at the American Legion Building beginning at 6:30 p.m. •

{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.}