Union City Council hears plans for walking track at industrial park
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
Messenger Associate Editor
The area around the pond at Union City’s newest industrial park will see some improvements, but it could be next spring before any work might begin.
The Union City Council Tues-day night approved a contract with TLM Associates for engineering work on the project, which includes a walking track around the pond.
City manager Don Thornton said the city is going to try to make the track exactly one mile long around the pond, because people like to know how many miles they have walked.
The engineering fee for the $1 million project is $136,452. The city will be reimbursed 80 percent of the total cost through a Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant.
Thornton said he doubts the project could be started by this summer and expects it will begin next spring.
Councilman Johnny Bacon asked if there are provisions for residents who use the pond to fish. Thornton replied that the track has not yet been designed.
Mayor Terry Hailey said he has been there fishing several times and has noticed the pond is really shallow around the banks and hopes some of the grant money can be set aside to dig out around the edges.
“The pond is nice. I think it will be beautiful when it’s done. … It will be a nice asset for us,” the mayor said.
Thornton said he would like to do as much work around the pond as possible before continuing with the walking track, which is suppose to connect with land near Magnolia Place on North Clover Street. He said it will depend on what the state will allow.
In other business, the council:
• Approved a contract with Webb’s Logging Inc. to cut and clear trees on the east property line of Graham Park. Thornton said the only pay the company will receive is the logs themselves. Any brush cleared from the area will be burned by the fire department. The city may replant shorter trees in the area, he added.
The existing pine trees are going to be cut to accommodate the model airplane club, which has trouble taking off and landing some of its bigger aircraft.
• Agreed to sell an 80-foot portion of property on the south end of city-owned property located on North Depot Street to SLR LLC for $10,200.
• Heard a proclamation read by Hailey declaring May 11-17 as Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. A special ceremony has been planned for May 14 at noon in front of the Union City Municipal Building. A light meal will follow inside in the main hall. Police Chief Joe Garner said U.S. Marshal David Jolley is expected to attend.
• Was reminded the city council serves as the Storm Water Administrative Board for appeal purposes.
• Heard the new fire truck is expected to be delivered late this month or next.
• Discussed houses which are in need of demolition or repair and homes where grass has been allowed to grow beyond the height allowed by the city. Thornton said more than 120 letters were send out this year concerning the weed violation. Councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison implied that many of the homes in question are in the care of real estate companies.
• Asked that the home inspection program be placed on the agenda for the next orientation session.
• Questioned why the Boys & Girls Club is not upkeeping the property at the former Central Elementary School. Thornton said the club has not yet signed a lease, but Harrison said he thought the club’s officials had agreed to upkeep the property.
In a related matter, Bacon said none of the windows in the building, which have been replaced by the club, have been broken.
• Heard that the owners of the former Reelfoot Packing Co. are expected to submit a proposal to the city on the demolition of the building.
• Discussed the police department report with Garner, who said citations increase as enforcement efforts increase and that the assault cases increase when the weather is nicer and more people are out. He informed the council the city is getting ready for another seat belt enforcement effort.
The mayor also asked Garner about his thoughts on the consolidation of dispatching services.
“Personally, I would like to see them all together,” he replied.
While the chief said he thinks it would be good to combine the police, sheriff and 911 services, he doubts 911 would ever agree to consolidation. He said he can foresee the police and sheriff’s departments’ dispatch services combining. He said he is unsure if there would actually be a savings, but it would stop the duplication of efforts and lost time.
Garner added the police department is currently working through some issues with 911 officials, because they don’t know law enforcement procedures and are unsure what officers need.
• Heard from Harrison that the Cheatham Street bridge is looking nice.
• Was reminded there are two more weekends of the City Beautiful Clean-Up campaign. There were two employees manning the public works station Saturday, but they did not receive a call for pick-up service, Thornton said, adding they will work from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. the next two Saturdays.
• Heard from Hailey that the Westover Center for the Arts has received a $20,000 grant from the governor’s office for replacement of the electrical wires at the facility.
Published in The Messenger 5.8.08