Preparations are currently underway to ensure that Oct. 15 will be a day to go down in history for the City of Dresden.
At the October monthly meeting of the City of Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Mayor Danny Forrester reported that the city is getting itself all shined up for the Ned R. McWherter statue dedication set for 11 a.m., Oct. 15.
All city employees will be wearing special shirts and will be in charge of designating where visitors should go.
Poplar Street will be closed at both ends and the parking spaces around the court square will be closed at 6 a.m. Main Street will close at 9:30 a.m. and will open at the conclusion of the parade. The Latham Highway will also be blocked at that time. The west side of the square will be open to dignitaries and the handicapped.
The south side will not be blocked off and traffic will detour on Dawson Road. Overflow of handicapped citizens and buses will have clearance to park behind city hall.
About 75 to 100 chairs will be set up plus more around the courthouse from the dedication committee. EMTs will be parked at the corners of Vaughan Bros. and Reavis’ and, according to the board, between 350 and 2,500 people are expected to come to town. In case of rain, the ceremony will move indoors at the courthouse.
Barbara Virgin announced that the Chamber will host coffee and donuts for members and dignitaries before the ceremony.
In other announcements, Jerry Reid retired from the public works department recently after about six years of service.The department is using a temp right now who will be put on part-time soon.
Forrester announced that the parking spaces around the court square will be re-striped. A motion was made and passed to seal Maple and Poplar from curb to curb and black out and stripe all the spaces around the court square. The low bid came from Wade Construction, a company who also did striping for the parks and recreation department, and will be taken out of the paving budget and completed before Oct. 15.
Upon the questioning of several citizens, the board voted to handle property taxes like the county handles them – through installments. For the next five months through February, payments will be taken and then a 12-month program will begin.
Forrester reported a new possibility for the ditch off the CSX Railroad.
“They’re asking to take the concrete off the bridge and spread it up and down the ditch to prevent further erosion,” Forrester explained. “The culvert needs removing, but all we can do is spread the concrete.”
“In my 12 years as alderman, never have I had more people in opposition of something. Not one person wants to spend tax money on this,” Alderman Gwin Anderson interjected. The issue rested as no motions were made.
Public Works Director Kerry Cooper and Anderson recently walked from Locust Street on South Poplar down to Highland and determined the sidewalk needed fixing.
The board voted to accept a bid from David Hoskins contingent on paperwork.
In employee’s reports, Parks and Recreation Director David Beaty announced that soccer season is three weeks old and there are about 150 participants from four to five year olds and middle school students.
The electric company is measuring for three light poles and a committee will meet next week to discuss modifications of a Cal Ripken field in preparation for a possible tournament.
Fire Chief Paul Hutcherson is working with Rob Goad to get CDBG grant surveys out. This is a seven percent matching grant with a $300,000 maximum amount allowed for a truck.
No-burn permits are being issued due to the wind, dryness and humidity levels. The county has moved back the date to have the permit and is limiting the issuance.
In unfinished business, the board approved the water plant respiratory policy on its second reading. All medical evaluations have been completed.
In new business, the board passed Yard Sale Ordinance 2011-04 on its first reading with a few changes. A portion regarding the number of signs limited to one was removed, yard sale signs cannot be placed or affixed to a tree or utility pole, the first sign will be free and $10 afterwards for a 12-month period and yard sales will not be conducted prior to sunrise or after sunset.
The board voted to accept a request from Carl Gallimore to allow his horse to be moved from his old property on the Latham Highway to his new property on 463 Lane Street.
The neighbors signed a petition of agreement and the board will check up on the situation quarterly.
The police department was awarded a GHSO grant of $5,048 to go towards check points and purchase of equipment and the board voted to accept the grant.
Rounding out new business, the board addressed a request from Weakley County Schools to waive an invoice for false alarm response.
Hutcherson explained that the alarm company had been working on the alarms, but just as every call is treated as a legitimate fire, the department had to respond.He also emphasized that money is expended during these false calls and it must be taken out of the budget.
It was determined that when the alarm goes off, the signal is sent to the private alarm company and the company pages the 911 office. Without a call to the 911 office by the company beforehand to alert them that tests are being conducted, the alarm is treated as a legitimate fire.
The board voted to follow city policy and bill the school $170 and the school can then take the matter up with the alarm company.
Finally, upon the request of Anderson, Earl Street will be measured, evaluated and brought before the planning commission for possible inclusion into the city system.
Anderson reported that residents on the street pay taxes and have mail delivered yet the street is not maintained because it lies outside of the system and may or may not meet required measurements to be named a city street.
Forrester announced that trick-or-treating will take place on Sat., Oct. 30 this year.
The next meeting of the City of Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1.