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Dresden evaluates Hwy. 54 flooding

Dresden evaluates Hwy. 54 flooding
Dresden evaluates Hwy. 54 flooding | West Tennessee River Basin Authority David Salyers, Dresden Board, flooding problem, Highway 54

Executive director of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority David Salyers addressed the Dresden Board meeting regarding a flooding problem on Highway 54
The Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be “doing homework” to determine if the Dresden residents are willing to pay for a project to solve a flooding problem.
West Tennessee River Basin Authority Executive Director David Salyers spoke to the board Monday on the potential project to solve the apparently significant flooding problem on Highway 54 west of Court Square.
In order to proceed with the project, the board decided to contact the five property owners in the area to obtain the required easements.
Alderman Gwin Anderson made the motion to first see if the property owners were willing to sign the easements.
“If we get them signed, we’ll go from there,” said Anderson.  
The problem at hand was determined by the administration to be caused by an undersized culvert that had essentially collapsed.
The project estimate with a chain link fence is $99,115, while the estimate without a chain link fence is $87,796. The City of Dresden would be required to fund 50 percent of the total project cost with cash or through in-kind services.
Alderman Jake Bynum asked Salyers what the in-kind services would be. Salyers informed the board that the city could take care of any buildings that needed to be removed, and possibly even haul off any demolition material from the buildings.
Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester asked if the city had ever owned the property. As far as the board knew, it hadn’t been owned by the City of Dresden.
“We’re being asked to clean up someone else’s problem,” said Forrester.
Alderman Anderson declared his opinion about the problem.
“We’re looking at a $50,000 cost on the city for a state problem,” said Anderson.
Salyers informed the board the West Tennessee River Basin Authority is an entity of the state. According to Salyers, his understanding is that the property was blocked while the Weakley County Highway Department had it.
Salyers saw the area as a major health and public safety issue for that area of Highway 54.
The channel would have about a 30-foot top width, and would be accompanied by a 10-foot maintenance easement on the either side of the channel. The total width of the easement would be about 50-feet.
The Board of Directors for the West Tennessee River Basin Authority is requesting funding through the city budget totaling $1,400 to become more involved with the project.
Other unfinished business during the meeting included the Rezoning Ordinance 2013-01, which was relative to the denial of the request to the Dresden Municipal Planning Commission to rezone property owned by Julia Thomas and Robbie Browning from R-1, low density, to B-3, highway-oriented business. Larry Jolley spoke and gave a small presentation on behalf of Thomas and Browning during the public hearing before the regular meeting.
During the public hearing, Dresden residents who live in the area near the property showed up to inform the board of their disagreement with the potential rezoning. According to the administration, 15 people who reside near the property had signed a petition against the rezoning.
When the ordinance came up on the agenda, an alderman moved to rezone the property, but the motion died due to the lack of receiving a second.

WCP 7.05.12

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