THE HUNTER REPORT
DUCKS IN A ROW
By: Pat Hunter
Council's 17 + minute meeting
Mayor gives Visitor's Bureau Funding Update
Lenoir City Council's meeting lasted a little over 16 minutes. Treasurer Recorder Bobby Johnson Jr. was in attendance to record the votes and minutes of the meeting. This by far is the shortest regular meeting that I have attended.
Absent at Monday’s Oct. 26th Lenoir City Council meeting was Councilman Gene Hamby. Mayor Matt Brookshire welcomed Councilman Hamby’s son who was in attendance. The Mayor was thinking about Councilman Hamby and looking forward to seeing him return. Hamby has been absent due to illness.
Special Thanks to city departments
Mayor Brookshire gave special thanks to city departments for starting the landscape work on the Highway 321 medians. The project has been underway this year. He thanked the street, police and parks and recreation departments.
Visitor’s Bureau Update
Mayor Brookshire also gave an update to Council about the Visitor’s Bureau. He is currently working to provide some numbers regarding the Visitor’s Bureau’s additional funding request for this fiscal year. The mayor is looking to provide some numbers and he came up with some favorable things. City Administrator Dale Hurst is also looking at some ideas. The mayor plans to get this information to Council "very, very soon." The Visitor’s Bureau Board and business people approached Lenoir City Council and Loudon County commissioners about a request for additional funding or they would have to close their doors. The Visitors Bureau is located on Highway 321 in Lenoir City.
Grant application seeks to improve Downtown
Council voted unanimously to approve a Resolution to authorize the city to resubmit a grant application under the TDOT transportation enhancement grant program for streetscape enhancements along Hwy 11. The grant is for the Historic Downtown Central Business District. The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $120,000. There are a few changes not only is the City pledging 20 percent match and another commitment of $102,000, a special appropriation through Congress. There was a back and forth discussion between Mayor Brookshire and Vice-Mayor Eddie Simpson about the city’s match. The grant is an eighty-twenty percent match. If its $120,000 wouldn’t the match be $24,000, Simpson asked. He just wanted to make sure that it was correct before the grant was sent to the state.
Creekwood Park Blvd. Projects
Council also voted on the purchasing committee’s recommendation to finish some projects along Creekwood Park Blvd. with ARRA (stimulus) funds. According to City Administrator Dale Hurst, the PE is not reimbursable through ARRA funds so the project would be split with Wilbur Smith handling the resurfacing and Cannon and Cannon performing design services for the Creekwood Blvd. improvement project. This is contingent on using monies from the Creekwood account ($43,000).
Storm Water Program – Engineer services approved
TDEC audits Lenoir City
Last on the agenda was Council’s approval of a Master Services Agreement with Cannon and Cannon for professional services when it relates to the storm water program and bringing it in-line with state and federal regulations. According to Lenoir City Codes Enforcement–Planner Leslie Johnson, the city was just audited by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). The local press reported that the audit was not good.
This service agreement allows the codes-planning department to have an engineer along side with the storm water program. City Administrator Hurst described the company as having a firm with representatives with very good experience and “TDEC experience” as well. Leslie Johnson expressed her concerns, it gives me great security especially when we start dealing with state and federal mandates, I am no engineer but it always helps to have one by your side. Hurst mentioned that they would monitor the monies closely. This matter was discussed with the purchasing committee. This too was unanimously approved by Council.
No Warm and Fuzzy
Mayor Brookshire sat next to his childhood school chum, newly appointed Interim LCUB General Manager/Lenoir City attorney Shannon Littleton but neither appeared to engage in their customary chit chat, whispers and laughter during the Council meeting! What a difference a promotion makes.
Lenoir City Administrator Dale Hurst, Interim LCUB GM/city atty. Shannon Littleton & Mayor Matt Brookshire