Property owner Ron Williams said he moved into his home almost 37 years ago. During those years, he has watched two subdivisions grow to 20 or 30. He prefaced his complaint by explaining there was once a very nice golf course in his backyard.
“I could always look out my window and see people,” he said. “That doesn’t happen anymore. I used to see people a little bit after the golf course left because we had a walkway that went all the way around, but that’s not there anymore.
“The end of the walkway down Freewill Road is now a big hole with water in it with mosquitoes that are going to be in there all summer because water doesn’t flow.”
He described the once-pleasant scene as a mess which the whole neighborhood has put up with for four years. People used to walk on the path, ride bicycles and jog, but they have all disappeared. There are no trees and grass and weeds are 6 feet high.
“I once saw a very attractive picture of what it was going to look like,” he said. “We as a neighborhood were excited — real excited.
“We don’t have any of the promises that were made four years ago, not a one of them. All you’ve done is destroy one end of it and we’ve got a mess.”
At-Large Councilman Richard Banks said, “Four years is a long time. It’s frustrating and a lot of things we deal with and are asked to deal with fall back to TDEC,” Banks said. “I think we need to write a letter to state Sen. Mike Bell, Rep. Eric Watson and Rep. Kevin Brooks asking them to expedite any and all requests they have regarding this particular area so we can get TDEC moving on it rather than using it as a delay.”
The resolution passed by a vote of 7-0.
Prior to the vote, City Manager Janice Casteel said the answers Williams got at the time were all true.
“Our partner in this project is TDEC,” Casteel said. “We have submitted three different plans to TDEC. They sent us back three different revisions and one of those plans required cooperation from some homeowners.”
The preferred plan could not be implemented because homeowners would not cooperate and the city refused to exercise eminent domain. She said the property will be a wetland. The walking trail will be restored but it can only be mowed three feet on either side of the trail.
The city is in the process of trying to get more money from the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission to pay for more dirt to be removed. The aeronautics commission meets in April.
Consent agenda items approved by unanimous vote were:
- Final Passage of Ordinance 2012-03 concerning annexation and zoning of approximately 263 acres on Durkee Road N.E. between Waterlevel Highway and Benton Pike N.E., and the remainder of a parcel between Pirkle Road N.E. and Michigan Avenue Road N.E.
- Accepted the hourly rate bid from Cleveland Collision Center for body work on city police cars. The hourly rate for body repairs, $38; paint repairs, $38; paint preparation, $28; framework, $50. The term of the contract is March 1 to Feb. 28, 2013. Gilbert Collision center submitted respective bids of $39, $40, $30 and $55.
- Declared two copiers as surplus property to be sold on GovDeaIs.com.
n Resolution 2012-29 authorizing Mayor Tom Rowland to sign an amended contract with the Behavioral Research Institute for the Targeted Crime Reduction Grant.
- Resolution 2012-32-2011 tax refund to Robert Lipps in the amount of $7.
- Resolution 2012-38 authorizing the mayor to submit a grant application for the Safe Routes to School program for Arnold Memorial Elementary School.
Under new business, the Council approved Ordinance 2012-04 to rezone 11.6 acres on Stonebriar Drive N.E. from Light Industrial to Low Density Single and Multi-Family Residential.