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City renames street to honor Cracker Barrel co-founder
Feb 19, 2013 8:23 pm
The Lebanon City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to name a portion of Hartmann Drive in honor of the late Danny Evins, one of the co-founders of Lebanon-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, Inc.
Attorney Jack Lowery Sr. urged the council to not only rename a portion of Hartmann Drive for Evins, but to also name the entire road for Evins and another co-founder, the late Tommy Lowe.
"I knew both these men," Lowery said. "Hartmann has left this city. I know the mayor is concerned about people having to change addresses; if they do - so be it. I think the city owes him, Tommy Lowe and the Cracker Barrel Corp.
The council moved the resolution to the top of the agenda. Mayor Philip Craighead said the city would have to determine how much of the road to re-name.
"All the way," said Lowery.
Councilor Kathy Warmath said the city needed to consult with the 911 Board to "make sure we're all on the same page." The council will reconsider renaming the entire road to include Lowe in two weeks. As it stood Tuesday, the road will be renamed from Baddour Parkway to Coles Ferry Pike in honor of Evins.
Councilor Rob Cesternino then brought up the controversial proposed plan to renovate Lebanon Town Square, which is in his ward. He seemed determined to clear up lingering misconceptions about the project.
"This is not a beautification project," he said. "A person was hit by a vehicle on the square, and that led to a [Tennessee Department of Transportation] safety audit. We had multiple posted meetings on the subject."
He said the project's purpose is to make the square safer, and TDOT officials had given the city a host of options that would have cost different numbers of parking places.
"The plan we selected will cost us 23 slots," Cesternino said, adding he plans to get to the heart of the issue by talking to every property owner and business owner in and around the square personally about his or her feelings on the project and pass that on to the state.
"Then we'll have one more meeting," he said.
He said state Rep. Mark Pody, who owns property on the square, recused himself from the discussion.
Cesternino also said Sen. Mae Beavers was "sandbagged" with the issue, and the decision wasn't up to these representatives but to the city and city residents.
"We'll have one more meeting, and everyone will be able to come, be heard and ask questions," he said. "You have my personal guarantee the square won't be shut down."
He said the work on the square would be done on weekends and other times when events were not planned for the square.
"No business will be run out of the square," he said. "The majority of people who have contacted me are all for it. We're not trying to close any businesses on the square."
Cesternino warned if the silent majority doesn't come to the meeting and speak up, it might not be heard.
He also addressed another sticking point about the project - the statue of Gen. Robert Hatton.
"Gen. Hatton will not be pedestrian friendly," he said, adding the statue will be more prominent in the round about than he is now in the parking lot.
The council also approved entering into a partnership with Wilson County on a payment in-lieu-of taxes for Project Zinc, which involves a roughly 685,000-square-feet facility to be along State Route 840 off Central Pike as a part of Farm 840 that will employ up to 200 people. The "user's" identity remained withheld at its request. It will include warehouses and a lot of loading docks.
In old business, the council approved:
• an ordinance to authorize certification pay for a wastewater treatment plant operator.
• an ordinance to buy software maintenance for the Records Management System for the police department.
• an ordinance to buy two MSA Firehawk Air Masks for the Lebanon Fire Department.
• an ordinance to reorganize positions and pay scales for the water distribution and sewer collection departments, due ta sewer collection manager's retirement at the end of February.
• an ordinance to authorize insurance recovery money to fix damaged dugouts and fences.
In new business, the council also approved:
• a certificate of compliance for a retail package store. The applicant, Sanjay Kumar S. Patel, plans to call the business Castle Heights Wine & Spirits at 1123 North Castle Heights Ave.
• a resolution to participate in the Tennessee Main Street Program.
• a resolution to hire a police officer for the Lebanon Police Department. This officer would be a full-time replacement for an officer who resigned to take a job with the Wilson County Sheriff's Department.
• a resolution to hire another police officer. This officer will be a full-time replacement for officer who resigned to take a job outside law enforcement as an EMT.
• a first reading to authorize a line-item transfer for the Public Safety Department to buy radios.
• an ordinance to authorize line-item transfers for the police, fire and public safety departments to set up revenue-expense budgets due to receipt of funds from the 2012 Wilson County Fair to cover overtime expenses for security.
• a resolution authorizing the incurrence of indebtedness by the city of Lebanon to not exceed $1.8 million in a loan agreement with the public building authority of the city of Clarksville to provide funding for certain water and sewer system projects, and to fund the incidental and necessary expenses.
The council voted to defer a vote on a resolution in support of the Wilson County application for designation as a Vote Center County until the Administrator of Elections Philip Warren could address the council in a work session about the plan.