Mt. Juliet Commission approves Station North plan, honors Rehab 23

Jacob Smith • Jun 12, 2018 at 5:40 PM

The Mt. Juliet City Commission voted on second reading to approve the Station North preliminary master development plan by a vote of 3-2 at its meeting Monday night.

The proposed plan includes 192 apartment units, 28 townhomes, a 3,000-square-foot two-story commercial building and three parking areas. The site is on Mt. Juliet Road between the railroad tracks and Industrial Drive.

District 4 Commissioner Brian Abston continued to argue against the plan. In the first meeting, he had an issue with the development referred to as “transit oriented.”

“The first thing I want to do is get rid of the myth about this being a transit-oriented development,” said Abston. “This thing is by the railroad tracks, but as far as being a transit-oriented facility, it’s just not there.”

District 3 Commissioner Art Giles joined Abston in the argument against the development.

“Obviously, I’m still against this project,” said Giles. “Anyone that I’ve talked to, I was at one HOA meeting. There were about five in the pact who were open to it. Everyone else was openly opposed to this.”

District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice argued for the development as positive growth for the city.

“I spent the biggest portion of my time on this city commission fighting growth,” said Justice. “I’d stand up and scream to high heavens trying to stop it from coming to my district. Somewhere along the way, I finally figured out that not all growth is bad growth, and we’re never going to stop people from coming to our city.”

The ordinance passed with Giles and Abston voting against it.

Also at Monday’s meeting, City Manager Kenny Martin honored the members of Rehab 23 and issued a proclamation that declared June 11, 2018 as “Rehab 23 Day.”

“Every event that we go to, be it police, be it fire, after hours, weekends, whatever, these folks are the ones who are providing important resources like water, food, sometimes loving words,” said Martin. “It’s one thing to care when you’re getting paid for something, but when you show up because you care, that’s tremendous, and I don’t think you can say thank you enough.”

Rehab 23 is a volunteer organization that provides first responders with relief from hot or cold temperatures, rest and recover, cooling or warming, re-hydration, calorie and electrolyte replacement, as well as medical monitoring.

Rehab 23 provides a vehicle for medical monitoring, which allows ambulances on-site to remain uncontaminated.

“When a firefighter or a first responder steps into that ambulance, it’s contaminated,” said Rehab vice president 23 Linn Yeager. “When it’s contaminated, you have to go back and go through the process to clean it, and that is not something that is quick. This allows them to use their ambulances and still get help when they need it.”

Rehab 23 is a volunteer organization, and Yeager said it’s always looking for more volunteers to respond to emergency scenes, particularly in the central and eastern portions of the county. The organization uses attorney Jennifer Porth and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to vet potential volunteers.

For more information about Rehab 23, visit rehab23.org.

The commission also discussed several other issues at its meeting, including:

• an ordinance to annex Baird Farm Roadway into Mt. Juliet. The ordinance passed 3-2.

• an ordinance to limit the temporary commercial real estate sign within the city to a 90-day period, with an allowance for an additional 90-day period to be approved at the discretion of the zoning administrator. It passed unanimously.

• an ordinance to create an annual fire inspection fee program and fee schedule for Mt. Juliet. Mt. Juliet fire Chief Jamie Luffman proposed some of his crews do inspections on businesses in the county to make sure they are up to fire codes. The ordinance was deferred, pending further research on costs.

• an ordinance to end the city’s tuition reimbursement program for city government employees. It passed 4-1 with Justice voting against it.

• an ordinance to adopt the city budget, property tax rate and sewer rates. It passed unanimously.

• a resolution to annex a portion of South Rutland Road and the associated right-of-way that lies near Baird Farms into the city. The resolution passed unanimously.

• a resolution to appoint Dana Swinea as finance director after John Rossmaier retires. It passed unanimously.

• a resolution to declare a city hall vehicle, a 2012 Ford Fiesta, which has experienced maintenance issues, as surplus and sell the vehicle. It passed unanimously.

The Mt. Juliet City Commission will meet June 25 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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