Planning to lead city council meetings

Xavier Smith • Jan 5, 2016 at 1:00 PM

The Lebanon City Council will focus on strategic planning and Lebanon Planning Department projects during Tuesday’s work session and regular meeting.

The work session will focus on the Planning Department’s projects, which comes after the city held its first work session in November to establish a vision plan for the city.

“For me, my long-term goal is to have a planning and development department that says, ‘if you want to do business with the city of Lebanon, we are developer friendly, but our developments are community focused,” Councilor Rob Cesternino said during the November meeting.

Several councilors addressed infrastructure needs as a top short-term priority during the three-hour work session.

“We don’t have enough sidewalks in this town, if for nothing else, for our children,” Councilor Tick Bryan said during the work session. “We should have sidewalks near schools. That should be our first priority. Children should not have to walk on the road, in a neighbor’s yard or a ditch to get to school.”

The council will also discuss ordinances that would involve street paving and sidewalks and the city’s strategic planning during the regular meeting.

One ordinance would add $1.5 million to the current fiscal year budget for street paving, sidewalk installation, repair and rehab.

The council will also look to add at least three new personnel for strategic planning, along with appropriate funds for a comprehensive study.

The city will use the comprehensive baseline study to identify and focus on parts of the city most affected by planning initiatives.

The additional positions – urban designer, administrative assistant and part-time codes enforcement officer – are classified as necessary to accomplish the city’s goals and objectives for smart growth.

The total amount of funds from the budget fund balance to be used for the initiatives is $77,385.

In other business, the council is expected to discuss:

• the Tennessee Department of Transportation Multimodal Access Fund Grant program.

• buying new bleachers for the recreation department.

• a gas interfund loan capital outlay note not to exceed $700,000 to create quiet zones for railroad crossings at Maple Hill Road, Carver Lane, Baddour Parkway, Babb Drive, Hartmann Drive and Hidden Acres.

The council will meet at 5 p.m. for its work session and 6 p.m. in regular meeting at the Town Meeting Hall. A public hearing is scheduled for 5:55 p.m.

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