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Monday, March 13, 2017

Shooting Sports Park, hiring retirees and masonry mailbox holders and more to be discussed at city council

The proposed Shooting Sports Park on Albert Frye Road returns to the Crossville city council's agenda for Tuesday evening after complaints came from residents near the proposed site at last weeks council work session.

The project, brought to the city council some 18 months ago by Cumberland Co. Mayor Kenneth Carey will be built using over $2 million from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on land the city is selling to the non-profit corporation that will operate the facility. At last months meeting the council agreed to the sale of the property under what city attorney Will Ridley described as a binding contract. The sale is to take place by April 1 under that contract.

During city council's work session last week, discussion on the
proposed Shooting Sports Park came up as neighbors expressed
concern for noise and property values.  City Engineer Time Begley
explained a diagram of the property to council. 

Several property owners in the area of the old city landfill property are now opposing the project due to noise and property value concerns. It is unclear what action the council can take at the March meeting.

The council's evening starts with the monthly audit committee meeting at 5:30 PM and the regular council meeting gets underway at 6:00 PM.

Council will also discuss and consider action on the matter of rehiring previous city retirees. Such rehiring will be more costly then the other hires as they would have to be place back under the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS). New city manager Gary Wood has given his recommendation on such hirings in the future.

Wrote Wood, “It would be my recommendation as a rule to not allow these employees to return unless there were extraordinary circumstances necessitating their return. In those cases, if they received a retirement buyout, that buyout would have to be paid back over whatever period of time they had to serve to reach the 30 year threshold or five (5) years, whichever is greater. Any other retirement non-buyout incentives received would be deducted from incentives received upon the subsequent separation.

Additionally, their pay should be reduced by 5% to put them on equal footing with other employees who now have to pay in 5% to ICMA (International City/Co Management Association) when the retirees would not be paying that amount. This is the only way I can see to keep the employee from “double dipping” and maintaining some equity with employees now under ICMA. Employees of Police or Fire could have knowledge based testing waived, but would still need to pass the physical testing requirements of new hires.”

Wood spoke during the work session and said that the city had hiried back the former city police chief David Beaty and that people seemed happy about that. Wood added that he felt the city needed guidance from the council for future decisions.

Wood also wrote about the bridge insurance that was offered to those who took early retirement and that it was less of a problem but still needed a ruling by the council.

Another somewhat controversial discussion was an ordinance that would not allow masonry structures to be built on the city's right of way that were higher then 6 inches. This would create a problem for the anyone who wanted to construct a stone or concrete mailbox enclosure. City engineer Tim Begley said there were several potential problems with those including traffic hazards, blocking the city ability to access their water and sewer lines.

Any such structures that currently exist would be grandfathered but new ones would not be allowed. They would have to be built on the owners property with a way for the mailman to access them.

The city is working on an ordinance to help control new cell phone and other communication towers as new technology changes. The city staff is requesting the council approve a temporary moratorium on such new construction and begin the process of approving a new ordinance.

Council will also consider adding a new full time position at the Palace Theatre. Currently there is one full time and 3 part-time positions. One of the part time positions would become a full time position due to the very busy schedule at the theatre and the need for additional help.

Work continues on the city's solid waste contract renewal. The matter was discussed at the council's work session with much of that on the difference between residential and commercial waste pickup. The matter has been discussed by council before without a resolution. It is something that needs to be addressed before the city continues toward a decision on taking back over waste collections or putting out a contract bid.  

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