From grants to absenteeism policies, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s agenda was filled to the brim during their work session and meeting on Tuesday, May 7.
Parks and Rec grant projects
Parks and Recreation is working on surveying land for the greenway extension, a project funded by nearly $1 million of Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) grant money. During the work session, Parks and Recreation Director Bonnie Gamble told the board that some property owners are not being compliant about placing the greenway on their land.
Gamble outlined three options: send a letter to the land owners and proceed with eminent domain, contact TDOT and see if there is something else the department can do without losing the money or the department loses nearly $1M in grant money.
She had an idea to re-route the greenway that, if approved by TDOT, would connect the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center to Great Stage Park – where Bonnaroo is held.
“TDOT would consider using the money going from the other end, which was our ultimate goal of taking it to the conference center to Bonnaroo instead,” Gamble said. “Eventually, the whole plan is to go to the conference center and Exit 114.”
The proposed route is still being worked on.
The original route was to take the Highway 41 bike lane and extend it to the Little Duck River Greenway near Parks Avenue and Emerson Street. From there, the greenway would go across the river and run along Wolf Creek to Bushy Branch Road and end at Great Stage Park.
To keep this plan, the city would need to use eminent domain seize the property and turn it from private land into public land, an idea both Vice Mayor Bill Nickels and alderman Bob Bellamy were openly against.
Gamble is also working on applying for another grant. If successful, the $71K project would fund approximately nine solar-power lamps along the greenway in Rotary Park, install a 200-amp service in the park near where food trucks typically park, be used to purchase risers for bands, add shade canopies and install 16 waterproof LED lights on the stage. The city’s match, about $21,300, will be covered by the Tourism Commission and would not come out of the city budget.
The Tennessee Personnel Management Association awarded Manchester’s Candace Davis, who works in the finance department, a scholarship. She was selected as recipient of this year’s scholarship at the Annual Membership and Training Conference held in Memphis Tenn., in April.
The money is going toward helping Davis obtain her IPMA-HR certification for human resource professionals.
The Historic Zoning Commission approached the board about implementing an absenteeism policy, as they have no had quorum on the nine-member board for their last two meetings. Alderman Mark Messick and chair Ray Amos asked for any member to be removed from the board after missing three total meetings. Excused absences would not count toward the total.
BOMA approved the idea with the stipulation that at-risk members would be contacted before they are removed. The current at-risk members are John Mancini and Scott van Velsor. Evans Baird is on a leave of absence for six months, which is considered an excused absence.
Removing members would allow BOMA to appointment new people, thus allowing the committee to have a consistent quorum.