Collinwood Commission Hears Impressive Welcome Center Report for 2019

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   The Collinwood City Commission met in regular session on Monday, January 13th, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the conference/courtroom of Collinwood City Hall.

   The meeting was called to order by Mayor Glenn Brown. All commissioners were in attendance, including Vice Mayor Danny Sandusky, Commissioner Jeremiah Stults, Commissioner Debie Pigg, and Commissioner Butch Kephart. City Manager Gary Victory and City Recorder Cindy Kephart were in attendance as well.

   Mayor Brown called the meeting to order, and the invocation was offered by Vice Mayor Sandusky. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

   First was approval of the agenda. A motion was made by Commissioner Pigg and seconded by Vice Mayor Sandusky to approve the agenda as presented, and the motion carried.

   The next item on the agenda was the approval of the minutes from the regular meeting held on December 9th, 2019. Commissioner Pigg made a motion and Commissioner Stults seconded to approve the minutes, and they were unanimously approved. Commissioner Stults then made a motion to approve the minutes from the special meeting held on December 23rd, 2019. Commissioner Pigg seconded the motion, and those minutes were unanimously approved as well.

   Department reports were distributed to the commissioners for their review. Vice Mayor Sandusky told the commission that he had been approached by a citizen regarding possible illegal activity taking place on Dog Street, and Police Chief David Martin said that his officers would be monitoring the area.

   City Manager Gary Victory said that there were some problems with the new automated meter readers (AMRs) being used for gas meter readings. He said that some readings were not showing enough gas usage, and some customers’ bills may have to be estimated based on last year’s billing for this time period.

   Christine Chapman, Executive Director of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, came before the commission next and distributed different possible designs for the mural that is to be painted on the side of the building on Broadway near the Welcome Center. After a brief discussion, the commission verbally agreed on the color and style of the lettering for the mural.

   Next on the agenda was a resolution for the Tennessee Downtowns Project. The resolution states that the Collinwood Downtown Steering Committee will apply for a grant to fund the Collinwood Downtown project, with the City of Collinwood serving as administrator of the grant funds if the grant is awarded. Commissioner Kephart made a motion to approve the resolution, and Vice Mayor Sandusky seconded the motion. The resolution was unanimously approved.

   Next was a resolution to apply for a CDBG grant specified for small cities. If awarded, the $300,000 grant will be used to improve the water system and reduce water loss. The city’s match amount will be $39,000. Vice Mayor Sandusky made a motion to approve the grant resolution. Commissioner Stults seconded the motion, and the resolution was approved unanimously.

   A Public Entity Property Conservation grant was next on the agenda. If awarded, the city would spend $3,900 for improvements at the Depot Library such as security lighting and a camera system. The city would then be reimbursed $1,950 from the grant.

   City Manager Victory next told the commission about a company in Houston, Texas that will write up a grant application for a new fire truck for a $900 fee. The commissioners verbally agreed that the fee would be worth paying for the increased chance of being awarded the grant.

   Next was a proposal from TriStar Energy to create the Public Awareness plan for Collinwood’s natural gas system for a fee of $4,100. City Manager Victory explained that the state mandates that all municipalities have a public awareness program regarding city gas. Commissioner Kephart made a motion to accept the proposal from TriStar Energy, and Vice Mayor Sandusky seconded the motion. The proposal was unanimously approved on roll call vote.

   The upcoming dates and details for Music in the Park were next on the agenda. After a brief discussion, the commission agreed to hold the events on the third Saturdays of the months of April through August, same as last year. The commission went on to discuss possible performers and concessions providers for the events, and agreed to discuss the subject more in upcoming meetings.

   The Wayne County Welcome Center Report was next. Mayor Brown read the report from December 2019, which stated that the Welcome Center had 779 visitors during that month from the U.S. and other countries including Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. Volunteer of the Month was Jasper Brewer. The Welcome Center had a very impressive number of visitors during the year 2019, with a total of 12,458 visitors recorded in the log book. The commission discussed the fact that most people aren’t aware just how many visitors actually stop at the Welcome Center and often go on to visit local businesses.

   Under “Other” on the agenda, Commissioner Pigg said that she had heard several complaints about the doublewide trailer in town that formerly housed a tax service being an eyesore to the city. Vice Mayor Sandusky said that there are several properties in the city that need to be cleaned up.

   City Manager Victory informed the commission that a tire recently blew out on the city’s fire truck, and the city is looking at approximately $4,100 for new wheels and tires for the truck.

   Victory then asked the commission if they want to purchase a lighted or unlighted sign for the former Fast Pace building that was recently gifted to the city by Stan Bevis. There are plans underway to use the building for some type of vocational/technological education facility. The commission instructed the city manager to get prices on different types of signs.

   Finally, Chamber of Commerce Director Chapman asked the commission to be thinking about possible locations for the Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner, which will be held in Collinwood in the fall.

   With no further business to come before the commission, Vice Mayor Sandusky made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Pigg seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.