The city of Collegedale added 19 properties to its city limits during the commission meeting Tuesday evening. The first reading of each ordinance was on Aug. 20, and at that time landowners had been notified of the city’s intent. A second reading is required for annexation of property, which gave time for anyone involved, to respond. The properties were added with only one person speaking in opposition, and he failed to identify his parcel when the ordinances were read.
Mayor John Turner explained that when a property is annexed, a second ordinance is passed that declares the land to its appropriate use and assigns a zoning classification. At that time, a resolution is also passed concerning a Plan of Services that the city will provide for each parcel. On second reading, 12 properties were annexed and given AG zoning (agricultural zone), Five parcels were added with C-2 zoning (shopping center commercial zone), and two zoned R-1L [low density single family residential).
Most of this land is east of the town, and City Attorney Sam Elliot explained that all the property that was annexed fell within the Urban Growth Plan boundaries for Collegedale. This is a plan created by the state of Tennessee to regulate the growth of cities.
In new business, on the recommendation of Andrew Morkert, building codes and safety officer, the commission voted that the city apply for a driver’s safety grant. Money received will be used toward reimbursing the city for such items as the cost for drivers’ license check points, and license applications of Collegedale employees who operate city vehicles.
Public Works Director Rodney Keeton requested that the commission require the use of bio-degradable bags for the collection of leaf, grass and brush. In the past both plastic and paper bags were acceptable. The city makes mulch from the brush it collects and offers it to residents of the city. The plastic bags that have been used previously show up in the mulch and will never disintegrate. The new bags will degrade in two years.
A downside to bio-degradable bags is the cost, which is $1 per bag, versus 30-50 cents for the old plastic ones. Vice Mayor Tim Johnson asked if there was an alternative since the price difference is so great. Mr. Keeton told the commissioners that paper ones could continue to be used as long as they don’t get wet, which makes them impossible to pick up without tearing. He also said that a vacuum truck could be used, but would cost around $100,000 to buy.
The commission voted to require the recyclable bags with the understanding that the issue could be reconsidered in the future. Vice Mayor Johnson was the only dissenting vote.
In their individual reports, a concern about the city’s garbage pick-up service was expressed by Commissioner Debbie Baker. She had watched the new garbage truck in use and noticed that as the waste bins were tilted, bags from them fell to the ground and were just left. Mr. Keeton explained that the operator of the truck is learning new motions and that the process is guided by a camera while he sits on the opposite side of the truck. The whole stop can be made in about seven seconds, he said.
Vice Mayor Johnson told the other commissioners that in driving through the city recently, he had noticed a lot of abandoned vehicles. City Manager Ted Rogers said that he, too, had noticed the same thing. He told Mr. Johnson that citations have been issued for several of these eyesores which should help take care of the problem.