Mayor's Department

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BI-WEEKLY V22

November 22, 2021 

 
 
MAYOR BELL PROPOSES NEW GROWTH MANAGEMENT PLAN
 
On last week’s Planning Commission agenda, I asked Lebanon Planning Director Paul Corder to introduce a new ordinance for the Commission to consider. Currently when a developer introduces a Specific Plan (SP), if recommended by the planning commission and approved by the city council, there is no time limit on when it can be built.
 The new ordinance, if approved by the Lebanon City Council, will require that construction begin on Specific Plans within 3 years. In cases where this deadline cannot be met, the developer will be required to present their plan again to the planning commission and city council.
 I appreciate the Planning Commission unanimously recommending approval of the ordinance and sending it to the city council for approval.
 Several planned developments like SPs were approved 10 to 15 years ago. Because of the housing market crash, they were not built at that time. They are now being built by new owners.
 Over that time span, priorities change. We have inherited development that laid dormant for years and may not fit the current vision.
 Growth management is something that never ends. Future mayors, planning commissions, and councils should not be caught in the same trap. This ordinance will allow them to set their own priorities and plans.
 While a few developments will be grandfathered in, this new ordinance will provide the city more control over future development.
 Growth Management is not only managing the present, but also protecting the future.

 
 
LEBANON RECEIVES SUBSTANTIAL GRANTS
 
I appreciate Engineering Services Director Regina Santana, Traffic Engineer Kristen Rice, Engineer Dillan Jackson, and Grant Coordinator Anthony Tate for securing a large grant. The City of Lebanon was awarded a $806,368.00 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant this year for phase 1 of the Cedar City Pedestrian & Safety Improvements Project. The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is a federally funded program that provides funds to local governments within Tennessee for projects aimed at improving access and quality of life for residents. Phase 1 of the Cedar City Pedestrian & Safety Improvements Project will be paid with 75% federal funding and 25% City funding. The objective for this phase is to make ADA improvements at several intersections along Main Street and improvements to the existing greenway trail along North Castle Heights Avenue. The city plans to apply for additional funding for phase 2 of this project, which will consist of improvements around the North Castle Heights and West Baddour Parkway intersection. This extensive project will be ongoing for multiple years, and we anticipate it being a significant benefit to the City’s pedestrian access network.
  

 
LEBANON SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER MEMBERS VISIT LEBANON HISTORY MUSUEM
 
The Lebanon Senior Citizens Center Activity Director, Teresa Botts, scheduled a tour this week of the Lebanon History Museum as a November activity for the group. It was an honor, along with Mattie Neeley and Kathleen Vail, to show our senior adults around the newly revitalized museum. Located in the basement of City Hall, the Lebanon History Museum has wonderful exhibits that guide you through Lebanon’s treasured history. As Mayor and Lebanon’s Official Historian, I appreciate the ongoing efforts to maintain and grow the museum. If you have not visited, come and take a tour! The museum is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
 
TRAFFIC SIGNAL GOES LIVE
 
On Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., Ward 6 Councilor Jeni Lind Brinkman and I flipped the switch to “go live” for the new traffic signal at Hwy. 70 and Five Oaks Boulevard/River Oaks Boulevard. This infrastructure improvement was managed by the city but paid for by the surrounding developers. The new traffic signal provides safety and operational improvements for the intersection. The contractor and City staff will continue to be on-site during the next few weeks to clean up and monitor.
 Please continue to proceed with caution through this intersection as the safety of our residents is of the utmost importance.

 
 
DEBBIE LOWE APPOINTED
 
I appointed Debbie Lowe to the Sidewalk, Bike, and Trail Committee. I continue to appreciate all the citizens who serve on our city committees. Serving on these committees takes time and provides no compensation. These residents, like Debbie, serve because they love Lebanon and have a desire to serve and give back to our community.
 
 
LEBANON ROTARY CLUB CELEBRATES 100 YEARS 
 
On Saturday night, I look forward to being at the Lebanon Rotary Club as we celebrate one hundred years of this outstanding civic organization. I am proud to have been a Rotarian for the past 20 years. As Mayor, I will offer a proclamation from the city and share memories of the club’s 100-year history at Saturday night’s event. The club continues to make a positive impact on our city.
 Just last week, I joined the Lebanon Rotary Club as they planted twelve trees and two hundred tulip bulbs at the train station located off W. Baddour Pkwy and N. Greenwood. The two hundred planted tulips will provide bold colors in the early spring and the combination of Dogwood, Crepe Myrtle, and Magnolia trees will provide a combination of extended blooms from spring to late fall. Thank you to the Lebanon Public Works Department who brought equipment to help dig the holes for the trees.

 
 
INSPIRING VETERANS DAY PARADE
 
It was an honor to participate in the Veterans Day Parade on Thursday, November 11. The parade began on South Hatton Avenue and proceeded down Main Street ending at the Wilson County Courthouse. The ceremony after the parade was inspiring. It was uplifting to see so many people honoring our Veterans. Thank you to Jim Harding and the entire team who continue to make the Veterans Day parade and ceremony a significant event in Lebanon.
 
 
GO BLUE DEVILS!
 
The Lebanon Blue Devils Football team took to the field Friday night for the playoff game against Oakland. Lebanon has had many fantastic football teams and players throughout its history. This group of young men are certainly making history, as they are the first team to collect eleven wins in a season! Although we didn’t get the outcome we all wanted on Friday night, I am proud to say, once a blue devil, always a blue devil!
 
 
TIS THE SEASON CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA DECEMBER 5-7
 
I hope you will join Necole and me on Friday, December 5th at 5 p.m. as we light the Lebanon Christmas Tree on the square. We look forward to unveiling a new tree this year. The city is working closely with Historic Lebanon and the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce to make this a fun-filled family weekend. Several events are planned that weekend including Historic Lebanon’s Historic Places Tour on Saturday night and the Christmas Parade on Sunday. We will also have an ice-skating rink, food trucks, concerts, and much more. I hope you will bring the entire family and enjoy all the weekend has to offer. 

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Mayor Bell's Bi-Weekly Update
 
 
Constitution Week 
 
It was a pleasure hosting Mary-Margaret Farris and Judy Sullivan at City Hall last week. In honor of the Margaret Gaston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I signed a proclamation declaring September 17-23 as “Constitution Week”. September 17, 2021, marks the two hundred thirty-fourth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of American by the Constitution Convention.
 
 
Touch the Truck Event 
 
The Lebanon History Museum hosted “Touch the Truck” on Saturday.  “Touch the Truck” was a unique opportunity for the kids in our community to interact with our Public Works, Street Department, Utilities, and the Public Safety to see their commitment to our citizens.  Local youngsters, Tristan McFarlane and William Rabe, were selected from a drawing of Saturday’s participants and Tristan stopped by City Hall later in the week to pick up the grand prize! Although the weather didn’t cooperate as we had hoped, the event was a success in building public awareness of these essential workers.  I appreciate those who organized and participated in this event.
 
 
Appreciation Week for Local Healthcare Workers 
 
I appreciate my wife Necole organizing a campaign of local businesses and restaurants to give back to the dedicated nurses, doctors, and staff at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital.  The physical and emotional toll that our healthcare workers have endured during this pandemic is heroic.  Our desire is to set aside a week to pay special honor to them. We will shower them with appreciation and hope to boost their spirits by providing a meal for both day and night shifts.   Thank you to all those who participated in Appreciation Week including Scott Walker/Action Restoration, Noon Rotary, Lee Oliver/ Zaxby’s, Beauty Boutique, Providence Church Small Group, Wes Dugan/Farm Bureau, Debbie Lowe/F&M Bank, and the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.
 
 
New Leash on Life Tour
 
Executive Director for New Leash on Life, Angela Chapman, invited Necole and me to tour the facility and to see firsthand the initiatives put in place by this organization.  Lebanon is blessed to benefit from the services provided by New Leash on Life.  From the Adoption Center to the Joy Clinic, this nonprofit has become the model for communities across Middle Tennessee by “dedicating to improving the welfare of companion animals in our community through shelter, placement, spay/neuter, education and awareness.”  Angela and her staff have continued to take the facility and programs to new heights, and we appreciated the invitation to visit.  New Leash on Life is located at 507 Jim Draper Boulevard, off of Baddour Parkway and behind Pro Bowl West.  We really enjoyed the tour, especially loving on all the kittens and seeing all the puppies, but we also learned so much about the local pet population as well. New Leash on Life is a great resource for our community.
 
 
Jimmy Floyd Family Center Pool Resurfacing 
 
Thank you to the Lebanon City Council for approving on second reading a budget amendment for the Jimmy Floyd Family Center that will cover the remaining costs of resurfacing the indoor pool.  The Jimmy Floyd Center is used by all age groups in our community for an array of activities.  We owe past city leaders our appreciation for their vision to create the Jimmy Floyd Center complex.  As Mayor, I’m committed to preserving city-owned parks and facilities for future generations.
 
 
Sick Leave Donation Bank 
 I
 have been working with Chief Mike Justice and Human Resource Director Sylvia Reichle on creating a Sick Leave Donation Bank Policy and Procedure for our employees.  We appreciate the Lebanon City Council unanimously supporting this ordinance on first reading this week. The program will allow long-term employees who have accumulated unused PTO or Extended Sick Leave to donate to the Sick Leave Donation Pool or Bank according to the terms and conditions of the program.  Not only will employees who are struggling with health challenges benefit from the sick leave bank, but it will also provide a system for all employees to help their co-workers. We have found this to be an added benefit for new employee retention and for human kindness of people wanting to help their fellow coworkers in times of distress.
 
 
Walter J Baird Middle School 
 
I had the opportunity to visit Walter J Baird Middle School last week for the “First Annual Kindness Challenge.”  I spoke on the importance of kindness in life and in our community and complimented the students for completing their “kindness challenge” in their school.  These students were paired with a partner by their teacher to complete a summer challenge of completing acts of kindness for others in the community.   Our gratitude goes to Tabitha Cornish for initiating this program last year and for continuing to perpetuate a “kindness culture” seen throughout the Lebanon Special School District. 
 
 
Waverly Flood Recovery Assistance 
 
Members of our Street Department and Public Works are assisting the City of Wavery with both manpower and equipment in their flood disaster recovery efforts. We understand as fellow Tennesseans how important it is to lend a helping hand to others when we have the resources to be of service. In the Public Works family, people came from all communities across Tennessee to help the City of Lebanon during the recovery of the aftermath of the March 3rd tornado and we believe it is only right to return the service when we can. As Mayor, I am proud and impressed with the City of Lebanon employees and with how many great people we have working at the city who are always so quick and willing to offer help to those in need.
 
 
Kmart Center Retail Recruitment Project
 
As most of you have noticed the gas station in front of Kmart was demolished this past week and it appears to have caused quite a stir, and rightfully so, as this center is in the center of town and has been vacant for over a year. As I have said in the past, new business recruitment is important to this city and I have been working directly with the owners of this development since I became Mayor, along with Sarah Haston, our Economic Development Director, to recruit the right tenants for our community. Our goal is to have the entire center rehabbed with a great facelift, an updated parking lot and have landscaping added. We are also working diligently with the owners on aligning dining options with an outparcel in front where the former gas station was located. We are excited about this retail project and are hoping to make a formal announcement before the end of the year. We can at this time say that we believe we are in the final stretch as most of the leases have been finalized with a few minor details to wrap up. 

 

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BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 14 | JULY 23, 2021
 MAYOR RICK BELL 


1,400 JOBS TO LEBANON
It was announced this week that 1,400 jobs will be coming to Lebanon. A Fortune 500 company, name yet to be announced, will open a massive operation center that will include specialized manufacturing as well as assembly and distribution activity. The company will invest $182.8 million into the new facility. The new operations center will be in the Speedway Industrial Park off State Route 840.

LEBANON SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT DEDICATES NEW SCHOOL
It was an honor to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Jones Brummett Elementary School on Sunday, July 18. Congratulations to Steve Jones and Andy Brummett for a well-deserved honor. Also, it was great to catch up with long-time educator Gaye Hawks who was the inspiration for the new school’s mascot. It is a beautiful new campus that will benefit the families of Lebanon for years to come.

UPDATE ON FIVE OAKS/RIVER OAKS SUBDIVISIONS & HWY 70 NEW STOP LIGHTS
A quick update: Many of you have seen the auger truck digging the holes for the pole foundations. We are still waiting on signal materials to arrive. Completion is scheduled for October.

TOUCH THE TRUCK
Please join the Lebanon History Museum’s Public Awareness event featuring our essential workers. The event will take place at Lebanon City Hall, 200 North Castle Heights Avenue, September 18, from 9 a.m. to Noon. I appreciate our Lebanon City Departments, including the Fire, Water, Sewer, Police, and Public Works! Middle Tennessee Electric will also be a part of the event. I know we appreciate all their hard work every day!

BRISKIN LANE ROAD CLOSURE
Just a reminder that Briskin Lane will be closed to thru traffic between Cainsville Road and Sparta Pike on Friday, July 23 for utility installations. A detour will be in place during the road closure and motorists will be detoured to Maddox Simpson Parkway. Businesses on Briskin Lane will be accessible from Sparta Pike. Please use caution when traveling in the area.

BOCCE BALL COURTS
Many of us drive on N. Castle Heights Avenue and see the Bocce Ball Courts in the Don Fox Park Annex/Lily Pad Park. I am glad we have those courts available as many of our Senior Citizens have started using them for fun activities. Also, this Saturday July 24 from 9 a.m. to Noon, you will see the Special Olympics Tennessee hosting a Regional Bocce Competition. The public is invited to cheer on the athletes.

JOSYLN CONRAD VISITS COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY
It was great to see Joslyn Conrad back at the Lebanon City Council Meeting this week. This time last year, Eddie and Joslyn were in an automobile accident. Sadly, Eddie passed away, and it has been a long year of recovery for Joslyn. Everyone was happy to see her and how well she was doing. The Conrads continue to be a wonderful community partner in Lebanon.

WESTVIEW ACRES
The Lebanon Airport recently proposed a purchase of a home located in Westview Acres that would allow the airport more space for a protection zone, and possibly more hangars. The residents expressed concern about future road access to their neighborhood. On first reading last night the Council approved the purchase with Councilman Chris Crowell adding to the Ordinance that no access road to the neighborhood would ever be built. We appreciate the residents expressing their viewpoints. I encourage anyone who has an issue please visit us at City Hall or at a Public Hearing.

WEST MAIN SIDEWALK PROJECT
Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is making progress on the new sidewalk project on West Main Street. TDOT plans to be completed with the project by next month. Like most Lebanon residents, I drive this route each day and know we will all be glad to have the safe sidewalks completed for pedestrians and all lanes of traffic open for motorists.

APPOINTMENT OF ZACH SUMMAR TO THE NASHVILLE & EASTERN RAILROAD AUTHORITY BOARD 
I recently appointed Zach Summar to the Nashville Eastern Railroad Authority Board. Zach is a lifelong resident of Wilson County. He is married and has three daughters. Zach is the US Sales Director for NuCO2, a Linde Company. I appreciate Zach willing to serve in such an important role for our city, as WeGo Transit, formally Music City Star, is used by many of our residents every day.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MEETINGS
This week we had a great meeting and tour with Tom Nelson, President of Performance Food Services regarding their upcoming expansion and restaurant recruitment leads. It’s exciting to hear about their success and growth. We appreciate all our businesses in Lebanon. Business retention is a key component to our economic development and I’m always looking to meet with great businesses.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending Mr. Roy Drinkard’s 101st birthday celebration in Cullman, Alabama with my wife, Necole, Sarah Haston, our Economic Development Director, and her husband, Scott. Mr. Drinkard owns Western Village Shopping Center on Main Street; who has been a partner with the City of Lebanon since the early 80's. It was a pleasure to celebrate with Roy and we look forward to further developing our business relationship with the Drinkard Group.
   

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FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION SUCCESSFUL


 
We had our City of Lebanon Fourth of July Celebration on Sunday, July 4.  It was estimated that more than 15,000 people joined in the festivities, which included the 129th United States Army Band, Evermean Evergreen Cloggers, and the fireworks show!  I want to personally thank Patsy Anderson for organizing the event.  Thanks also to the many City of Lebanon employees who volunteered their time to make the event successful. 

CITY PARK COMING TO WARD 2

 
With money already approved by council several years ago, I was pleased to work with Councilmember Fred Burton to move forward on a new city park in Ward 2.  The City of Lebanon will enter a lease agreement with the Lebanon Church of God to operate and maintain a public city park.  The park will be located at 600 C L Manier St.  This will be a great addition to Ward 2 and continue the great tradition of city parks in our city.  

FLOOD CONTROL TOP PRIORITY

 
I continue to collaborate with city officials on flood control issues.  This is a top priority for my administration as we continue to seek solutions.  A promising project is the work to develop a warning system that will rely on stream sensors.  This new warning system will notify appropriate emergency personnel, and ultimately business and property owners, of potential and/or pending flooding of areas located over and along Sinking Creek.  I am also interested in looking at a similar warning system for Barton’s Creek and the businesses and property owners in that area.  I recently went under the Square with Brian Chomicki, the City’s Stormwater Coordinator.  I wanted to see for myself what is beneath our Town Square.  As we explored to see if there are ways to make water flow better, I gained a better understanding of what we are dealing with.  Brian, and many other members of the city staff, are working diligently on our water issues.  This was an educational experience that will help me make decisions as we move forward.  I appreciate city employees who recently completed the removal of 40 loads of debris and sediment from the square area and upstream. 

CITY PERMITS WAIVED FOR RENOVATION AFTER FLOOD 

I appreciate the Lebanon City Council voting to officially waive the city permits for renovations for homes and businesses that were affected by the recent flood.  Many of our fellow citizens are struggling through the process of rebuilding or renovating their homes and businesses.  The waiving of these fees is a small way the city can aid these citizens in their recovery efforts. 

 
MEETING WITH CONGRESSMAN JOHN ROSE

It was great to spend some time this week with Congressman John Rose.  We discussed a variety of topics including the upcoming Wilson County Fair/Tennessee State Fair traffic improvement projects.  I appreciate my working relationship with all the city, county, state, and federal officials as we work diligently on the issues that I campaigned on:  Quality of Life, Smart Growth, Financial Responsibility, and Lebanon’s Identity – protecting what makes Lebanon a special place to live. 

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS AND APPEALS APPOINTMENT 

I recently appointed Stewart Knowles to the Board of Adjustments and Appeals.  Mr. Knowles is a Lebanon native and graduated from Lebanon High School and Middle Tennessee State University.  He is married to Madelyn and they have three daughters.  Mr. Knowles takes the place of Mike Manous.  Mr. Manous has served on the board for 20 years.  We appreciate his service to our community.  The Board of Adjustments and Appeals makes decisions on city codes issues.  Board members must be an architect, engineer, or a contractor.

CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT SATURDAY

The Lebanon Fire Department and the Lebanon Police Department are hosting the 1st Annual Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, July 10 at 9 a.m.  The tournament will be at the Lebanon Fire Department Administration Building, 520 Coles Ferry Pike.  The cost is $40 per team.  To enter e-mail Jeffreyd556@gmail.com.  All the proceeds this year will benefit Matt Dedman and family.  Matt is an employee of the Lebanon Police Department, and the fundraising event will help with medical and family expenses due to a recent health issue.   

 

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Message From the Mayor



Message From the Mayor

     Over 200 years ago, the newly formed Wilson County needed a county seat. When surveyors found an artesian spring, they exclaimed, “This is the place!” They could have added another word because Lebanon is a special place. It is a place where people have invested personally and financially. They have raised families; worked hard; worshipped; built friendships; and created a community. It is my goal to ensure that Lebanon continues to be a special place that everyone is proud to call home. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to contact us at the City of Lebanon. 

Thank you for visiting our website. 

Rick Bell

Mayor of Lebanon

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Our First 100 Days    


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    Rick Bell


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    Mayoral Assistant

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    Mayors Office