Dresden officials reject ordinance
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 6:17 am
By MARY JEAN HALL
Special to The Press
The Dresden board of mayor and aldermen voted against adhering to a state ordinance regarding the repair of drainage problems Monday, citing concerns over the financial burdens it would place on property owners.
Ordinance 2013-04 would adopt a policy on the repair of drainage problems on private property within the city limits of Dresden.
“What we’re mandated to do, is to pass an ordinance to fix the drainage problem and each drainage problem has to be addressed specifically,” Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester said. “That’s what we have to do under state law. That’s where we are at this time, then we will go from there.”
The ordinance failed with a 2-3 vote. Aldermen Gwin Anderson and Ronnie Gearin voted in favor of the ordinance, while aldermen Robb Newbill, Donnie Essary and Jake Bynum voted against it. Alderman Dick Tidwell was absent.
“I’ll have to notify the state attorney general that this board has gone in violation of state law,” Forrester said after the board failed to approve the ordinance. “We’ll turn this over to the ethics committee at the same time.”
The board is required by state law to pass the ordinance, according to Judge James Bradberry, who cited many sections of Tennessee Code Annotated, or TCA, which address the issue.
TCA 7-32-101 subsection C states in part “the municipalities described shall also have the power to design, or cause to be designed, contract for, execute, or cause to be executed, improvements or altercations for flood control, water management, soil erosion, and disaster relief and to cause not less than two thirds of the cost or expense of the work and improvements mentioned in this subsection not paid by federal funds to be assessed against property within the flood plain in which the improvements or alterations are made.”
There was some discussion before the vote regarding the cost of the project.
“There’s not any way to answer that question of, “What is it going to cost me?’” Forrester said before the vote. “After we pass this ordinance, then I can ask the state if they can let us apply for a grant.”
Bynum inquired about how the remainder of the cost would be divided among the property owners since the ordinance didn’t specify, and Forrester replied that the board of aldermen would decide it.
The ordinance resulted from residents requesting assistance in repairing drainage problems on private and public properties within the city limits. The ordinance states that a drainage problem exists along Pikeview Street and affects the properties owned by Buck Hurt, Weakley County Gas & Oil, Lynn Arnold, Jesse Garner and Jimmy Dilday.
The West Tennessee River Basin Authority has studied the project and has developed a design to solve the persistent drainage problem. The estimated total cost is $99,115.
The city of Dresden would only pay for up to 25 percent of the total project cost and the rest of the cost would be up to the property owners. Many residents showed up at the public hearing to express their concerns and disapproval of the ordinance.
In other business:
• The board of aldermen also accepted the bid from Martin Paving Company to pave the D&C Subdivision for about $71,400.
• The board passed the second reading of Ordinance 2013-02, which would prohibit heavy vehicle traffic on most streets. The ordinance would essentially prohibit any tractor-trailer, or any category of truck with a Gross Value Weight in excess of 10,000 pounds, from operating on any street in Dresden other than on Morrow Street, Main Street or any street designated as a State or Federal Highway.
• The board amended the ordinance by clarifying the in section two about non-licensed agriculture equipment.
• The board passed the second reading of Ordinance 2013-03, which revised the purchasing policy.
There will be a called board meeting at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 15. Published in The WCP 10.2.12