Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

October 8, 2013

City council faces annexation and charter issues

CROSSVILLE — Annexations of new property into the city limits of Crossville have generally been fairly routine matters for those property owners who request to be annexed.

That could be changing if discussion at last week’s council work session is any indication. Annexations on tonight’s council agenda may be the first to face a harder scrutiny by at least one council member.

The slate of city charter changes recently recommended by a three member charter change committee is also up for council approval along with additional changes proposed by councilman Pete Souza but not added by the committee including changing the voting rights of non-resident property owners and setting term limits for positions of mayor and council members

Tonight’s city council meeting starts at 6 p.m. for the regular agenda in council chambers with a meeting of the audit committee set for 5:30 p.m. in the city hall conference room.

On tonight’s agenda are two new annexations, one that has raised the ire of Councilman Souza, especially after the discussion he led during the council’s last work session. The requested annexation in question is one of 15.83 acres requested by The Gardens.

Generally, property owners who request annexation have had their property brought into the city limits and those annexations often are requested to gain access to city sewer service and other city amenities such as garbage pickup. These requested annexation have given the city a somewhat spider like appearance as neighboring property is not annexed unless owners are willing and request annexation as well.

A discussion of the matter was brought up by Souza at last Tuesday’s work session. Souza wanted all future annexations to not be routinely approved simply because they are requested, but he said he felt they should be looked at from a business standpoint considering current city taxpayers and to determine if the city would make enough money from services and taxes to pay for the cost of providing city services to new annexations.

Souza explained during the work session he brought the matter up to “provoke thinking” on the issue and expressed concern about empty commercial properties on West Avenue and other areas near the downtown part of Crossville. He said his concerns were with what he described as the current system of annexations having no planning method and being entirely “developer driven.”

Souza is concerned with development along the Northwest Connector and development of commercial property that would continue to pull businesses out of the central business district.

Other concerns addressed by Councilman Souza included what he called “areas of neglect” in the older residential part of the city including abandoned houses and drug houses where he watched what he said appeared to be drug deals taking place. During the work session Souza handed Crossville Police Chief David Beaty a piece of paper following his comments.

Souza also made a case for the city to consider zoning. He said that business-wise, parts of the city “were going down the tubes.” Souza added that he knew zoning would a “tough sell” and would not be politically easy to do.

When asked about the possibility of zoning, city codes administrator Jeff Kerley said some cities in the area have it, but added that he was “not sure how zoning would go over” for Crossville but he would follow the council’s decision on the matter.

The city charter changes proposed by the three members of the charter change committee are generally agreed to by the councilmen. The committee has released a 19 page report that includes the changes including updates from changes in the state law.

Councilman Souza sought changes that were not included in the report including a proposal to add term limits of two terms for the offices of mayor and council members. He also wants to drop a requirement of a minimum value on property to allow a property owner to vote in city elections saying the voting should be about the amount of money someone has.

Committee member Lanny Colvard explained that property based voting was not a right and the city of Chattanooga lost a lawsuit over property owners voting a number of years ago and Crossville set minimum values because of it. He added that the decision of the council is how much they want to dilute the voting power of city residents.

The matter of term limits, said Souza, came from constituent calls who he said wanted the limits put in place. Councilman George Marlow said he felt the council “shouldn’t take the rights of voters away.” He said the voters should be allowed to decide how long someone should be in office.

Other items on the council’s agenda include sewer line improvements, rates charged for depositing septic tank waste at the wastewater treatment plant and the proposed sale of two lots on Waterview Drive owned by the city.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • lver-greg morris.jpg New veterans rep joins Career Center staff

    The Tennessee Career Center in Crossville now has more resources available to assist veterans seeking employment. The center recently hired Gregory Morris as a local veterans employment representative (LVER) to work with both unemployed veterans as well as employers seeking job applicants.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richard Lemert.jpg Lemert pays visit to Crossville

    Richard Milo Lemert, (left) great nephew of Milo Lemert of Crossville, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, is pictured with L.T. Thurman Jr. It was Richard Lemert's first visit to Crossville and during his brief stay, he stopped by the Milo Lemert Building on Main St. and viewed the plaque that was placed in honor of his great uncle. Milo Lemert was married to Nell Snodgrass of Crossville and was killed in action on their first wedding anniversary. Thurman's father, Litton T. Thurman Sr., received the Distinguished Service Cross in the same WWI battle that Lemert was awarded the nation's highest honor. Richard Lemert resides in Raleigh, NC, and is planning to attend the Medal of Honor Convention in Knoxville Sept. 10-13.
     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2558.jpg Understanding the structure of addiction and recovery

    Bradford Health Services hosted a free workshop Friday for area agencies on the structure of addiction and recovery. Robbie Keeble who is recovery liaison for Bradford, was the featured speaker. With rates of substance abuse so prevalent in the Crossville area, several local agencies arranged to instruct participants on how addiction works in the brain and the process that those struggling with addiction need to take in order to recover successfully. There were 94 attendees in all, including several social service agencies, health care providers, law enforcement personnel, businesses and concerned citizens. If you are interested in attending or hosting a future training on matters related to substance abuse, contact Bradford Health Services at (931) 528-6803.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • TMSAA rules get one-year try out

    Changes are coming for the elementary sports programs next year, with a 6-3 vote of the Cumberland County Board of Education. That vote of support of recommendations from the athletic committee was met with concerns from board members that the move towards county-wide rules and regulations was an attempt to move toward middle school teams.

    July 28, 2014 1 Video

  • ffg fire 1.jpg Fire damages home in Fairfield Glade

    Not only did Fairfield Glade volunteer fire fighters battle a blaze Saturday afternoon at 107 Runnymede Rd., hot weather conditions were a challenge as well.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Banned ex-boyfriend arrested in break-in

    Last Tuesday turned out to not be burglary and assault suspect Larry D. Durbin's day. It wasn't such a great day for his victim, either. Both were arrested.

    July 28, 2014

  • Changes to county wage scale cause debate

    County commissioners approved revisions to the Cumberland County employee wage scale, giving county employees a pay increase, but the changes to the scale created a brief debate among commissioners Monday evening.

    July 28, 2014

  • Suspects identified in arson fire

    Two Cumberland County men were detained and questioned in connection with an early Friday morning fire that destroyed or damaged two tractor-trailer rigs and a pickup parked at a closed business north of the city.

    July 28, 2014

  • Summer winding down in Tennessee

    July 25, 2014

  • Celebrating a year of writing our area's history

    Now that this column has passed its first birthday, I’d like to send thanks to those of you from our county and around the country who have sent messages and questions about things you’ve read in the Uncle Gib section. It is hard to cover many of these events in 500 words, and I try not go cover the same event more than three weeks. Research must be cut way down, and the most interesting information on each subject included.

    July 25, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014