To Be 'Appalachian
BY LAUREN HENRY
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen recognized Allen Johnson, 2012 NHRA Drag Racing Series Pro Stock World Champion, at Tuesday's Board meeting.
"We've recognized numerous state champions, but never a world champion," Mayor W.T. Daniels said.
Daniels presented Johnson with a plaque from the Town of Greeneville.
Johnson thanked the communities of Greeneville and Greene County for their "outpouring of support."
"It means a lot to us," he said.
The board voted to pursue an application for the Town of Greeneville to be recognized as an Appalachian Trail Community.
Julie Judkins, community program manager with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, attended Tuesday's meeting to inform the board about the application process and what the recognition could mean for Greeneville.
The AT runs through Greene County and a portion of the Rocky Fork tract, which was recently designated to become Tennessee's next state park.
The trail runs from Georgia to Maine and attracts two-to-four million visitors a year, according to Judkins.
She said this hiker traffic amounts to $125 to $170 million in economic impact for trailside communities.
Since the AT Conservancy created the AT Community designation in 2010, 28 communities have been recognized.
The designation would bring attention to Greeneville's proximity to the trail and provide the Town access to the AT Conservancy's resources, Web presence and social media attention.
Daniels said he would like to see the Greene County Partnership take a leadership role in the process of application for the designation because of the potential tourism aspect.
"We are really fortunate to be so close to the Appalachian Trail," Alderman Sarah Webster said.
The Town of Greeneville will continue with the application.
Daniels asked the board if they would like to discuss the possibility of extending Greeneville's sewer service beyond the city limits.
The board made no motion to pursue the issue.
"I'm hoping some day we can come to some kind of agreement," Daniels said.
He said the issue of extending sewer outside city limits has been under consideration on and off for around 15 or 16 years.
Greeneville Water Commission Superintendent Laura White recognized that the Water Commission voted on the issue three years ago.
The Water Commission voted in August 2009 to accept a proposal from the City of Tusculum to extend sewer service to that area.
However, the agreement would not become final unless approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
The City of Tusculum did not pursue the application further because there was controversy within Tusculum itself about the costs of having the sewer service extended, and a deadline for paperwork to be delivered to state officials expired.
At Tuesday's meeting, Alderman Keith Paxton said he would like to see requests from Tusculum before the board moves forward on the matter.
Daniels said it is an issue of deciding what is fair for the Greeneville taxpayer.
"We are here to represent the Town of Greeneville, and that is what we are going to do," he said.
The board approved revisions on first reading for the Stormwater and Soil Erosion Control Ordinance of the Town of Greeneville.
Brad Peters, town engineer and public works director, presented six revisions mandated by state for stormwater permits and to "clean up" language in the current ordinance:
* The board replaced references to the Town of Greeneville with Department of Public Works or Building Department, for liability reasons.
* The board added language to Section 4-805, Land Disturbance Permits, to include land disturbances of less than one acre, because Peters said the majority of such disturbances are of less than one acre.
Previously, the ordinance did not address land disturbances of less than an acre.
* The board revised Section 4-809 to make a minor change suggested by City Attorney Ron Woods, to give the Department of Public Works the authority to enter a stormwater facility, primarily a dentention pond, in case something happens that puts the public's health or safety at risk.
* The board revised language in Section 4-810 to specify that grass clippings and leaves should not enter the stormwater system. Peters requested that individuals blow grass clippings away from the street.
* The board introduced into Sections 4-811 and 4-812 requirements from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for the issuance of stormwater permits.
Water quality buffers must now be addressed in the ordinance as well as dentention basin requirements.