To Town Charter
Are Also Discussed
BY SARAH GREGORY
A well-known piece of property often used over many years for recreational activities is soon to become the property of Christ United Methodist Church, following action by the Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday.
Aldermen unanimously approved the sale of the surplus property -- known as "Kiser Hole" or, more simply, "The Hole" -- to the church, which has plans to continue using the space for recreational and educational activities, such as Vacation Bible School.
Aldermen also gave final approval to two ordinances, a Kinser Park operating agreement, a pool room permit, and a mutual aid agreement with the 3rd Judicial District Drug Task Force.
Following the regular meeting, the board reconvened as the Greeneville Beer Board to consider permit requests, then held a public workshop to discuss potential changes to the Town charter.
Potential changes to the charter were the bulk of discussions at the workshop as the Town administration considers possible changes and updates to the 100-plus-year-old document.
A number of changes are being considered as discussions begin in what is expected to be a months-long process.
Some of the changes proposed by Town Administrator Todd Smith are small matters pertaining to changes in language or aligning procedures with Greeneville's new administrator form of government.
Other proposed changes deal with more complicated issues that are expected to take considerable evaluation and discussion, such as changes to the length of terms for aldermen or removing certain Town employees -- such as the Recorder and the Recorder's staff -- from the Greeneville Civil Service plan.
More charter workshops, to which the public is strongly invited, will be held in the coming months.
Two more are scheduled within the next few weeks -- one on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and another on Tuesday, March 5.
Changes to the charter must be approved by the state legislature, so none of the changes, if proposed by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, would be final this year.
(See separate article on Thursday.)
KISER HOLE SITES SOLD
The sale of "Kiser Hole" -- as the property has come to be known generally -- is an effort by Greeneville to, in the words of Town Administrator Todd Smith, "turn liabilities into assets."
After making a request to the public for proposals to purchase the lot, Smith said he received proposals from Christ United Methodist Church and from an individual, Frank Bowman.
Aldermen evaluated the proposals based on several criteria, including proposed use,; desirability and compatibility as the two proposals relate to the surrounding community; financial stability, size, and experience of the propose; overall economic impact; purchase price, and tax revenues anticipated to be generated.
Ginger Isom, pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, noted that the church has used the property in the past for events such as Vacation Bible School, weddings, and concerts.
In addition to those functions, the church has proposed using the property for functions such as historical encampments, festivals, craft shows, outdoor theatre, and more.
Bowman's proposal called for the property to be used in an annual summer music and arts series and other events such as croquet tournaments, Vacation Bible Schools, and weddings.
Bowman's proposal offered $3,000 for the property. The church's proposed purchase price was $7,053.77.
A motion was made that the property be sold to the church. It passed unanimously with little discussion.
Aldermen gave second and final approval to two ordinances unanimously and without discussion.
One of the approved measures updates the Municipal Zoning Ordinance regulating development to minimize danger to life and property due to flooding.
Changes to the flood plain ordinance were authored and required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to maintain eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program.
A second ordinance rezoning property owned by Joann Whittenburg from R-2 (Medium-Density Residential) to B-4 (Arterial Business District) was approved.
The property, at 106 Idletime Drive, will accommodate a new CVS Pharmacy.
MARLINS BASEBALL PACT
Aldermen gave approval to an operating agreement between Kinser Park and the Greeneville Marlins Youth Baseball association.
The agreement puts "things we've been doing in practice" onto paper to show "who's responsible for what" as far as maintenance issues are concerned.
He said the agreement will help "reduce some questionable liabilities for the Town."
The agreement, drafted by Town Attorney Ron Woods, received unanimous approval. It will have to be approved by the Greene County Commission to be finalized.
POOL ROOM APPROVED
Aldermen unanimously approved an application for a pool room permit for 125 W. Depot St., a location called "Poppy's Sidepocket."
Greeneville Police Chief Terry Cannon noted that there was nothing in conflict with ordinances and recommended approval.
The business is located beside Tipton's Cafe, in the same building owned by Jimmy Cutshaw.
MUTUAL AID APPROVED
The board gave unanimous approval to a measure that allows Cannon to sign what is called an "Interlocal Cooperation and Mutual Aid Agreement" as it relates to the 3rd Judicial District Drug Task Force.
The agreement is required by the state for the drug task force to operate. It must be signed by all police chiefs and sheriffs in the four counties that make up the 3rd Judicial District.
"We have to have it in order to keep the auditors happy, is essentially what it's for," said Cannon.
The mutual aid agreement gives the agents on the task force arrest powers in all four counties and their cities.
In comments at the start of the meeting, Mayor W.T. Daniels made a special presentation toGayle and Shane Matthews, who provide the Town's Christmas tree each year.
Daniels said the Matthews' "have been so kind in providing our Christmas tree each and every year," and presented to them two framed photos of the tree.
The photos, taken by Andrea "Andy" Daniels, were given as "a token of appreciation for what this tree means to us [the Town] each and every year."
The Matthews have provided trees for so many years they could not recall when they first began, but estimated around 1984.
In recent years they have provided the tall evergreen trees as a memorial to the late Jim "Mondro" Matthews, husband of Gayle Matthews and father of Shane Matthews.
Daniels also opened the floor to comments from Joe Aldridge, a Greeneville resident who spoke in regard to concerns about broken sidewalks near the Nathanael Greene and Classic Car museums downtown.
Aldridge noted that the crumbling sidewalks presented a safety hazard, as he recently experienced a fall in that area.
Daniels said that the Town creates a "priority list" of sidewalks and other infrastructure in need of repair.
Smith commented on the Town's limited resources for these sorts of repairs, saying, "We try to get to them as quickly and best as we can, but we seem to run out of money before we run out of sidewalks."