Future cruising events on Greeneville streets remain an uncertainty.
The Greeneville Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday tabled action until more information can be gathered for a proposed revision to a current regulation in the town’s municipal code that bans cruising.
After discussing drafted regulations that would allow cruising events through an approval process, the board decided that several questions remained to be addressed before a vote could be taken on the proposed change.
Regulations proposed including requiring the board to give approval to a cruising event in a similar process to how special events are considered.
As discussion began, City Administrator Todd Smith said he had spoken to Alderman Scott Bullington, who was not able to attend the meeting, who had some suggestions for the regulations including requiring requests to be submitted to either the Greeneville Police Department or his office to allow them to be reviewed by town officials before consideration by the board.
Other suggestions were that a proof of insurance be required of an event organizer and that some type of deposit be required that could be used if streets are not cleaned up after the event, Smith said. The deposit would be returned if the streets were cleaned.
The number of cruising events a year allowable under the proposed revisions would be 20. Bullington was concerned that was too many, Smith said. Alderman Cal Doty agreed that the number should be reduced.
Alderman Buddy Hawk said more communication was needed between those wanting to allow cruising events and the police and fire departments about emergency access and other traffic flow concerns.
When asked, Police Chief Tim Ward said his primary concern was that there be a framework for cruising events. Ward said he had received many positive comments about the trial cruising event in June that brought more than an estimated 800 vehicles to Tusculum Boulevard, but also heard from some who had issues with the event. He added that he had not spoken with Tommy Bennett yet, a lead organizer of the event in June.
The aldermen said much of the feedback they had heard was also positive, but there were some residents in the area who were concerned that they would not be able to get out of their neighborhoods if necessary due to the congestion on Tusculum Boulevard.
Mayor W.T. Daniels said he heard similar comments and would like organizers of any cruising events, if they are allowed, to consider a route that included other roadways downtown such as Main and Summer streets, not just Tusculum Boulevard.
In other business, the board approved the abandonment of right-of-way along Bitner Street on second and final reading. No one spoke during a public hearing about the proposal.
Building Official Bert Seay explained that Bitner Street was created as a right-of-way to provide road frontage for a tract developed for Stowaway Storage in the 1980s. The two tracts used for the business have now been combined, with the road frontage being West Andrew Johnson Highway.
The paved right-of-way was not adopted as a city street and is not part of the town’s transportation plan, he added. An agreement between the adjoining property owner, Greeneville Oil Company, and Charles Allen, who developed the property, has been reached to divide the right-of-way between them for use in future development.
After that item was considered, Seay introduced Randy Davenport as the new planning director for the town. Davenport, who was previously worked as an engineer at Vaughn & Melton, fills a vacancy created a few months ago when former planning director Logan Engle left for a position in another municipality.
The board also approved the purchase of new equipment for the Public Works Department to replace the current GPS tracking system with a new one that will also include dash cameras.
Two special event requests were approved, one for Rural Resources’ Incredible Dinner on Main for Sept. 19 and the other for Main Street: Greeneville’s Halloween Happenings on Oct. 31.