Local News Articles

DeKalb West Project Could Be Ready for March Bid Opening

January 11, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb West School construction project may be ready for a bid opening in March.

Jim Harrison, engineer for Kaatz, Binkley, Jones, & Morris Architects of Mount Juliet, updated the school board on the project Thursday night. "I'm just here tonight to update you on the progress that we've made on the design. We're proceeding through design. We're really on track for a schedule to get plans to the printer for March 7. That's our target date. We'll have drawings to the fire marshal on March 8. That's all in an effort to get to the March 28 bid opening. We'll have a pre-bid on March 13 but we're continuing at this point through design. Different elements of design are a little further along than others. Our goal is to get this all set up and to anticipate a year long construction period following that bid cycle," said Harrison.

FEMA grant funds of more than $1.5 million have been approved for the "Tornado Safe Room" addition at DeKalb West School. The plan calls for $600,000 in local funding to meet a 12.5% FEMA grant match for building eight tornado "safe rooms" at the school. The proposed addition will be constructed in the front of the school, including eight classrooms, restrooms, a new secure entrance, an office, clinic, conference room, guidance and teacher work area. A cafeteria and kitchen renovation is also included for the school. Local funding is in place for project costs not covered by the grant.

In other business, the board of education voted 3-2 to sign a letter of intent with Energy Architects in Nashville, a strategic solar project development company, to possibly enter into a business arrangement facilitating the financing, design, construction, installation, and maintenance of solar panels on up to six local school buildings.

Jon Sturgeon, spokesman for Energy Architects, pitched the proposal to the school board. "Essentially, what we're doing is a public/private partnership. We are a strategic renewable energies company, primarily focused on solar and energy efficiency projects. All of our background and expertise is in solar deployment and things of that nature," said Sturgeon.

According to Sturgeon, the letter of intent is non-binding and allows the company to pursue looking at this project. "This will allow you to share your electric bills, for us to work in your behalf at no cost to you, to go to each building to do site drawings where the solar panels would fit on the buildings, to submit those into your local utility, to work with your local utility, and then to submit them to TVA for approval of the project. The letter of intent allows us to have time to put this whole project together for you. Once we've done all the analysis, we've got the funding group, and we've got the document before you, then we'll bring something and you'll look at it and decide if you want to do it,"said Sturgeon.

Board members Kenny Rhody, Charles Robinson, and Chairman Johnny Lattimore voted in favor of signing the letter of intent. Billy Miller and Doug Stephens voted no because of concerns over certain wording contained in the letter. Board members W.J. (Dub) Evins, III and John David Foutch were absent.

Through the TVA Green Power Providers Program, DeKalb County Schools would partner with the Tennessee Valley Authority by having solar panels installed at up to six school buildings at no cost to the school system. The money would come from third party investors. The energy produced goes straight to the TVA power grid and TVA would pay the school system a premium for the energy that's produced by the solar panels. "Essentially, we install it, we operate it, we maintain it. Typically, it's a twenty year agreement that we do. At the end of twenty years you own it," said Sturgeon. "The largest system that can be deployed in Tennessee is a 50 kilowatt system. Our model is to build, manage, and operate these systems. We essentially build these systems and work with municipalities and school districts to put them on their roof tops at no cost to the municipality or school district. Our investors pay 100% of the capital to build and maintain these programs. We put together a commercial entity who can take advantage of the tax credits that you can't take advantage of (as a non-profit entity). We have to go out in the investment community and find investors that are interested in a project like this. There's an audience of investors who are interested in embracing clean energy. They also realize that because solar has no moving parts, it's a very stable kind of energy production facility. These tend to be investors who are not really after Wall Street returns. There's no wild returns on this. But there is really good high single digit steady returns for twenty years. That's hard to find nowadays. This isn't the stock market. Its physics, electricity, and TVA paying you for the power production," said Sturgeon. "In this case, we believe you would have six buildings that would qualify so we're probably talking about a million dollars of investment that the investors would put into this," he added.

"TVA will only send the electric credits to the building owner or the person who has a meter. We can't install more solar on your building than that meter is billed each month. A 50 kilowatt system is about two hundred solar panels and that would roughly offset about $1,200 per month in electrical costs. Right now you get a bill from your utilities, Smithville Electric and Middle Tennessee Electric. What would happen, each month you would get a bill that shows the number of kilowatt hours used times ten cents per kilowatt hour and there's your total. In this program, on your bill you'll have a second line and it will say "TVA Green Power Providers", the number of kilowatt hours the solar arrays generated into the grid at nineteen cents per kilowatt hour. So they're going to pay you a premium for the first ten years of almost double retail. Once the system is installed and energized you'll get a thousand dollars from TVA for each of the six buildings but the recurring revenue over and above the cost of the payment for the system, which would be your revenue, would probably work out to be about $58,000 per building or $348,000 in revenue over twenty years," said Sturgeon.

DCHS Principal Patrick Cripps updated the board on upcoming events at the school including a presentation on bullying. "This coming Tuesday, January 15 we'll be doing our practice writing prompt and preparation for the state assessment. Our eleventh graders will be taking that on February 5. On January 17 Camfel productions will be doing a presentation in our school on bullying. They came last year and did a really fine job of that so they're coming back this year. Senior cap and gown pictures will be made January 30 at 8:30 a.m. in our cafeteria. Parents will be able to view the proofs of those pictures on February 2 from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and on February 3 from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the high school cafeteria. Its already getting that time of year when we're getting ready for graduation," said Cripps

Sabrina Farler, Assistant Principal at DeKalb West School, also gave a report. "From DeKalb West School, we just want to remind parents that report cards went home this past Tuesday and we've just now started off our third nine weeks. We're working on safety at the west school. With the upcoming building project, we're encouraging our parents to enter through the cafeteria entrance side door as our main entrance. We are entering and exiting that door. We've installed a doorbell system. A very simple doorbell system that rings in the office and one of our school employees will come and open up the door and let you in," said Farler.

In other business, the school board adopted a resolution of appreciation honoring Food Service Staff.

The resolution is as follows:

"Whereas, Food Service Staff members rise before dawn every day in order to prepare breakfast and lunch for students and faculty; and

Whereas, Food Service Staff members can, by encouraging words and a pleasant attitude, spread joy to students and make every day better for them and increase their chances of learning; and

Whereas, Food Service Staff members support the programs of the school, improve public opinion of the schools and in numerous ways, contribute to the success of the students, staff and school; and

Whereas, Food Service Staff members are appreciated for their work in this county and should be honored for it during a special day just for them; and

Whereas, the Board of Education and Superintendent of DeKalb County Schools view the work of the school Food Service Staff as critically important to the success of the school; and

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that this board acknowledges and expresses its appreciation to each school Food Service Staff member in our school district; and

Be It Further Resolved that January 17, 2013 is hereby established as Food Service Staff Appreciation Day in all DeKalb County schools; and

Be It Further Resolved that the board encourages each principal in every school to promote a program of appreciation where students, staff and community are provided an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the Food Service Staff on this day."

Board Looks to Improve School Security

January 11, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

The DeKalb County School System is reviewing measures to improve security in response to the recent deadly school shooting in Connecticut.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, during Thursday night's school board meeting, said letters are being sent to parents to reassure them. " It (letter) is talking about the things we are doing in DeKalb County, working with our local police, sheriff's department, and Charlie Parker of the local emergency management," said Willoughby. "The state has called a Safety Summit meeting to be held at the end of January. Mr. Charlie Parker has also asked to have a meeting in the county during January. We will be discussing safety and emergency procedures," he said.

One procedure mentioned in the letter is a practice that has already been in place for some time in the school system which is asking everyone visiting a school to come through the main entrance of the building and report to the office. Visitors are to sign-in, obtain a visitor's badge and proceed to their destination. After they have completed their visit, visitors are to return the visitor's badge to the office.

The school board apparently plans to meet at each of the schools in the coming months and during that time, the members will be taking a closer look at safety measures there. "Mr. (Johnny) Lattimore (school board chairman) has requested that as we go from school to school, to look at the safety aspects of each school and how to make each school a lot safer," said Willougbhy. "David Brown of Kaatz Binkley (architects) will do a survey and give us recommendations of what we might want to do. We have also asked some of our police officers and the sheriff's department to give us some recommendations of what might be good to do in our buildings also. We're being pro-active. I'd like to say we could make guarantees. We can't do that. But schools should be one of the safest places for students to be. We want our students to feel safe. We're going to do our best to take care of them and look out for them," said Willoughby.

For several years, DeKalb County High School has had a resource officer, who is employed by the sheriff's department to help address concerns. No other school in the system has one. School officials have not said publicly whether they would ask the county to fund the hiring of more school resource officers.

In the letter to parents, Willoughby wrote that "as a result of the tragic event that occurred in Connecticut, I wanted to reassure you that we are taking extra security measures to ensure the safety of all the students and staff within the DeKalb County School District. At the beginning of each new school year, DeKalb County Schools has made it a practice to review and update safety plans and procedures involving all individual schools as well as every department (transportation, maintenance, etc) in our system"

I have met with local law enforcement, principals, and supervisors recently to discuss and review our Safety plans. I can tell you we have many security measures in place. Some of those measures are visible to you, other measures are not. Our security measures are flexible, and we adapt our security measures to meet any new needs that arise. We routinely seek the advice of our local city police department, sheriff's department, and our Emergency Management personnel as well as state authorities on how to better safeguard our schools and improve our security measures. Our local police departments continually provide us with immediate and excellent support to keep our schools safe"

"In order to keep all children safe we are asking parents to enter at the main entrance of the building and to report to the office. At this time, you will sign-in, obtain a visitor's badge and proceed to your destination. When you have completed your visit with us, please return your visitor's badge to the office."

"We routinely conduct safety and fire drills in our schools, and we will continue to do so in the future. We also attend safety training sessions to keep current on school safety issues and concerns, and to share ideas on how to better protect our schools."

"As your Superintendent of Schools, I assure you that we are continually evaluating our school safety and security measures to keep our schools safe. During January, I will be attending two meetings relating with the safety of our schools. The first will be a DeKalb County Emergency Management meeting. The purpose of this meeting is for local representatives to engage in emergency planning, training, and overall emergency preparedness. The second meeting will be the School Safety Summit sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Education in order to receive the most recent updates pertaining to school safety," wrote Willoughby

Tractor Trailer Rig involved in accident on Highway 70 at Sligo

January 10, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Tractor Trailer Rig involved in accident on Highway 70 at Sligo
Pickup Truck and Trailer involved in Accident

An accident involving a tractor trailer rig and a pickup truck hauling a utility trailer caused a detour of traffic for a period of time Thursday afternoon on Highway 70 at Sligo.

Trooper Bobby Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that 22 year old Joseph Suarez of Union City was driving east in a 2008 Ford F250 negotiating a curve when the utility trailer he was pulling crossed the center line and struck a westbound 2007 International Tractor Trailer, driven by 50 year old Thomas Rush of Hermitage. Rush was hauling general freight for Central Transport. The utility trailer hit the left side of the truck, rupturing the fuel tank, and causing the truck to jack knife in the highway. An environmental crew was called to the scene to clean up the fuel spill.

No one was injured but Suarez was charged with violation of due care, violation of the financial responsibility law, and no trailer registration.

In addition to Trooper Johnson, members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, Sheriff's Office, TDOT highway crew, and Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Charlie Parker were all on site.

Suspicious Fire Under Investigation

January 10, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Suspicious Fire Under Investigation

The sheriff's department and Tennessee Bomb and Arson are investigating a suspicious fire Tuesday night in Liberty.

Lieutenant Anthony Boyd of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department told WJLE that firefighters were called to a vacant home at 226 Eckles Heights Street around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night. The home belongs to Debbie Hardaway. The home, which was up for sale, contained some furnishings but no one lived there.

The cause and origin of the fire have not been determined, according to Lieutenant Boyd but the upstairs and the back left side of the home were destroyed in the blaze with heat, water, and smoke damage to other parts of the house.

Members of the Liberty and Temperance Hall stations responded along with the Main Station, and Tanker Truck of the county volunteer fire department. DeKalb EMS and sheriff's deputies were also on the scene. No one was injured.

Motlow College Offers Several Classes in Smithville This Semester

January 9, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Motlow College Offers Several Classes in Smithville This Semester

Motlow College is offering three classes this semester at the county complex in
Smithville, according to Melody Edmonds, director of Motlow's McMinnville Center.
Classes are Principles of Accounting (ACCT 1020), which will meet from 6 to 8:45 p.m. on
Mondays; English Composition I (ENGL 1010), which will meet from 6 to 8:45 p.m. on
Thursdays; and Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus II (MATH 1720), which meets from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on
Mondays and Wednesdays.

Students wanting to register for these classes need to do so as soon as possible,
Edmonds said. Classes at all Motlow College sites begin on Jan. 17.

Mary Sanders Re-Elected to FSA County Committee

January 9, 2013
Donny Green

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency, says the DeKalb FSA County Committee met in regular session on Tuesday, December 4 to canvass and tabulate the ballots received in the 2012 Local Administrative Area (LAA) # 1 County Committee Election. The deadline to return ballots was December 3.

Mary Sanders was re-elected to serve as a member on the Committee representing LAA-2. Her third and final 3-year term began January 1, 2013. Randall West was elected as 1st. Alternate, Bert Driver was elected as 2nd Alternate, and Jeff Carter was elected as 3rd. Alternate to the Committee.

In addition, the Committee met on January 8, 2013 for its Organizational Meeting. The Committee selected Timmie Adcock to serve as Chairperson, Jack Campbell to serve as Vice-Chairperson, and Mary Sanders to serve as Member. The Committee meets quarterly at the DeKalb/Cannon County USDA Service Center located at 647 Bright Hill Rd.

Green says that the DeKalb/Cannon FSA County Committee and office staff wishes to express their appreciation to voters in LAA-1 who participated in the election by voting and returning their ballots. "The local County Committees are a very important part of Farm Service Agency's program delivery and administrative processes. I do not know of any other agency providing federal programs that can say that the delivery and decision making efforts are made on the local level by a farmer-elected committee," added Green.

For more information about FSA's County Committees or other program inquiries, call 597-8225 (extension 2) or come by the DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency office at 647 Bright Hill Street in Smithville. You can also visit the agency's web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov.

City Supervisors Update Mayor and Aldermen

January 9, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

City officials have asked Smithville's engineering firm, the J.R. Wauford Company, to come up with estimates on what it could cost to make city sewer available to a handful of places in town that don't have access to the service.

Alderman Shawn Jacobs raised the issue at the city council meeting on November 19. Public Works Director Kevin Robinson updated the mayor and aldermen Monday night. "I've been in contact with Melissa at JR Wauford Engineering about the sewer (unserved areas) in town. She came up Friday and we rode around to every one of the spots and she is supposed to let me know and as soon as she does I'll let the board know what she found out and what its going to cost," said Robinson.

Alderman Jacobs asked if Robinson could find out more about some new technology available that might be an alternative to pumping stations, if needed to reach those unserved areas. "In addition to pumping stations, there's some new technology out there that don't require pumping stations. There's a couple of alternatives being used besides that so if these figures come back really expensive we might ask her to look at some of the alternatives to see what that would cost us as well. Of course, we're not looking at making any kind of decision right away anyway but just for planning purposes it would be good to know and see what the new technology offers and if the prices might be coming down on it in the future," said Alderman Jacobs.

Meanwhile, Todd Bowman, water plant supervisor reported to the mayor and aldermen Monday night that for both the months of October and November, the city recorded a 25% water loss. He also reported that water plant employee Shawn Thomas has passed his grade III exam and is now a certified plant operator. "He is certified in sewer and water plant operation," said Bowman. "We now have three licensed operators at the plant. Another one (employee) still there without a license plans on going in May to try and get his license," said Bowman.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger reported that the department has received a new K-9 vehicle. "It will soon be outfitted completely with a cage and everything. It really looks good and we're proud of it. The officers are doing a good job and we want to get our K-9 program going further than what it is," said Chief Caplinger.

"We also have two new certified meth officers now and we're real proud of that," said Chief Caplinger. "We want to try and get as many (certified meth officers) as we can to help curb the drug problem," he said. "Our in-service training is starting up again this year, probably next month through the end of March. We finished up a grant today. We'll be taking the money out to supply us with bullet proof vests that we ordered. Those should be coming in a few days. The grant will pay for all the vests except for just a few dollars," said Chief Caplinger.

Alderman Gayla Hendrix commended Chief Caplinger and others on establishing a crime stoppers program. In response, the chief said the public is already responding to it. "I really appreciate the people we have on our crime stoppers (board). There's ten people, five from the city and five from the business community. We're getting a lot of good (public) response from crime stoppers. We're getting calls and tips coming in and we're investigating several of them right now. It looks like the program is going to pay off. Its going to work real well. It looks like it will fund itself with the help of the board we have. I think its going to be real good," said Chief Caplinger

"I also want to thank everyone who was part of our Christmas get together (party) for the (needy) children (December 21). This room (community room of city hall), I don't think you could have put another person in it," said Chief Caplinger. "The room was full. Everyone was real appreciative. We had several businesses who stepped forward and wanted to help and did an outstanding job. We hope to continue that (Christmas event) as well as the Halloween event. That's one of the things the police department wants to do is stay involved with the community. I appreciate the support of the board helping us do that," he said.

Fire Chief Charlie Parker updated the mayor and aldermen on recent fire department activities. "Highlights of our last quarter, we had a total of 32 incidents. We had 54 hours of working and 142 man hours of training in the last quarter. Also during the last quarter, the month of October was our fire prevention month, " said Chief Parker. "We held fire prevention activities at the Smithville Methodist Day School, the Church of Christ Day School, Smithville Elementary, LBJ & C Head Start, Rainbow Play School, and at DeKalb Middle School. We also had several boy scout and girl scout groups that came through so we really pushed fire prevention in the month of October. My deputy chief, Hoyte Hale heads that up. We solicit (donations) from several businesses that contribute to the fire prevention materials. We try to provide at least a piece of literature, stickers, or something for every kid through fifth grade. They get coloring books or something depending upon age appropriate. We've had a tremendous response from parents. I want to thank Hoyte for doing this and the other firefighters who helped do some of the demonstrations," he said. "Currently, we are working on our SOG's for the fire department, looking to update our guidelines and procedures. We'll have our officer elections the first part of February and then we'll come back to the board for your approval (of officers). We also have our firefighter appreciation dinner January 19. We've had a very big start with the first of the year. I think we're up to twenty calls already starting the new year," said Chief Parker.

Smithville Police Make Arrests for Domestic Assault and Issue Citations for Drug Offenses

January 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Randy Caplinger

In his latest report on crime, Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger reports that 19 year old Juan Carillo Perez was cited for simple possession on Thursday, December 27. According to the citation, an officer observed a suspicious vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot with two men inside. Due to complaints of drug trafficking in the parking lot, the officer approached the vehicle. Perez was in the driver's seat. The officer was informed that there was marijuana in the vehicle. A small amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana was found under the seat. Perez will be in court on January 17.

27 year old Stephen Hunter Pugh was cited for simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia on New Year's Eve. A search of Pugh, incident to arrest for an outstanding warrant, produced a small amount of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His court date is January 17.

21 year old Clay Andrew Bain was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia on Saturday, January 5. Bain, who was involved in a verbal dispute, made an attempt to dispose of three hypodermic needles. His court date is February 21.

22 year old Daniel Trey Hamilton and 22 year old Kayla N Adams were arrested for domestic assault on Saturday, January 5. Hamilton and Adams got into an argument that turned physical. Both had wounds to their persons. The primary aggressor could not be determined. Both were taken into custody for domestic assault. Bond for each is $2,500 and they will be in court on January 17.

31 year old Chad James Bradshaw was arrested for domestic assault on Sunday, January 6. According to the warrant, an officer spoke to the victim who stated that she and Bradshaw were in a heated argument which became physical. Marks were observed on the victim. Upon speaking with Bradshaw and a witness, the officer determined that Bradshaw was the primary aggressor. His bond is $3,500 and his court date is February 21

25 year old Kristy Lavone Grandstaff was cited for simple possession on Sunday, January 6. Four pills believed to be Lorazapam were found on Grandstaff's person. She didn't have a prescription for the pills. Her court date is January 17.

Anyone with information on any criminal activity is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.

Any information received that would help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential

DUD and City to Share in Water Cost Study

January 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Roger Turney

The City of Smithville and DeKalb Utility District are expected to share in the cost of conducting a study of the city's water production operation as the two sides look toward possibly making a deal on a new water contract.

But even if the parties do reach an agreement, the DUD still intends on proceeding with the construction of its own water treatment plant.

City officials last week received a letter from Roger Turney, Chairman of the DUD board of directors addressing the city's request for a face to face meeting on proposed contract discussions.

In the letter Turney wrote that the DUD is willing to share one-half of the cost of an independent entity to conduct the cost study but that no meaningful contract discussions can be held between the city and DUD until that study is performed since it would address the rate to be included in any such new contract for the purchase of water by the DUD.

During Monday night's city council meeting, Alderman Tim Stribling said the city should proceed with plans for the cost study. "All of us got a letter from DUD. We need to get on with a cost study," said Alderman Stribling.

"I got a price quote today on that," said Secretary-Treasurer Hunter Hendrixson. "They said to budget up to $7500. DUD is going to pay half of that. I'll confirm it but that's what the letter says," said Hendrixson.

"To sit down with them, we need to all find out what it cost to make our water," added Alderman Stribling.

"I've already said from day one, since I've been in office, I'm open," said Mayor Jimmy Poss. "I'm willing to sit down and talk to them. But this is the first response we've had back (from DUD). We're ready to go ahead," said the mayor.

"We've finally got somewhere in the last week or so," added Hendrixson. " They've given me a cost and we're budgeted for it, especially for fifty percent of it. I just need to get them some information,' he said.

In his letter to Mayor Poss, Turney wrote that "While I appreciate your interest in meeting in order to discuss a proposed contract between the City of Smithville and DeKalb Utility District for the purchase of water, as we have pointed out before there does not appear to be any significant information that could be discussed until such time that a cost study is done," he wrote.

"As we have earlier stated, DUD is interested in entering into a long term water purchase agreement with the City of Smithville. We have earlier provided to you a rather standard agreement for your review and consideration and have heard no response as to whether the terms set forth therein are agreeable or not or of any proposed changes to the agreement. As we had earlier set out, DUD is willing to share one-half of the cost of an independent entity to conduct a cost study of the city's water production operation but have received no input as to whether that offer is acceptable and if there is any action currently being taken to accomplish such a study. It would seem that there can be no meaningful discussion until such a study is performed since that would address the rate that would be included in any such contract for the purchase of water by DUD. We understand that cost studies are commonly recognized in this industry to establish an appropriate rate."

"Please be advised that DUD still intends on proceeding with the construction of a water treatment plant but will no doubt still need to purchase water or have the ability to purchase water from the City of Smithville. Therefore, we await word on the progression of a cost study so that we can then meaningfully sit down and further discuss the completion of an agreement between the DUD and the city," wrote Turney.

The City of Smithville currently sells water to the DeKalb Utility District for $2.05 per thousand gallons and under terms of the contract, the rate increases by five cents per thousand gallons in January of each year. The two parties entered into the contract in 2004 and it expires in 2014.

Aldermen Receive Both Praise on Beer Vote and a Call to Reconsider

January 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen Monday night received both praise for and appeals to reconsider passage of an ordinance amendment allowing 24-7 beer sales and on premises permits in eligible businesses.

The aldermen adopted the ordinance amendment by a 3-2 vote on second and final reading passage during a special meeting on Thursday, December 27. And while Mayor Jimmy Poss could have vetoed the measure, requiring four aldermen votes to override, he chose instead to sign it. Since that vote, Mayor Poss apparently began to reconsider and contemplated casting a veto, but a legal consultant for MTAS, the Municipal Technical Advisory Service, said that once the mayor had signed the ordinance amendment, as adopted by the aldermen, it had the full effect of law and was no longer subject to a veto.

(PLAY VIDEO BELOW OF CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD)

Steve White, former alderman and resident of South Mountain Street, spoke during the public comment period at Monday night's meeting. White said the aldermen still had an opportunity to reconsider before approving the minutes and he called for them to reverse their decision or for the mayor to cast a veto."One of the big things I can't understand is why this board would just disregard the City of Smithville's voters who voted twice in the last six months not to expand the sale of alcohol and not to add alcohol in restaurants," said White. "Gayla (Hendrix), Jason (Murphy) you still have the opportunity to change your vote and to rescind your vote from the special meeting. Until the minutes are passed and approved, you still have the opportunity to change your vote. Mayor, you have the opportunity to veto. You do have that option. This is fact and the facts will stand when all the underlying of greed and evils are gone. I just beg of you to make the right decision on that. I don't think anybody in here has any doubt what the right decision is," said White

Robin Driver, a local business owner and resident of West Church Street, commended the aldermen for being progressive. "I have been here all my life. My family on both sides have been here since the 1700's or 1800's," said Driver. " I am very proud to call Smithville my home. That's the reason I chose to stay here in my adult life and start my businesses here. I'm very proud to see a commission who is willing to take a stand and do something to move this county and city forward. We have Center Hill Lake, one of the largest resort destinations in this area with 1.8 million people a year who come here. These people bring revenue to our businesses. They bring revenue to our county and they expect certain things when they come here. I would like to say we appreciate you. I have spoken to many, many business owners who are not able to be here tonight but you have the unanimous support of almost every business owner I have spoken to. I want to thank you (aldermen) for doing something progressive and doing something that needed to be done a long time ago. We're the only county of all the counties that join us that haven't done this a long time ago. It will bring business to this community. It will bring business to this city. And it will bring tax dollars," said Driver

Nancy O'Neil of Riley Avenue added "I just want to thank the board for having the courage to make good financial decisions. Thank you so much," said O'Neil.

Randy Paris, a resident of DeKalb County who owns property on East Broad Street in Smithville said the aldermen have made a good business decision. "I want to thank the board too. Its great having business people making good decisions. Money or revenues have been left on the table for a long time. No one has ever sought to go after it. I admire the mayor and board of aldermen. Thanks. I appreciate it," said Paris

Sherry Bush of South College Street said she appreciates the aldermen's efforts to help the city to grow and prosper. "I just want to say as I look at this board... I know all of you. For the most part, you have grown up here, gone to school here, and made the choice to come back here, raise your children here and start your businesses or your professions here. I am filled with pride that DeKalb County and Smithville can produce such high quality people. I want you to know from the bottom of my heart I appreciate what you are doing here. Your goals and the hopes that you put in us that we will see our city grow and prosper. I just want to say thank you," said Bush.

Michael Pinegar of Dearman Street said expanding beer sales will not increase tax revenue all that much but that it would put more drunk drivers on the roads. He also indicated that greed might be a motive for why some want this passed. "We're talking about revenue again. I gave you figures last week. The max you'll get is $50,000 (extra tax revenue) and you'll never sell a million beers (during a year) I don't think even with these tourists coming in. The main thing is the greed. Another figure that I've looked up is on one keg of beer, which I think these men back here (in the audience), that's their main thing is their greed and wanting to line their pockets. On a keg of beer, they can get one hundred sixty five 12 ounce cups of beer. Usually in Cookeville, they will bring $2.50 so that means they are making over $2.00 per beer profit. That is the main reason why they're wanting this. It was mentioned how we are going to prosper like the counties around us. I worked for thirty four years at Carrier in McMinnville and it shut down and moved to Mexico. All the plants in McMinnville just about have moved and all the restaurants there have closed down. So where did all their beer and liquor revenue go? Where is it in these other counties surrounding us? I don't think it's a big advantage for us to get this beer and liquor. All we're going to do is put more drunk drivers on the roads to injure our citizens. You still can change your mind and it still can be vetoed," said Pinegar.

After the public comment period, the aldermen adopted the minutes from the last regular meeting on December 17 and special meeting on December 27 and moved on to other business. They did not reconsider their vote on the beer ordinance amendment and the mayor did not cast a veto.

All were present except Alderman Danny Washer who was absent due to an illness in his family.

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