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City Tightens Restrictions on Free Brush and Tree Limb Removal (View video here)

July 30, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

For years the City of Smithville has provided a limited free pickup service to residents for removal of brush and tree limbs but new restrictions have been put in place to cut down on abuse of the policy.

During a special called meeting Thursday evening, the Mayor and Aldermen updated the policy with passage of a resolution establishing new guidelines.

Under the new policy, city residents will only be entitled to two free pickups of brush and tree limbs from their properties per year provided they do their own cutting and trimming. No commercial tree cutting debris will be collected by the city.

The aldermen voted 5-0 to adopt the resolution but prior to the vote Alderman Jessica Higgins inquired about the reasons for a two pickup limit.

“We have a lot of people who take advantage of it,” said  City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson.

“Some people we pick up nine or ten times a year. They will put small piles out there and sometimes big piles,” added City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson.

Other provisions of the new policy are as follows:

*The pile of brush must be close to the edge of the road and piles must be kept away from mail boxes and other structures to avoid damage to the structures.

*The maximum diameter of limbs must be no more than six inches. Anything thicker than that will not be picked up.

*The butt ends must be facing the road.

*Nothing longer than 10 feet.

*Residents will only get two pick-ups per year.

*No vines or root balls.

*No building materials, trash, plastic, metal, wire, cardboard, paper,  or glass.

*No commercial tree cutting will be collected by the city. If you have hired a commercial tree service, you must have them haul off the debris. The city is not responsible for picking up anything cut by a trimming or cleaning service.

*City will only collect bush or limbs free for residents who do their own trimming, cutting.

Monthly “Shop Late Local” Event Kicks-Off August 5

July 30, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Downtown has become a busier place in recent years with the addition of several new retail stores and while business has been good many merchants are hoping to expand their customer base by staying open longer at least once a month.

Starting Thursday, August 5, many locally owned retail businesses which normally close daily at 5 p.m. will remain open until 7 p.m. in a monthly event called “Shop Late Local” according to Sommer Britt, owner of the Male Room Brotique located in Walnut Alley.

“Our “Shop Late Local” event will be once a month and always on the first Thursday of every month. It will include businesses downtown and outside the downtown area. We want to stay open late for shoppers who can’t necessarily make it to our businesses by 5 p.m, which is when we usually close. The businesses will have sales and special promotions including sidewalk sales so people can come out and enjoy the retail shops that they don’t normally get to enjoy if they have an 8 to 5 job,” said Britt.

Unlike other downtown events like the summer block party, there will be no vendors but LIVE music sponsored by Tony Luna with Lake Homes Realty will be featured for shoppers to enjoy as they stroll from one store to another and for the first event State Farm Insurance Agent Mallory Pfingstler and Bates Apparel will offer food options.

Businesses participating in “Shop Late Local” are Button Willow General Store and Coffee Shop, Willow Boutique, 615 Threads, Cantrell’s the home of Fluty and Fluty’s Shoes, Magnolia Roots, 105 Market on Main, DeKalb County Florist, Thrive Boutique, Just a Little Southern Charm Clothing Boutique, Vintage Owl Antiques, Treats by Tiff Bakery, S&B Design and Graphics, Bates Apparel, and the Male Room Brotique. Others are also encouraged to join in.

“We want to give people the opportunity to buy local rather than go out of town to spend their money. Come out and join us on Thursday, August 5 for our first “Shop Late Local” event. We hope to have a good turnout and for it to become a monthly thing,” said Britt.

DeKalb Co. Fire Dept. Recognized as Gold Level Department for 2020-2021 Training Achievements

July 29, 2021

DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department has ranked #3 among volunteer and combination fire departments in the state of Tennessee for 2020-2021 training achievement. Of the 732 fire departments in Tennessee, both volunteer and career, DeKalb County Fire Department ranked # 14 for 2020-2021 training achievement.

This is the 13th consecutive year DeKalb County Fire Department has been recognized as one of Tennessee’s elite fire departments for outstanding training achievement. This year, the department logged 2,778 training hours at the state fire academy and was recognized as a Gold Level fire department in Tennessee for 2020-2021.

DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling commended the department’s members and leaders for continuing to make DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department’s training program a legacy of excellence. “Our county takes great pride in the level of commitment and service that we continue to see year after year from our volunteer firefighters who work hard and train hard to make sure our citizens have good fire protection here in DeKalb County. Getting this kind of statewide recognition for the 13th consecutive year makes it very clear that we have an excellent group of committed men and women who sacrifice many hours to be prepared to respond to the emergency needs of our citizens,” says Mayor Stribling.

Chief Donny Green says he wants to personally commend Captain Brian Williams, the department’s Training Officer, for his leadership, planning and coordination of the department’s training activities in a manner that consistently spotlights our training program as one of top in the state; volunteer or career. The Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy provides excellent training programs delivered by professional and knowledgeable campus and field instructors. In addition to the 2,778 hours at the Academy, Captain Williams coordinated over 2,300 man hours of in “in-house” training, despite the COVID-19 pandemic challenges. Chief Green says that without the support of County Mayor Tim Stribling, the County Commission, the families of our volunteer firefighters, our community and business partners, and the citizens of DeKalb County, the department could not have achieved this milestone. “Properly trained firefighters are the best tools available to any fire department. Without proper training, the best and most expensive equipment is useless. However, good training coupled with good equipment is priceless,” says Chief Green. Training performance and documentation are core elements in the Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) property protection that determine how much property owner’s have to pay in homeowners insurance premiums. The DeKalb County Fire Department’s proven commitment to training and emergency response has resulted in a dramatic improvement to DeKalb County’s Public Protection Classification Rating of Class 6 for all areas of DeKalb County located within 5 road miles of one of the department’s 12 stations,” he said.

If you are interested in learning more about the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, or would like information on how to be a member of our team, you can visit the Department’s website at:, or call 615-464-7176. You can also visit the Department’s Facebook group page.

Elite Club 2020-2021

Knoxville Fire Department 10,187
Williamson County Fire & Rescue 5,183
Memphis Fire Department 5,148
Wilson County EMA 4,905
Columbia Fire & Rescue 4,189
Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue 6,943

Cookeville Fire Department 3,582
Johnson City Fire Department 3,202
Nashville Fire Department 3,141
Lebanon Fire Department 3,099
Putnam County Fire Department 2,989
Hardin County Fire Department 2,927
Bristol Fire Department 2,817
DeKalb County Fire Department 2,778
Morristown Fire Department 2,724
Shelbyville Fire Department 2,683
Bedford County Fire Department 2,654
Clarksville Fire & Rescue 2,586
Elizabethton Fire Department 2,512
Jefferson City Fire Department 2,389
Hendersonville Fire Department 2,334
LaVergne Fire Department 2,281
Brentwood Fire & Rescue 2,128
Loudon County Fire Department 2,116
Rutherford County Fire & Rescue 2,078
Pleasant View VFD 2,072
Smyrna Fire Department 2,066


Montgomery County VFD 1,956
Crossville Fire Department 1,853
Martin Fire Department 1,799
Alcoa Fire Department 1,677
Warriors Path VFD 1,646
Ashland City Fire Department 1,545
Seymour VFD 1,500
Newport Fire Department 1,498
Madison County Fire Department 1,487
Sevierville Fire Department 1,406
Milan Fire Department 1,388
East Sullivan County VFD 1,367
Lawrenceburg Fire Department 1,348
Dyersburg Fire Department 1,334
Shackle Island VFD 1,321
Fayette County Fire Department 1,276
Gallatin Fire Department 1,252
Maryville Fire Department 1,230
Tullahoma Fire Department 1,189
Karns Fire Department 1,182
Atoka Fire Department 1,172
Gibson County Fire Department 1,168
Kingsport Fire Department 1,134
Sweetwater Fire Department 1,122
Athens Fire Department 1,092
Greeneville Fire Department 1,082

Pigeon Forge Fire Department 1,072

Gilt Edge VFD 1,047

Lincoln County VFD 1,046

Munford Fire Department 1,039

McMinnville Fire Department 1,016

Maury County Rural Fire Department 1,002

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