Smyrna Town Council had plenty to discuss at their June 17 meeting including resident concerns regarding use of Lake Como and an amendment to include the US 13 Corridor Plan in the Comprehensive Plan.

Here are a few other tidbits from the meeting.

Masten thanks public works employees

Mayor Joanne Masten thanked Director of Public Works Daryl Jester and his department for the work they did during the storm last week.

"There was a tremendous amount of debris in town and they did a wonderful job," Masten said.

Masten said she's not sure if everyone has been able to clear everything up from the storm but the Public Works Department employees have done a wonderful job clearing out what's been left on the street as yard waste.

Public hearing set for Duck Creek improvements

Council unanimously approved a resolution to set a public hearing regarding the borrowing of money for a portion of the project that will put utilities north of Duck Creek.

The public hearing will be for the proposed borrowing of $1.19 million from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Services to fund the water line extension portion of the project.

Council previously approved interim financing for the project at an August 2012 council meeting. The project has already started.

The public hearing for the loan will be prior to the Monday, July 15 council meeting at 7:15 p.m. The hearing will give residents the chance to comment on the loan.

The resolution states the USDA loan is for a term of 40 years with an interest rate not to exceed 2.125 percent.

Prior to council's vote, Councilwoman Valerie White did ask for some clarification on the resolution.

"Wastewater and electricity have been stricken from part of the resolution and I wanted to make sure that when we borrow this money, because two items were taken off, that we do have money for wastewater and electric," White said.

Town lawyer Barrett Edwards said wastewater and electric were erroneously included in the resolution but there is other funding for both.

"This is all actually happening right now," Edwards said. "This loan itself is just for the water. The other improvements are all being done right now."

Tethering ordinance update

Larry Thornton, chair of the Public Safety Committee, said the committee has continued working on putting together an ordinance on dog tethering.

"It was drafted by the solicitor's office and the committee has agreed to minor adjustments," Thornton said. "It should be on the council agenda for the next meeting for approval."

2012 audit approved

Smyrna Town Council unanimously approved the fiscal year 2012 audit after receiving a brief explanation of the audit by auditor Pam Baker.

Mayor asks about cell phone arrests

While Police Chief Wil Bordley was going over his police report, Mayor Joanne Masten asked if there have been a lot of arrests for cell phone usage; she asked because she knows there's an issue with drivers using their phones while driving.

Bordley said those types of arrests are a part of the work done with the Office of Highway Safety or on special duty assignment. He said the town received $35,000 from the Office of Highway Safety last year because of the department's aggressiveness with drivers including cell phone usage and speeding. Bordley said the department is hoping to curve cell phone usage by drivers in the future.

"So we can expect to see cell phone usage added to this list then?" Masten asked.

Bordley said the report he gives to council is an overall look and there are actually more statistics than what's provided. If she wants statistics on cell phone usage, he'd have to pull them manually.

Masten suggested the two talk more later regarding what else needs to be included in the report to council.

Pushing economic development

Councilman Jeff Flairty reminded residents of the start of the 2013 Smyrna Farmers Market season as well as the second annual Smyrna Craft Beer, Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, July 13, which will be held on South Market Street Plaza.

"This is a great opportunity for Smyrna to show it's stuff," Flairty said.

He also touched on the Economic Development Committee, which is a fusion of the Business Development and Long Range Planning committees. The first meeting was June 6 and the committee talked about creating sub-committees such as Public Outreach, Business Development, and Funding Grant Identification.

Flairty said he liked the idea of a committee geared towards finding grants.

"The best goal is to make this self-funded what we're doing so we don't have to ask for additional funds to do economic development," he said.

St. Peter's block party

St. Peter's Episcopal Church will be having a block party on Sunday, June 30. Rector Donna Jean Kiessling spoke about the block party during public forum.

Kiessling said they'll be celebrating Patron Saint Peter the Apostle with a feast block party in hopes of providing members of the church to meet the neighbors of St. Peter's which is on Union Street.

"It's an opportunity to meet our neighbors in that area, we can get to know them and they could get to know us," Kiessling said.

The block party will be from 12 to 3 p.m. in the backyard of St. Peter's and the backyard of the adjacent house. The church had requested to close one block of West Mount Vernon Street during the party as a precaution. Kiessling said they're hoping all the neighbors attend, which means they may have 100 to 150 people in attendance.

"We're going to hold tours and have games for the kids, face painting and hopefully a fun time for everyone," Kiessling said.

The party wasn't something that need approval by council. Bordley said he had already looked at the plan and approved it, stating three hours isn't a large amount of time to close a street.

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