The focus of the Smyrna Town Council meeting Nov. 4 was the honoring of local veterans and active military members; however, there were other topics discussed at the meeting.
Here are a few tidbits from the meeting.
Council to discuss future trick-or-treating plans
One item discussed at the end of the council meeting was the idea of better organizing Halloween and trick-or-treating plans in town. Typically council sets a time for when trick-or-treating is held, but the amount of people that participated this year brought on some concerns.
Councilman Jeff Flairty said the town should look at closing South Street in Smyrna for trick-or-treating. He said there were a lot of people on the street that night and he was concerned for the safety of residents walking down the street when there's heavy traffic.
Councilwoman Valerie White than suggested the town considering doing a trunk-or-treating event like some of the local churches; having a town event could keep people in a safe area and even suggested holding it at the Smyrna Public Library parking lot off of South Street. She said if South Street was closed and the event was at the library, it could create a safe zone for trick-or-treaters.
Mayor Joanne Masten said the town should start planning for Halloween in advance next year to address some of the concerns. Flairty later pointed out that his concern was just that and the amount of people he saw on Halloween was a positive thing for Smyrna.
"We can bring people into the community and show off what we have to offer," he said.
Members approved for new committee
Council approved the appointments to the new Parks and Recreation Committee. Judy McKinney Cherry will chair the committee. The other members are Bettielou Wagner, Janet McClure, Karen Minner, Robin Bruner, Joe Wilson, Andrea Hodge, and Christine Mera. Town employees Janet Vinc (manager of planning & zoning) and Dawn Thompson (assistant to the town manager) are also on the committee.
New Street designated a one-way road
Council approved the designation of New Street as a one-way northbound road from Smyrna-Clayton Boulevard to Mount Vernon Street.
The recommendation came out of the Public Safety Committee. Police Chief Wil Bordley sees the change as a positive action for the town.
"It's amazing how many accidents we have there," Bordley said. "We'll give residents a couple of weeks to get used to the new traffic pattern."
During his report, Bordley announced the promotion of officer Eric Cooper from senior patrolman to corporal. Bordley said Cpl. Cooper finished first in the testing process and is a constant professional.
"He's a hard worker," Bordley said. "He's worked for us twice. He started in January of 2000, left and came back in January 2004 so he's worked for us a total of 12 years."
Vacant property update
For the second time in as many months, a member of council has asked for an update regarding the vacant property at 431-437 Smyrna-Clayton Blvd. Councilman John Embert pointed out that in March to town decided against demolishing the property when local businessmen Michael Sparco expressed interest in purchasing the buildings and fixing them up. Sparco eventually bought the property and has made some progress in the renovations.
"Council gave him 60 days to present a plan to us but we haven't seen a plan," Embert said. "We asked for an update in September."
Town Manager Dave Hugg said Sparco has been unable to attend a council meeting since then but he will reach out for an update.
Public Works director to retire
Hugg announced at the meeting that after 38 years, Smyrna's director of Public Works, Daryl Jester, will be retiring at the end of the year.
Hugg said he's going to miss Jester, who has been an asset to the town and a source of guidance for Hugg.
"It's going to be difficult to replace him," Hugg said. "This is good news for him, not so good news for us."
Council hears from collection agency
ALW Sourcing gave a presentation to council on their work in collections. Earlier in the meeting, Masten said the town needs to find a way to collect unpaid utility bills, taxes, enforcement violations and more in town. She said the town needs to find a way to collect the unpaid by whatever means necessary.
Office of Drinking Water grant
Hugg announced the town has received a grant from the Office of Drinking Water for Mount Vernon Street and Frazier Street. The grant is for roughly $537,000 over 20 years with a 1.5 percent interest rate.
"This gives us a funding source for the project so we can take it out of the general fund," Hugg said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org