Napier, Bell, Shepard sworn in at Thompson’s Station BOMA


Napier, Bell, Shepard sworn in at Thompson’s Station BOMA

The final meeting of the year for the Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and Aldermen was also the first one for two new aldermen, Brandon Bell and Graham Shepard.

The final meeting of the year for the Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and Aldermen was also the first one for two new aldermen, Brandon Bell and Graham Shepard.

Bell and Shepard were sworn into office by Town Attorney Todd Moore, along with newly reelected Mayor Corey Napier. All three men gained office easily in last month’s town elections. One of the departing aldermen, Ron Barrett, was present for the meeting. Nina Cooper, who challenged Napier in the mayor’s race, was not.

“Congratulations Graham and Brandon on helping us to lead this town,” Napier said. “I want to recognize outgoing aldermen Nina Cooper and Ron Barrett and publicly thank them both for their service over the years. I’ve enjoyed working with both of you. You have both contributed a lot to the fabric of the community. I very much appreciate your efforts and hope you’ll stay involved in helping us to continue growing this town.”

Barrett took the opportunity to speak a few words of gratitude.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” Barrett said. “I wish Nina were here tonight. To Nina, Corey, aldermen Sarah Benson and Brinton Davis, I think we did a lot of good.”

Sarah Benson said she would miss Barrett’s presence on the board. Napier reiterated his appreciation for Cooper’s work.

After the formalities of swearing in, Napier acknowledged the presence in the audience of several townspeople who had expressed to him their interest in offering their services to the community.

“Several of you are interested in helping, and I want to manage everyone’s expectations and set the stage here,” Napier said. “We’re getting into a new Master Plan and I know that many of you want to help with that. It’s going to involve recruitment of unique businesses, thoroughfare planning, and parks and recreation planning. We have a variety of things on our plate. I welcome all of you who have already volunteered to help, I’m excited about the energy. I hope you’ll bear with us because in a few weeks, those of you wanting to serve we will be offered ways to plug in.”

In his alderman’s tenure, Barrett had served as Thompson’s Station’s Vice Mayor.

“Ron was a good Vice Mayor,” Napier said. “I’d now like to appoint a new person to that role who works closely with Town Administrator Joe Cosentini and myself.”

Benson nominated Davis for the job and he was elected unanimously and thanked the aldermen for their trust.

New alderman Shepard took the opportunity to introduce several requests to the BOMA. His first report sought an amendment to the town code to clarify what an illegal sign is and who is authorized to remove illegal signs.

“Presently ‘the town’ is listed as the authority to remove signs,” Shepard said. “Who ‘the town’ is exactly needs to be clarified. I want to refer this to the Planning Commission for signage standards.”

Shepard also wished to make a zoning amendment that would formally add the language regarding technology easements to the town code that was already agreed to six months ago by the prior BOMA and town staff.

On the subject of Tollgate Commercial zoning, Shepard proposed an amendment to both the zone’s map and text.

“This one may be a bit more controversial and inspire some good debate,” Shepard said. “I want to change the permitted use of the commercial section of the code to better define what is permitted and not permitted as types of businesses I think people would like to see in town. I’m the owner of this one.”

All of those request were referred to the town’s Planning Commission.

Shepard requested a town staff meeting with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority in Nashville, and hopes that staff can arrange that.

“Let’s meet with someone as high as you can find who will meet with us,” Shepard said. “I’m happy to drive into Nashville to meet with them and whoever wants to come along with me.” Cosentini said he would have the request on staff’s agenda.

In a final request, Shepard asked for discussion on how better to enforce traffic construction laws in town.

“When subcontractors and builders don’t use designated construction roads, that’s a problem,” Shepard said. “We need our town staff to benchmark what other towns do to solve and enforce this, whether through fines or something else.”

Cosentini noted the town’s request for quotes for a consulting engineer.

“We have no master plan for wastewater service,” Cosentini said. “With this RFQ we can put together a master plan. The quicker we do that, the quicker we can pursue some commercial growth. I’ve established Jan. 9 as the cutoff date for quotes.”

The proposal to make an RFQ passed unanimously. Cosentini said that staff has already received three proposals. The wastewater plans will be discussed at next week’s town hall meeting.

Bell was next invited to make a report on the findings of the Telecommunications Task Force. After hearing some of the detailed research and findings the TTF had completed, Napier suggested further discussion of their recommendations at the town hall meeting next week.

In an item of old business, the BOMA had its second reading of the ordinances to update a large number of international safety codes. They move Thompson’s Station into line with Williamson County requirements and were all passed unanimously.

Joe Cosentini noted that TS has opted out of the requirement to have sprinklers in new developments that are called for by the 2009 International Fire Protection Code.

Town Planner Wendy Deats spoke to an amendment to Article II of the zoning ordinance.

“There have been a handful of things that are inconsistent that are important to address at this time,” Deats said. “With the town’s plans to rework the zoning ordinance, these rules may change again. But we need some consistency and clarification as projects come in in the meantime.”

The amendments related mainly to minimum rear setbacks for cluster developments and a specific requirement that all variances in development proposals go before the Board of Zoning Appeals. There are also new standards for townhomes and multifamily structures.

Napier made motion for a public hearing on the zoning ordinance amendment for the Jan. 13 BOMA meeting at 7 p.m. It passed unanimously.

An amendment to Article III of the zoning ordinance changes the town’s floodplain requirements as approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Cosentini then described a resolution to undertake an actuarial study with the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System to explore retirement options for town employees. The measure sets up no obligation to participate in the TCRS retirement plans but does help in research of the question. It passed unanimously.

A resolution to change a rental arrangement for a back hoe with Thompson Machinery to Lease-own program with a slight increase in monthly payments passed unanimously.

The Canterbury subdivision Pump Station/Force Main equipment has installed and staff resolved accepting it.

“We’re comfortable with accepting the equipment if there is a maintenance bond not less than $134,000,” Cosentini said.

The measure passed 4-1, with Shepard dissenting.

In light of the many proposed changes to the town’s master plan, zoning ordinances, and request for consultants on wastewater plans, the BOMA scheduled a town hall meeting for the public on Thursday Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Center.

Staff writer Greg Jinkerson covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Contact him at greg@springhillhomepage.com or follow him on Twitter @Greg_SHHP

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