Ordinances and codes were a major topic of conversation during the Petersburg Board of Mayor and Alderman last Monday evening.
During the citizens’ input segment prior to the meeting, Sheila Allen, election commissioner, spoke to officials about absentee voting. If Petersburg officials vote to pass a proposed ordinance, it would allow absentee property owners to vote by mail instead of traveling to Petersburg to vote.
“If passed, the only option they would have is by absentee voting,” said Corey Smith, alderman and planning commissioner. The property owners would not be eligible travel to Petersburg to vote.
Officials agreed to have Municipal Technical Advisory Services (MTAS) draft a resolution concerning the absentee voting, and then the resolution would be brought before the Petersburg board for a vote.
Other ordinances discussed included those concerning livestock being kept within the city limits, specifically poultry running at large or those kept in small cages. Officials cited that roosters are crowing 24-hours per day in the city. Ordinances already in place state that each animal must have at least 900-square feet of space and be at least 300-feet from another property. Officials said that notices of violations would be issued.
Other code violations they discussed concerned individuals riding horses in town or driving 4-wheelers on the roads at night
Officials discussed having signs made that would prohibit large trucks from turning onto Water Street. There have been a number of trucks that have turned off Highway 129 that have gotten stuck at Water Street, because the turn is too sharp. Smith stated that GPS advises truckers to turn there, but a semi or large truck can’t make the turn.
Another problem area is High Street.
“I think we need to put a sign at both ends of the street,” said James Owen, mayor. “Somebody’s going to get killed over there.”
During the water report, Jack Atchley, Petersburg Water superintendent, said that the contractor who will be upgrading Petersburg’s water tank started working on the CDBG project on Jan. 15. He explained that not much work has been done so far because of the weather. He also noted that the 2013 Water Quality Reports are due to be mailed out soon. The cost, Atchley said, would be about $299 to print 500 reports.
In other business, officials discussed the proposition to designate Railroad Street as a memorial parkway to J.D. Whitaker Street. A bill is being presented to the Tennessee legislature by Sen. Jim Tracy, stated Smith, who noted that the state would not pay for the signs. Smith suggested that the City of Petersburg have two signs made.
Under new business, Smith gave the first reading of ordinance 2014-1 to amend the zoning ordinance. This would change the zoning district classification from R-1 to C-1 for the area at Russell and High streets, where the Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located.
The church had five individual lots and combined them into one lot for the purpose of building a fellowship hall. The board accepted the first reading. Two additional readings are required.
In other discussion, the board accepted the resignation of Kenneth Bolles from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Another individual will be selected to fill the two years left in Bolles’ term.
Officials talked about the next step they need to take concerning the Dirty Lots Ordinance. The board received a copy of the Fayetteville ordinance and plans to customize a version for Petersburg.
“This has some teeth to what we’ve got,” said Smith.
The ordinance will give the mayor the power to appoint an individual to enforce the ordinance. Board members discussed fining individuals for each day the lot is not cleaned up.