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Petersburg set to make zoning changes

Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 5:23 am

A public hearing was held prior to the regular Petersburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting last Monday evening for a reading of 2014-1 to amend the zoning district and combine several small parcels of land.

This would rezone .75 acres on Russell Street at the South High Street intersection from R1 to C1 and would allow the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to expand an annex building.

During the board meeting, the proposed zoning ordinance was read again, and the second reading of three readings was approved.

The zoning amendment takes effect 15 days from its passage after the third reading.

During the board meeting, officials discussed delinquent property tax on about 15 properties. Alderman Don McLaine stated that about $11,000 has been collected so far.

“You’ve done an outstanding job on collecting,” he said to Angie Taylor, Town Clerk.

Officials stated that a letter regarding fowl within the city limits is ready for mailing to those who have chickens, ducks, geese or other fowl within the city limits. Mayor James Owen noted that the first letter is a letter of courtesy, but the second letter to be sent will be a letter informing the resident of a fine if the resident doesn’t come into compliance with the ordinance within 30 days.

“Some of these animals are not being treated right,” Owen added.

In other discussion regarding the town, officials mentioned that Gussie Up Week was set for the weeks of April 7 and 14. During that time, trash will be picked up on the side of roads, and extra dumpsters will be rented in town to collect the refuse.

Alderman Corey Smith read Resolution 2014-1 regarding the city’s employee occupational and safety plan. Previously this had been presented as an ordinance, but Smith said it must be presented as a resolution. The resolution updates the current occupational and safety plan. The board approved the resolution.

In other action, the board approved Resolution 2014-2 to authorize Petersburg to participate in a grant program to increase safe driving practices of all town employees. The town could receive a Driver Safety Matching Grant up to $1,200.

Later, Taylor explained to the board that Tennessee Municipal League’s Risk Management Pool did its yearly inspection of buildings in town and made some recommendations regarding the water treatment plant. One of the TML’s write-ups, she said, was for broken windows at the plant. The windows had been shot out by vandals and would cost nearly $1,200 to replace.

Board members suggested covering the windows with plywood or possibly bricking them in. After further discussion about possible water in the basement, the board voted to table the issue until they can look at the buildings to determine what course of action to take.

Phil Bolander, alderman and president of the Petersburg Senior Citizens Board of Directors, proposed that the Town of Petersburg citizens lease the Senior Citizen Center to the seniors. Currently the town allows the senior citizens to use the building, but the senior citizen’s center is responsible for maintaining the building. Mayor Owen stated that he would call MTAS to get an opinion on that proposal. Bolander further suggested that the town pay the senior center a small amount of money toward the gas bill, and then the Senior Center would write the check for the balance.

Bolander announced that on Tuesday, March 18, a board meeting is scheduled at the Senior Citizen Center at 5 p.m.

During the month of February, there were 34 scheduled activities from which seniors could choose. Five new members joined the center in February, 190 meals were served at the center and 142 meals on wheels were served during that month. Seniors are reminded to call the center one day in advance to reserve their lunch.

On April 12, a country ham breakfast will be held at the Pickin’ Center on the square as a fundraiser for the senior center. Proceeds from the event will help pay for repairs to the floor.

The Recreation Department is preparing for the Lion’s Club Annual Horse Show to be held on Saturday, May 17, at 4 p.m. Officials voted for the Town of Petersburg to sponsor one class of entry at $150.

Another upcoming event officials discussed is the Parks and Recreation Department’s Eggstravaganza on April 5 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The event is free and will feature a bouncy house, games and Easter Egg hunts.

Finally, Alderman Cody Smith submitted a letter to the board requesting permission to have 15-20 goats and one donkey on his property on South High Street. The alderman has the required amount of space for the animals. The board approved his request; however, Smith abstained from the vote.