Lebanon city council passed the first vote on an agreement with the Wilson Water and Wastewater Authority Tuesday.
“I think we have an excellent agreement that will encourage the development here in Wilson County,” said Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead.
Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath thanked those involved in negotiating the agreement “for all of your hard work on the wastewater authority, that was a barricade and such to get us to where we could actually connect on Beckwith Road.”
She also noted that the agreement had the potential to pave the way for economic growth.
“I’m not at liberty to say who visited there [Monday], but it was a major retail organization that’s looking there. Now that we have this and we’ll have a second reading on it, I think it shows we are willing and able to push all the infrastructure that needs to happen,” said Warmath. “We’ve worked all the kinks out of our agreement. Those particular roads, I think you’re going to find a real robust economy.”
Craighead gave some details about what had been happening during the negotiation process.
“We’re going to be working in close unison to improve our system in leak detection and a lot of other issues. We’ve been talking about the right to service everything within our city limits.
“What we’ve negotiated is what we call a service area. All that area is area which we have first right of refusal. What we’re looking at, if there is an area that our conventional sewer is too far away and is too expensive for that development, that developer would have the opportunity to go to wastewater and talk to them about putting in a possible service area,” Craighead said.
Later in the meeting Councilor Fred Burton shared a concern with an ordinance that proposed a zoning change on Spring Street, which is in his ward. The proposed zoning would change a low-density residential area to a high-density multi-family residential designation. Craighead noted the proposed development would be townhouses.
“I’ve met with the residents in that area on a couple of occasions and they have quite a few questions about this project. I would like to see them set up another meeting with the developer and go over the changes that they are recommending,” Burton said. “And in the meantime I want to send this back to the Planning Commission and let them go through their requests and wants.”
Councilor Rob Cesternino asked Planning Commissioner Paul Corder if he could attend the next meeting with residents.
“Could you make sure that you’re present so that the citizens have a clear understanding. I’d hate for them to think A’s coming out of a meeting when according to the law it’s B,” said Cesternino.
In the end, the council voted to defer the ordinance to give the developers an opportunity to set up another meeting.
Other items approved included line item transfers for the fire department, police department, public safety department and public works department as well as a feasibility study for a waste-to-energy program and an amendment to the city’s Major Thoroughfare Plan.