Lebanon City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday to appropriate funds and approve the purchase of property for the Jimmy Floyd Center, but not without much discussion.
The ordinance passed 4 to 3, after several minutes of debate about the appropriateness, condition and price of the building, located at 520 Coles Ferry Pike.
Lanny Jewell, Ward 1 councilor, called for a deferral on the ordinance in order to give the council a chance to work out confusion about the condition of the building and total cost.
“It’s better to buy it while it’s there,” Mayor Phillip Craighead said. “We have other parties interested in buying. Worst comes to worst, we can always sell.”
Some of the council members did not know the condition of the building, but Mayor Craighead noted the building did not contain any mold or asbestos, although it would need some work to be ideal.
“It seems above appraisal value.” Said Fred Burton, Ward 2 councilor. The city would pay $300,000 for the building and land, located next to the Jimmy Floyd Center.
Craighead said since the 13,000 square-foot building is block-shaped, there’s a wide variety of things it could be used for.
“The property itself could be used for additional parking. We’ll look around and see what grants and opportunities are out there and get input from the community about what they would like to see the building become.”
“We can make a plan on what exactly to use it for after we buy it. It’s an investment for us.”
The council also discussed for several minutes the fate of the city sales tax increase referendum. The measure passed 4-3, with council opting to set the dates for the vote are Sept. 3-18, for early voting and Sept. 23, for final vote.
“It would have a better opportunity to pass if separate from the November election,” said Craighead, “I’m afraid it will get lost in the talk of campaign.”
“This gives a chance for people to know exactly what they’re voting for.” Said Rob Cesternino, Ward 3 councilor. Cesternino said the wording of the ballot could have confused voters the last time it was up for vote.
“I’m for people deciding if they want to be taxed or not, but you’ll lose the vote by not putting it in November,” said Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath.
The council voted to defer establishing records policies on the Public Records and Police Department Criminal History.
“I want an open forum. This gives a chance for citizens who have questions to speak. We can hold it next week.” Said Cesternino.
In other business, council approved the following items:
• Adding a connection from South Hartmann Drive to Crowell Lane between Leeville Pike and Blue Devil Drive.
• Offering fingerprinting services at the Jimmy Floyd Center. Will not interfere with police department fingerprinting.
• Authorize budget amendments in the Public Safety’s Department’s LESO Fund for vehicle and equipment purchases.
• Hire equipment operators and workers for the Street Department for an additional crew for Chipper Services
• Authorize the Land Lease Agreement with Presler Aire for Lot 8 of Corporate Row at the Lebanon Municipal Airport.
• Authorize Line Item Transfers for the Personnel Department.
• Authorize the purchase of replacement equipment for the Jimmy Floyd Center.
• Authorize a budget amendment for the General Fund to set up the expense account for payments to the Wilson County Board of Education (for Liquor Tax payments).
• Authorize the U.S. 231 North Corridor Revitalization Pilot Program.
• Allocate additional funds for the Lebanon Square Project.
• Make the City of Lebanon Personnel Rules and Regulations the controlling document over the LPD General Order Manual on an interim basis.