The Lebanon City Council granted final approval for a drainage mitigation coordinator position on Tuesday, as the city looks to more effectively tackle its flooding problem.
Whoever fills that position will be responsible for working full-time with property and business owners to address drainage complaints. The position would require roughly $43,000 per year in salary and benefits from the Stormwater Department’s budget.
The Stormwater Department received an additional $250,000 in October for other projects as part of a long-term flood response plan developed after September’s flooding event.
“They’re going to do two smaller type contracts with that, they’re $25,000 or less,” Engineering Director Regina Santana said during a work session discussing that funding. “When we get later into this drainage log and work order log, some of the bigger projects, kind of put some of together and bid out a $200,000 project to get several of those things knocked out.”
Around the same time, the city received design proposals to address some of its most flood-prone areas: Mulberry and Burdock Street, the Hallcroft Estates, Hill Street and Cumberland Drive. After meeting with the engineering teams to determine price ranges, the council will need to approve any potential expenses.
Councilors also approved a second reading vote to upgrade lights at the city’s ball fields damaged by the March 3 tornado. The price tag — $1.6 million — is almost entirely funded by insurance recoveries, and Middle Tennessee Electric told the city it could save $15,000 to $18,000 per year by converting the lights to LED.
“There’s no FEMA money on this, but insurance is going to cover almost 99% of it,” Finance Commissioner Stuart Lawson said before the council’s first reading vote in November. “It’s only going to cost us about $40,000 out of our budget fund balance to pay for the lighting. We’re also getting an upgrade to the LED lighting on this project too as opposed to the normal lighting they already have out at the park.”
The Lebanon City Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 15.