City Council hires new park director

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    NICOLE TRACY
    Reporter

    NASHVILLE – The City of Nashville has hired a Park director to fill the vacancy left by former director Nikki Cherry on Tuesday night during the City Council Meeting.
    Freddie Horne, President of the Nashville City Park Commission, addressed the Council and gave the official recommendation that Wendy Harris, currently serving as interim Park director, be hired to fill the position.
    The City Council then went into an Executive session over the recommendation, which lasted for about an hour, before reopening the meeting to the general public. A motion was made by Nick Davis that Wendy Harris’s nomination to the position of Park director be accepted, and was seconded by Vivian Wright.
    The council then voted on the issue, with the final vote coming down 8 to 4 in favor of Harris as the new Park Director. Aldermen Mike Milum, Andy Anderson, James Parker, Kay Gathright, Jimmie Lou Kirkpatrick, Vivian Wright, Monica Clark, and Nick Davis voted for accepting Harris’s nomination, and Aldermen Matt Smith, Joe Hoen, Donna Harwell, and Carol Mitchell voted against the nomination.
    The council also considered the possibility of amending City Ordinance #820, which regulates business performed by door to door sales within the city limits. The council is considering the possibility of not allowing door to door sales by transient salespersons within the city limits. The council asked City Attorney Bryan Chesshir to draft a proposal disallowing door to door sales that will be considered at the next City Council meeting that will be held in March.
    A request was considered from residents on Park St. They asked the council to place a speed bump on the road, with the reasoning that there are children, pets, walkers, and senior residents who would benefit from the added protection from speeding vehicles.
    The council discussed the request, and heard from Police Chief Dale Pierce, who stated that he would be more than happy to have officers keep an eye on the area. Alderman Milum made a motion to place a speed bump on Park St, but there was no second. The motion did not move forward from there.
    Finance Director Jimmy Dale gave the financial report for the month of January. Dale noted that there were some extraordinary expenses for the month of January. He stated that “all the departments made the first installment on the property insurance, which was around $20,000 per month for three months.” Workman’s Compensation premiums were also due, which was a one payment premium of $29,613.00, Dale stated. The Arkansas Department of Enviromental Quality annual permit was also due, for a total of $6,370; $6,500 was also paid to the Municipal League for annual membership.
    “Given a 29,256 shortage overall, this is a good report, when you consider the insurance and legal fees paid, along with the ADEQ permits. If you exclude the property insurance and workman’s comp premiums, most of the departments were well within their budget for the first month of 2016.”
    Larry Dunaway, Public Works Director reported to the Council that he had talked with a Highway Department Engineer about the possible Peachtree Street project, and noted that as of this point in the process, it was preliminary information only, it will take two to three years for the project to actually begin once everything has been submitted to the AHTD.
    Dunaway also brought the council up to date on where the proposed city sidewalk project was at. He stated that the paperwork has been started for it, and the intention was for it to go to bid by May, and having the work done over the summer before school starts.
    Members present at the meeting were Aldermen Smith, Hoen, Harwell, Davis, Clark, Wright, Kirpatrick, Gathright, Parker, Mitchell and Milum. Also present were Mayor Billy Ray Jones, City Clerk Mary Woodruff, City Attorney Bryan Chesshir, Fire Chief Jerry Harwell, Police Chief Dale Pierce, Finance Director Jimmy Dale, Public Works Director Larry Dunaway, Parks Director Wendy Harris, President of the Parks Commission Freddie Horne, and Officer Ty Basiliere.

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