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Nashville mayor tells council he hopes to loosen virus restrictions in another week

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In his review of the coronavirus pandemic in the city of Nashville, Monday night, Mayor Billy Ray Smith told the widely-spaced council members he looked for a loosening of restrictions in another week.

He said there had been 13 confirmed cases in Nashville, and almost half of those were in one family. “No deaths,” he said.

The mayor added that the city’s adopted protections “did a good job avoiding big problems.”

He said that after this week he hoped the city departments could go back to their regular routines. “I hope to be back in our regular meeting room next time.”

The council was in its regular meeting for April after skipping the March meeting due to the virus. Seven of the council members were present, and they sat at least six feet apart in the spacious meeting room at the Carter Day Training Center.

Among the few items of business was adoption of Ordinance 955 which amended an earlier ordinance governing trailers, campers and boats in residential yards. Council member Monica Clark voiced concerns about fines or penalties which were not mentioned in the ordinance. Code Enforcement Officer David Riggs and the mayor both said that the penalty was a first time fine of $100 which was listed in the original, amended ordinance. Citizens may keep a certain number of such vehicles, but they may not be kept in the front yard of the home.

The council also passed a resolution adopting the county’s FEMA ‘mitigation plan’ to enable funding for such emergencies as the July 2019 flood.

A project underway as a result of that flood includes improvements at the spillway of Lake Nichols, the city’s lower water reservoir. Public Works Director Larry Dunaway said that work was about 50-60% done on the project to prevent erosion under the spillway. He said that a recent heavy rainfall tested the incomplete project and it worked as planned.

Financial Director Kimberly Green gave financial reports for both February and March.

Parks and Recreation Director Mark Dale said that sports activity at the park had ceased just as concessions and fields were ready to accomodate crowds. He said he was especially sorry that the park’s anticipated, well-participated baseball program had been forced to cancel and to return entry fees.

Present for the meeting were council members Clark, Nick Davis, Carol Mitchell, Donna Harwell, Kay Gathright and Kathy Combs. Also, Mayor Jones, PWD Director Dunaway, Finance Director Green, Code Enforcement Officer Riggs, City Recorder Mary Woodruff, Parks Director Dale and Police Chief Amy Marion.

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