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Lowry Street plan approved at Smyrna Town Council

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Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed and Smyrna and retiring Rutherford County Airport Manager Lois Vallance. DAN EPRIGHT

Mayor Mary Esther Reed and the Smyrna Town Council unanimously approved the Lowry Street Revitalization Overlay Plan at Tuesday night's meeting. The corridor under study runs from Sam Ridley Parkway to Nissan Drive, approximately three miles, and includes the Depot District, the heart of historic Smyrna.

The plan's preamble states, "The Town of Smyrna has recognized the importance of revitalizing the Lowry Street Corridor. Seen as the central corridor of the town, this section of Lowry Street is poised for tremendous economic development opportunities. Along with economic development comes the need to establish land use patterns and design standards that preserve and enhance the quality of life for Smyrna residents and provide additional tax revenue in raising the land values of the properties included in the study area."

In concert with the tremendous commercial growth along Sam Ridley Parkway and Nissan Drive in Smyrna, Reed stressed the importance of revitalizing Lowry Street and its businesses.

"It is the heart of our community. We want to see the same thing happen in downtown Smyrna that we've seen on Sam Ridley. We want to see a mixture of individuals living downtown, being able to shop downtown, being able to eat downtown," Reed said. "We are so excited about the possibilities right in the heart of Smyrna. I think with the major thoroughfare plan, and with the downtown revitalization, we are moving in the right direction."

Chicken Shack comes to chat

The owner-operators of Chicken Shack Express, Kenyatta and Debbie Pumphrey, brought samples of their food for the mayor, town council and citizens when they came to advocate for food trucks in Smyrna and for their own business. The Pumphreys also wanted to make sure they understood the ordinances involving outdoor sale of food.

Reed welcomed the business owners, saying that Smyrna is very pro-business, and wished them well in meeting the provisions of the current ordinances. Town Attorney Jeff Peach briefed them on the ordinances regulating food trucks and the role of the Smyrna Board of Zoning Appeals, with a promise of office time to go over their scheduled proposal for their business.

Airport manager honored for service

Smyrna and Rutherford County Airport Manager Lois Vallance was honored by the mayor and council with a proclamation in recognition of her 23 years of distinguished service. Vallance will retire from her position March 31. Airport Director John Black described in glowing terms Vallance's instrumental service, as she managed airport growth and development projects worth more than $30 million, as well as many Great Tennessee Airshow biennial events. The proclamation notes during her years of service the airport was recognized as the Tennessee Airport of the Year twice, received a Red Carpet Award for customer service and operational excellence from the commercial aviation industry, and earned the Tennessee Airport Management of the Year Award in 2011.

Appointments and reappointments

Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed and the Town Council approved a flurry of appointments and reappointments to various boards and committees. Reed, on behalf of the council, praised the many citizens of Smyrna who wished to volunteer their time. In every case, there were more volunteers than available positions.

The positions and appointments are: Packaged Liquor Board, four year term: Rhett Kimble; Board of Zoning Appeals, three year terms: Vandy VanMeeter, Mark Wilkins; Citizens for Sister City Relations, three year terms: Frann Dunn, Resha Oliphant, Melody Welshoffer; Parks Advisory Board, two year terms: Mark Hardy, Dennis Johnson Sr., Carlos Rawls, Holly Worley Phillips; Planning Commission, two year terms: Trey Lee, Marc Michaelson, Gerald Short, Councilmember Tim Morrell, Marc Adkins (mayor designee); Project Assistance, three year term: Linda McNeill; Beer Board, four year terms: Jerry Green, Scott Matuk; Storm Water Advisory Committee, two year terms: Rhett Kimble, Frank Musgrave, Daniel Newbern, Dean Taylor; Historic Zoning Commission, five year terms: Carolyn Peebles, Melissa Skopack; Arts Commission, two year terms: Councilmember Racquel Peebles, Reba Gilpin, Glynis Van Slyke, Emily Williams; Smyrna Charity Assistance Board, three year term: Kay Charles; Council Representative to the Smyrna Charity Assistance Board, one year term: Lori North; Mayoral Appointee to the Smyrna Housing Authority, five year term: Dan Whittle.

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