Thursday’s meeting of the Murfreesboro City Council included an annexation request, discussion of funding for park renovations, and a request by Police Chief Glenn Chrisman to purchase new radios for his department.
Chrisman said the two-way radios currently used by Murfreesboro police date back to the early 1970s, when the federal government provided partial funding for their purchase.
They operate on an outdated UHF band, but new radios will allow modern communication across the 700 to 800 megahertz band and will comply with a federal unfunded mandate requiring narrow band broadcasting for all emergency personnel by 2013.
“We have seen a significant decrease in the cost of this modern communication equipment, and we feel it is the right time to make the change because we’re looking at a 10 to 12 percent savings,” Chrisman said.
“By my calculations, this would be a savings of a quarter million dollars,” Councilman Doug Young said.
He motioned for approval and the council voted unanimously to purchase the new equipment.
Industrial development passes first reading
Planning Director Joseph Aydelott recommended approval of an annexation and rezoning request by applicant Mary Murfree Family Partnership for a 47-acre tract along South Rutherford Boulevard, and scheduled an Aug. 2 public hearing, which will occur just prior to any third and final reading on the matter.
“The property is currently zoned industrial by the county and would automatically become Light Industrial upon annexation, but the applicant wanted to make sure that the property would be properly zoned for its intended use,” Aydelott said concerning the accompanying request to rezone the property.
The recommendation gained unanimous approval.
Funds approved to refurbish park
Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Angela Jackson asked the council for the go ahead in seeking a $75,000 matching grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to renovate the West View Mini-Park.
Jackson provided the council with pictures of the February Street park, showing only a rusty slide and some rusty parallel bars.
“It seems most residents don’t even know that there is a park there,” she said. “It currently offers minimal recreation opportunities.”
The renovation is estimated to cost $150,000, with the city’s portion amounting to half that amount after grant funds are awarded.
Councilman Eddie Smotherman expressed concern that the bid process for the renovations would be similar to the process used for the Kids’ Castle, which caused considerable contention just prior to his joining the council.
“We’re not going to do what we did with Kids’ Castle are we?” he asked. “Because I want to make sure that local contractors have the same chance as everyone else.”
He said the process was flawed and required contractors to bid on their own designs, rather than giving contractors a specified design and taking bids for its construction.
“We will not be doing what we did with Kids’ Castle,” Jackson replied.
The request then gained unanimous approval.