Public safety is among Mayor Jamie Clary’s top priorities for the city in 2019. (Photo: Matthew Diggs / For the Tennessean Sumner)
Infrastructure, recycling and garbage, public safety and economic development will all play a major role in the City of Hendersonville’s year ahead, said Mayor Jamie Clary. Here’s what to look out for in 2019:
“Handling growth and paving roads” are among some of the most important aspects facing the city in the next year, Clary told the Tennessean.
“We’re not going to let that continue to build up; we are going to spend it,” he said. Fees for builders will also be used to improve traffic and road conditions.
The city will meet Jan. 14 to discuss impact fees and review a report on how to implement them in Hendersonville, Clary said.
“If we enacted it this year, which I hope we do, we will start to see sizable chunks of revenue in three to five years,” Clary said, noting that the city cannot charge an impact fee to a builder who is already building or has approvals to build.
Clary said the city’s police department remained diligent in going after all criminals, especially those who come in from Nashville and surrounding areas.
“That will continue to be a top priority,” Clary said.
Recently, for example, the department arrested two men in connection with a burglary in the Millstone Subdivision. The burglary occurred Jan. 9 and two suspects were arrested the same day, even after they fled the area. Both men were charged with burglary and theft and one was also charged with resale of drugs, drug possession and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, according to a release from police.
Garbage and recycling
The city has put together a recycling and solid waste committee to take a look at the future of recycling and garbage collection in the city.
Hendersonville currently has a recycling pilot program that services 800 homes.
But worldwide issues with recycling are affecting the city, Public Works Committee Chairman Mark Skidmore explained to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Jan. 8.
During the next five years, landfill capacity in the U.S. is expected to drop by more than 15 percent, according to the Waste Business Journal.
A major factor in the capacity decline, according to industry experts, is a glutted market for recyclable material resulting largely from restrictions imposed by China, which has been a leading destination for used plastic, glass, paper and other material.
On Jan. 1, 2018, China began enforcing a policy banning imports of several types of recyclable material and setting stricter contamination standards on others.
“Our waste management company says they’re still going to do the recycling program, but we want to make sure the recycling is not going to a landfill,” Skidmore said.
Skidmore said recycling was important to residents, and Clary said ultimately, the city may just change the way it handles recycling.
“I think what’s going to happen is you’re going to see city’s focus on what’s easiest to recycle clean,” Clary said.
The city also needs to decide whether or not it wants to keep backdoor garbage pickup twice a week or move to curbside once a week.
Because of these factors, the Public Works Committee has recommended the board extend the city’s garbage contract one year.
Meetings will be planned for each of the six wards, so that residents can express concerns and ask questions, Skidmore said. A citywide meeting will also be scheduled.
Another priority, Clary said, was economic development.
In November of 2017, the city hired Rod Kirk as its assistant for economic development. He is responsible for bringing more professional jobs to the city, said Clary in a news release when Kirk was hired.
“We have thousands of professional employees living here, but many are spending too much time getting to their jobs in other cities. When we attract employers to Hendersonville, our residents spend more time with their families and less time commuting,” said Clary.
Clary told the Tennessean that city officials also meet once every three months to brainstorm with economic development professionals that live in Hendersonville but don’t actually work in the city.
“We get their ideas for free,” Clary said, adding he planned to continue the meetings in the new year.
And Kirk “is making great relationships,” Clary said.
Tom Charlier contributed to this report. Sumner News Editor Amy Nixon can be reached at email@example.com or 615-946-7549.
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