The Neighborhoods Resource Center is launching their inaugural Conference for Neighborhoods on April 14th. One of the breakout sessions is called “From Neighborhood Leader to Metro Council Member” and pleased to join District 34 Councilwoman Angie Henderson and District 6 Councilman Brett Withers on this panel. There are other breakout sessions and panels, so I encourage anyone currently involved or interested in being involved in your neighborhood to look into attending this conference.
I’ve received some inquiries regarding NES changing out meters. They are gradually switching from analog meters, which are no longer manufactured, to digital meters. NES has used digital Encoder Receiver Transmitter (ERT) meters (often called smart meters) since the late 1990's. They began installing AMI meters (often also called smart meters) in early 2012. They are currently at 75% deployment after a slow rollout that will hopefully be completed by 2020. AMI technology, supplied by Landis and Gyr, enables the meters to be read remotely, so meter readers do not have to enter a customer's property every month. This two-way communication with the electric grid improves service and power reliability for customers and helps NES better manage the energy load on our system. All meters used by NES meet applicable safety standards. They have been approved by the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates radio frequency emissions nationally, and follow American National Standards Institute (ANSI) radio frequency standards. The radio frequencies emitted by AMI meters are much lower than cell phones, cordless phones or baby monitors. In addition, the data received from AMI meters is no different than the information they currently have access to. The only change is that it is remotely reported to NES daily rather than once a month. Meter upgrades are happening over various parts of the service area and customers are notified by mail before the switch out takes place. NES offers a temporary deferral option to allow customers to opt-out of receiving an AMI meter for a monthly fee. Customers can call NES Customer Relations at 615-736-6900 to request an AMI deferral form. Alternatively, NES residential customers may hire an electrician to mount a new meter pedestal and base away from their home in close proximity to the street to install the AMI meter. For additional information, visit their webpage here.
There are three updates in regards to my focus on traffic calming and safety in our neighborhoods:
- In Donelson Hills, a 4-way stop sign will be installed at Cottage Lane and Dellrose Drive. It is with deep regret that the initiative of this effort began with a fatal crash at this intersection. This intersection has long been a dangerous one with limited site distance and consistent speeding.
- In Elm Hill Acres, the speed limit has been reduced on Sanborn Drive from 35 to 30. Most of our single family neighborhoods do not have sidewalks and our streets must be shared with pedestrians. Every effort needs to be made to make them safe pedestrians and drivers.
- McGavock Pike, while it is well-travelled and used by many, it is essentially a residential street and should remain so in my opinion. Towards that effort, I’ve asked that large trucks not use it as a cut-through and for this to be an enforceable policy via the Traffic & Parking Commission. So far, the stretch from Elm Hill Pike to Lebanon Pike has been deemed so and I am awaiting confirmation that the stretch from Lebanon Pike to Pennington Bend Rd will be so as well.
I’m pleased to share two good pieces of news for Maplecrest. The first is the long awaited sidewalk on Fairway Drive. It’s finally moving forward. Public Works is hoping to start work on it this fall, but legislation has to go through for right of way acquisition and working with each property owner still needs to happen, but we’re getting there. Here is a diagram.
Special thanks to Lanny & Sonya Dunkum for installing two Donelson Community Blessing Boxes at Donelson Church of the Nazarene on Donelson Pike last Fall. Participation is based on a “take what you need, donate what you can” premise. See flyer below for details and how you can contact Lenny & Sonya to support their effort.
The Metro Action Commission's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time assistance to income eligible families to help pay electricity, natural gas or other home energy payments. The application period goes from July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2018. The program aims to assist low income households, primarily those who pay a high proportion of household income on home energy, in meeting their immediate energy needs. Customers may print the application, attach the supporting documentation and mail it in or submit it in person. Customers may also call and request the application by mail or e-mail. All information is on their website at the link above. Please spread the word to neighbors.
As I’ve reported in previous newsletters, I’m very much aware that the Traffic Calming Program in Metro is greatly needed in many of our neighborhoods. It’s a slow process, primarily because it’s currently a contract position with Metro. However, I believe that with this upcoming budget, that will change and more resources will be devoted to it. I know questions wondering why such as speed bumps, speed humps and other techniques and elements that we see in other cities aren’t used here are on the minds of a lot of neighbors. I’m hopeful that as we improve the quality and availability of this program, we’ll see an increase in a variety of tools and techniques. The above website has a link for you to request traffic calming in your neighborhood.
Brush Pick-Up is coming soon, so get out there and clean up your yards and get the brush to the curb.
With the warm weather here, that means door-to-door sales folks will be walking the neighborhoods. Remember that Metro has a Do Not Knock List and you have to renew every year.
Special thanks to River Glen neighbors Kerra Bennett, who helped organize a litter clean-up of Pennington Bend Road. With help from 15th District Beautification Commissioner Naomi Regensburg who provided bright shirts, bags and gloves, a team of us went from the McGavock Pike / Pennington Bend Road intersection to the River Glen neighborhood entrance. Very special thanks goes to Sgt Jeff White with our Hermitage Precinct, who accompanied us in his patrol car and on foot to help ensure the traffic on Pennington Bend Road was aware of people walking on the shoulder. Check out all the bags of trash below that we collected. Great team effort!
The Metro Historic Zoning Commission Foundation will host their 5th Annual Old House Fair on Saturday, March 4 from 9am – 3pm at Sevier Park Community Center, 3021 Lealand Avenue. The Old House Fair is a daylong festival that introduces property owners to new ideas, practical advice, innovative materials and quality services through exhibitors and presentations.
Thanks to the efforts of River Glen neighbor Kerra Bennett, we are putting together a volunteer litter clean-up of Pennington Bend Road on Sunday, February 26 from 1-3pm. In conjunction with our 15th District Beatification Commissioner, Naomi Regensburg, Public Works and MNPD, we will have brightly colored vests, signage, gloves, bags and signage along PB Road to help ensure safety. Sergeant Jeff White from the Hermitage Precinct will be there as well to help with safety. As the saying goes, "many hands make light work". We would love volunteers to help out! Thanks again to Kerra for getting this going. We will meet at Grace Nazarene on at 1pm on Sunday, Feb 26.
Abbington Park neighbors have been experiencing multiple issues with the undeveloped land where the third phase of their neighborhood is to be built. This plans were approved a number of years ago so I can’t stop them from happening. The issues and latest update is as follows:
- Dump trucks were going too fast through the neighborhood and on Pennington Bend Road. Thanks to MNPD, they reacted quickly and have been on top of this. The owner has a grading permit.
- The developer has a grading permit. However, Metro Stormwater investigated the site at my request and found violations of that permit that included dumping in areas not allowed and not performing an equal amount of cut for the amount of fill that is being brought in. Since this is in floodplain, the developer must ensure they are only rising up the areas allowed and they must ensure an equal amount of material is removed to retain an equal amount of flood water storage. They levied a fine against the developer and put a stop order on the work. They are requiring a mitigation plan that is due by May 3. I had a meeting with Stormwater with many questions about the development, timing of the mitigation plan and how we can ensure they perform the grading work in a reasonable amount of time so neighbors do not have to endure dump trucks in their neighborhood consistently. I have asked if another entrance could be established for the work that is not through the neighborhood. I have also asked if Metro Stormwater needs additional legislatively authorized tools to have a greater control over these aspects of the development. I will stay on this.
- Hunters are using the undeveloped land. It is legal in Davidson County, but it has to be in hunting season. Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency
Below are the site plans for the next phase of Abbington Park.
I had a great time at Donelson Heights United Methodist with Troop 700, discussing my role as a Council Member and the vision for where our community is headed. They have a great group of kids, parents and leadership. My son, Joey, is on track to earn his Eagle this year, so I know firsthand how important Scouts is and the positive impact it has on families.
The Neighborhoods Resource Center and Nashville Neighborhood Alliance are attempting to determine the number of active neighborhood organizations (associations, watches, HOAs, and resident and/or condo associations that are active in Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.)
Their goals are to (1) improve databases so that they can more effectively communicate with neighborhood organizations; (2) create an online directory of neighborhood organizations for access by the public (including other neighborhood leaders); (3) determine the organizational types and the level of participation in neighborhood organizations; and, (4) gain a sense of the organizational and neighborhood issues facing these organizations.
Your participation will help the NRC and NNA better serve neighborhoods across Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County. Take the 2017 census here: NRC 2017 Neighborhood Census
The 29th Annual Ann Chapman Holiday Lights Contest is here! Neighbors of the 15th District have been strong contenders in year’s past. See flyers below for details and visit the link above to register.
The first sidewalk project in the heart of Donelson has moved closer to becoming a reality with easements being requested from property owners for construction. You can view this legislation as well as any other pending development in Davidson County on the Metro Planning Development Tracker website.
Vice Mayor Briley called a special hearing on gun violence before the October 18th Council Meeting. Presentations from Metro Health Department Dr. Bill Paul and MNPD Chief Steve Anderson were very informative and provided suggestions for how to curb this violence by getting more involved in providing opportunities and mentoring for youth. Chief Anderson provided heat maps of Davidson County showing where incidents have occurred over the last few years. Watch the hearing by visiting the Metro Council page here and click on the Committee Meeting YouTube Channel link.
The main update for the Neighborhood News section directly relates to the changes happening at the Public Works department. Mark Macy served as the Interim Director of Public Works for a couple of years. He is a talented engineer and also served as the Chief Engineer of the department. He recently stepped down from his Interim Director position in order to return his focus on the many important responsibilities of being the Chief Engineer. Mayor Barry appointed her Director of Infrastructure, Mark Sturtevant, as the new Interim Director of Public Works. The Mayor directed Mark Sturtevant to perform a top to bottom review of the department and how we can address the increasing needs our communities all across Davidson County are experiencing as we continue to experience rapid growth. The NashvilleNext plan called for looking into creating a local Department of Transportation so that we can begin to focus on how we will build a much needed improved transportation infrastructure. Mark is working hard on creating efficiencies at the department in the short term and also planning for what the future structure of the department will be.
We all like to enjoy Percy Priest Lake each summer, but safety needs to always be a foremost concern. Drowning incidents have unfortunately increased this year. Please check out an article here from The Ledger that is a good read about possible causes why. Please be safe!
I am always working to do what I can to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Speeding and pedestrian safety are two big concerns of mine and I do everything I can to work with Public Works in improving our intersections and I’ve begun to implement some formal Traffic Calming measures in neighborhoods. Bluefields implemented them some years back and have reported it has helped. We are moving forward with Donelson Hills, Lincoya Hills, Maplecrest and others as time and resources allow. Thanks to The Donelson News for writing about my efforts.
A couple neighborhoods in Donelson have taken advantage of Metro Public Works Traffic Calming Program. My neighborhood, Donelson Hills, has been in discussions with them for many months. We finally will receive signage at our three entranceways and a few other elements to hopefully encourage those driving through the neighborhood to slow down. I’ve been hearing from many neighbors across Donelson in the months since election. Recently, I put a post out on Hip Donelson asking for input about traffic issues in neighborhoods. With about 200 responses, I compiled the information with the emails I’ve received. The major responses came from Lincoya Hills, Maplecrest and Woodberry Park and a few other specific streets where issues are consistent. I will be making an effort to work with the neighborhood leadership and the Traffic Calming program to see if we can help make our neighborhood streets safer.
There are three sidewalk projects coming to the heart of Donelson. A community meeting was held last Fall about the project to connect Stanford Montessori to our Donelson Library. Two other projects that are coming will be on Lebanon Pike connecting Bluefields Avenue to Graylynn Drive and one on JB Estille Drive connecting Lebanon Pike and Old Lebanon Pike. Come learn more about these projects at a Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 26th at 6:30pm at Donelson Church of Christ in the chapel. Thank you DCoC for hosting us!
The Nashville Civic Design Center and Transit Now Nashville are hosting a Ticket To Ride event on the Music City Star on Wednesday, April 20th, riding from downtown to Donelson on the 5:45pm train. We will then walk up to Phat Bites for an event to promote transit and Downtown Donelson’s future. See flyer below for details.
Congratulations to Bluefield’s neighbor Lara Tucker, who was appointed by Mayor Barry to the Housing Trust Fund Commission. Congrats as well to Natalie Corwin for being named one of the Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 for 2016.
If searching for good seasonal or part-time work, Metro Parks is having a job fair on Saturday, February 20th at McCabe Golf Clubhouse. See flyer below for more information.
With the cold weather here, our neighbors across Davidson County experiencing homelessness are the most vulnerable and need help. The Metro Homelessness Commission has an opportunity for volunteer opportunities. See the below flyer for details and contact information.
The Donelson Neighborhood Leader Breakfast at the Two Rivers Mansion on Saturday, November 7th turned out great and was an enjoyable and productive morning. Melanie Moore with Legacy Foods catered a delicious breakfast and special guests were Senator Steve Dickerson, School Board Member Anna Shepherd, CM Holly Huezo (District 13), Commander Preston Brandimore and Sgt Jeff White from our Hermitage Precinct, Sharon Kipp representing the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber and Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, and Frank Trew, President of Hip Donelson. About 25 neighborhoods across Donelson were represented and it was a great morning of sharing successes, challenges, opportunities and discuss a number of topics about managing change and successfully creating a strong communications network. We also discussed the Metro Arts THRIVE program, our new Donelson-Hermitage-Old Hickory Community Plan, the upcoming Metro Police Christmas Charities and much more.
Several months ago, Jenny White, President of Lincoya Hills Neighborhood Association, asked me about what other neighborhoods were doing to engage neighbors, encourage participation in their neighborhood, etc. It sparked the idea of having a gathering of neighborhood leaders to share some learned best practices of communications, administration and support each other’s shared challenges. Our neighborhoods have a wide variety of organizational structures, from none at all, to communication methods of email or social media, new to established Neighborhood Watch’s, Neighborhood Associations and Home Owner’s Associations (this is a good link that contrasts the difference between a Neighborhood Association and an HOA). I have put together a breakfast coming up early next month at Two Rivers Mansion and reached out to all our neighborhood leaders inviting them to come. I hope each neighborhood leader leaves that gathering with new ideas and has successful networking with other Donelson neighborhood leaders. Finally, it will be a great way for me to say “Thank You” to those that spend their time and talents on behalf of their neighborhood. I look forward to sharing pictures and a report of how it went. Hopefully, it will lead to a regular beneficial gathering.
I was very happy to see a large turnout for the Neighborhood Watch meeting on September 29 organized by Pam Miller, President of River Glen and all of Pennington Bend. They were experiencing issues largely due to Theft from Vehicle crimes. Sgt Jeff White of the Hermitage Precinct spoke to the large group about crime prevention and answered many questions from neighbors. Thank you to Grace Church of the Nazarene for hosting, Pam for organizing and everyone who attended. I am always available and willing to help with Neighborhood Watch efforts if anyone needs assistance or advice.
Donelson’s own Fire Station 28 is selling shirts to the public to help fund the daily living costs at the station that are funded by each employee. Just stop by the station or at the Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market to buy them. They are $15 for short sleeve and $20 for long sleeve.
Councilman Claiborne and I led a meeting on September 1 with Public Works and neighbors on Fairway Drive to discuss a sidewalk project coming early next year. CM Claiborne has worked on securing funding for this project for several years so we have him to thank for this finally happening. This project will connect Stanford Montessori with our Donelson Library. There are a number of logistics to work out over the coming months and if all goes well, it should begin in early 2016. It should be completed in about 6-months.