From Mayor Olen Parker
I want to publically thank all the city and state employees for their efforts during the winter weather helping keep the streets passable.
We are currently taking a survey of the speed limit within certain areas of town where speed signs are inconsistent. It is our plan to have a consistent and applicable speed limit throughout Newbern on secondary streets within the next 2-3 months.
Parks and Recreation Commission has a survey they would like for the citizens to participate in. Printed copies are available at City Hall, the Library or on the Newbern Facebook page.
We were successful on obtaining the TDOT Community Transportation Planning Grant in the sum of $75,000 to develop sidewalk plans which will cover the entire length of SR77 and SR211 within the corporate limits of Newbern. It is expected the authorization to proceed will be in June.
The Safe Routes to School Project.
State / Local agreement was completed in August 2014 - TDOT will complete the environmental which normally takes 8-10 months - Design cannot begin until environmental is approved; April – May, 2015 - Possibly bidding by the end of 2015.
The Newbern Elementary School Safe Room is well under construction and the roof should be placed within the next week or so. The scheduled completion date will be approximately June 15 due to the weather.
Downtown Enhancement - Phase 1 Final Design is complete.
There will be a public hearing on March 10th at 2:00 in the Courtroom. This will be in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Commission regular meeting. We are preparing an agreement between Newbern and the Railroad (because we are within 200-ft) - TDOT Excess Land committee should be ready for review in March - Bidding will likely take place August.
The Downtown Enhancement Grant Phase II - Applications were accepted on Nov 3, 2014 and will likely be announced in July-August 2015
The Newbern Downtown Safe Room has been fully approved and the property surveys are near completion. Construction Drawings could be completed by early April with bid being acquired in June. Construction could begin as early as July 01.
The Project will be located on the property of the old Shuck Motor Company as the rear of the property. The area from Main Street to the Safe Room approximately 100 feet will be an open courtyard.
We are applying for CDBG Funding to construct a new 250k gallon water tower in the Millsfield Area to provide better pressure on the Western Water Service for Newbern Rural Water. We are working on the Preliminary Engineering Report to be attached to the grant application being prepared by Rob Goad (NWTDD). Applications are due February 27, 2015 and will be announced likely in August.
Operations Chief Jim Richards is nearing completion of the procedures manual for the operations of the safe rooms and hope to have this available for review in the next two months.
We are looking at some grants that are available to assist in providing greenery and blooming plants along railroad properties. We will advise to the outcome of those grants.
We are moving forward with the Automated Meter Reading System meeting with different vendors, service providers and cities which use this service. Our current focus is on compatibility of software. This system will provide numerous billing and payment options to our customer.
Would like to name those we have lost from the community since January: Jay Alexander, Thomas Dunivant, Judy Jones, Brenda Brasﬁeld, Randall Moser, Willa Dean Maxwell, Jimmy Doyle Dean, Brenda Combs, Willie Johnson, Tony Herron, Earl Wheatley, Linda Smith, Bobby Jack Harris, Caroline Stephens Klahn, Dorothy Francess Brandon, Ralph Stanbourgh, Martha Fields, Rosa Barbee, Emilie Ryan, Laura M Mims, Sherry Wayne Garrison.
I apologize if I have missed any family. Our prayers go out to these families.