By SABRINA BATES
MARTIN (August 4) — The Martin Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a request by members of the Martin Parks and Recreation to donate their sick leave to one of their own, Rita McMillan, when it met for a virtual session Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Martin Mayor Randy Brundige announced the amount of time needed for McMillan is not yet known, but the department wanted to have the sick leave donation approved for future use for their teammate.
In ordinance news, the board delayed a decision to rezone a parcel of property from residential to business near Walmart. While the ordinance was set for its second and final reading Tuesday evening, the delay by the planning commission to finalize regulations for landscaping of commercial and business property must be in place before the property can be rezoned from residential to business.
Rick Wilson, owner of the property, told board members he has a contract for the sale of the property as a medical facility, which is set to expire at the end of August.
Board members agreed to hold a special-called meeting of the planning commission this month to expedite the process and allow the full board to approve the rezoning ordinance.
The Board also approved an ordinance allowing property owners who do not reside in Martin to vote by-mail. This option was proposed by Weakley County Administrator of Elections Alex Britt to all cities to simplify the process for absentee property owners in municipal elections. Those who own property within a municipality, but reside elsewhere, have rights to vote in municipal elections where they own their property.
The by-mail voting ordinance for property rights voters is in final stages of approval by all municipalities in Weakley County. Britt explained, prior to the November municipal election, his office will mail a ballot request to property-rights voters. Once they complete the application, an absentee ballot will be mailed out.
“I think this will encourage more property owners to vote in city elections,” Alderman Scott Robbins said. Brundige agreed, saying he thinks it’s a good thing.
A request by Martin Housing Authority Executive Director Pam Bratcher for a city grant to help with project renovations was withdrawn after Bratcher said HUD funds that came in the week prior helps offset the cost of the improvements.
The Board approved a donation of $5,000 to the Charger Foundation for the non-profit to provide school supplies to all Martin school students.
In announcements, Brundige said Friday, August 14, 2020, is the deadline for paving bids. The City is looking at $250,000 worth of paving projects. The mayor said paving projects usually begin in October, but he can’t guarantee a timeline.
He also reported the C.E. Weldon Public Library is closed for two weeks as a result of exposure to COVID-19. Spraying the facility would result in damage to housed archives, therefore, the facility is closed and staff members are quarantined at home.
Board members approved a request to move forward on a 2020 Multimodel Grant Project to continue building a sidewalk near the Hampton Inn on the Skyhawk Parkway. The city hired TLM Associates to assist in the Multimodel Project. The grant is expected to be between $750,000-$800,000, with a five percent match by the city. This would extend the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway.
In appointment news, board members approved the following:
* Vera Shanklin and Katie Smith to the Library Board of Trustees;
* Justin Crice to the Planning Commission and
* George Ellis to fill the unexpired term of the late Scott Fortner to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
By SABRINA BATES