BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (September 14) — The Dresden City Board dealt with a broad agenda when it met in-person at Dresden City Hall on Monday, September 14. City department heads participated in the meeting via the internet on YouTube Live.
Items on the agenda included a noise ordinance, voting ordinance, police chief appointment, equipment and paving bids, and budget amendments.
The board approved the second reading of a noise ordinance after there was no discussion regarding the noise ordinance during a public hearing prior to Monday night’s meeting. The ordinance reads as follows:
“No person may operate either a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles of a type subject to regulation, at any time or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration in such a manner as to exceed 90 decibels of sound for exhaust, based on a distance of 50 feet from the center of the lane of travel within the speed limits specified in this subsection:
“A person may not operate a vehicle on a highway or street if the vehicle has a defect in the exhaust system which affects sound reduction, is not equipped with a muffler or other noise disruptive device, or is equipped with a cutout, bypass, amplifier, or a similar device (I.E. a modified exhaust system that amplifies the noise that would ordinarily be emitted from the motor vehicle with it’s original manufacturer-equipped muffler and emission system.”
Additionally, the ordinance stipulates it is unlawful to install or have installed a replacement muffler or exhaust part that causes the motor vehicle to exceed the noise limit established by this ordinance. Businesses within the city limits installing such systems are accountable and may be fined.
Law enforcement officers are authorized to monitor vehicle noises within the corporate city limits of Dresden, using commercially-available, sound-monitoring equipment and cite violators into court.
If found guilty, the court shall assess a fine up to $50 per violation, plus court costs, for each cited violation and each continuing violation.
The city’s municipal code already prohibits motorists from playing automobile radios at excessively loud levels. According to City Attorney Beau Pemberton, a Tennessee Code Annotated policy states such noise violations fall under the criminal offense of disturbing the peace.
Dresden’s revised noise ordinance goes into effect beginning October 1, 2020.
Mayor Washburn stated the decibel level indicator quantifies the how loud an exhaust system is, rather than having a police officer determining if it exceeds the allowable noise level based on a subjective estimation.
City Attorney Beau Pemberton said the upper limit of the legal noise level is, “about the same as a riding lawn mower running at full speed.”
Election Day Ordinance
Following a public hearing and second reading, a voting date ordinance strikes the wording in Dresden’s City Charter reading, “the first Tuesday in November” and replaces it with “the first Tuesday after the first Monday during November.” Another way of determining the date on which Dresden’s Election Day falls is the first Tuesday after November 1. Under this method of determining the date for federal, state and local elections, the earliest possible date in any given year is November 2, and the latest possible date is November 8.
According to City Recorder Jennifer Branscum, the charter amendment will not change the city’s voting date in the 2020 election, but it will alter the municipal voting date in 2022 and thereafter.
Police Chief Appointment
The board appointed Chris Crocker as Dresden’s new police chief, following the resignation of former Police Chief Steve Howe, who resigned on June 24, to accept a position with the Tennessee Office of Inspector General.
Another important item on the agenda was tractor bids. Mayor Washburn stated this is a cab-over-tractor with a boom arm to mow on steep slopes and hard-to-reach areas. Public Works Director Kerry Cooper said it is the same as tractor used by the Weakley County Highway Department and comes highly recommended.
The board approved a motion by Alderman Lyndal Dilday to accept the lowest bid of $115,000 submitted by the New Holland dealer in Dixon, Tennessee. This includes a 110 HP New Holland TS6.110 tractor with cab, and a mounted boom mower, with a 50-inch diameter rotary head and joystick control.
Mayor Washburn stated there is $160,000 in the budget to do paving work. He recommended paving the following sections of city streets, to remain within the budget: Red Hill Rd. (from Bible Union to North end), Old Latham Rd. (from Hwy 118 to end of city limits), a portion of Lamb Rd., S. Poplar St. (from Moore St. to W. Locust St.), a portion of Hyland St, and Bible Union (from Red Hill Rd. to city limits).
The low bid was awarded to Ford Construction for a total of $159,284 unanimously.
“This would basically get everything in the north part of town in good shape,” the mayor said.
The mayor stated, Ford Construction estimates work on these projects could begin in October.
“Next year, we can look at doing a couple of the bigger projects is south Dresden,” the mayor said.
The bid for patching various city streets with hot mix to fill potholes was awarded to Ford Construction at a cost of at $250 per ton, which totals $7,000. The board approved the bid by a vote of 5-1.
A budget amendment placing $47,316 of CARES funding in revenue was approved.
Mayor Washburn stated $30,000 will be spent to pay the city’s part of the WK&T high-speed fiber network grant.
It allocates $8,000 for upgrades to computers at city hall. $2,800 is for equipment allowing the P.D. to write e-tickets.
A retaining wall repair and paving project in front of city hall will cost $5,700.
A total of $816 is allocated for sidewalk repair.
A resolution authorizing the city’s acceptance of a $200 anonymous donation for Dresden Fire Department was also approved.
Communications and Announcements
In communications from the mayor, Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn stated an aerator was purchased for the sewage lagoon. The mayor mentioned the city’s water system is working much more efficiently, since variable speed controllers were installed to prevent water surges. The controllers prevent damage to water lines and components.
Alderman Dilday stated the traffic light at the intersection of Highways 54 and 22 are out again. The mayor said there is money in the budget to purchase longer-lasting and more power-efficient LED lights to replace the existing lighting system.
Cooper stated the railroad is in the process of repairing damage to the roadway underneath the location of the Old Hwy 22 railroad underpass on Evergreen Extended, which was damaged when the longstanding concrete underpass was demolished recently.