BY DAVID FISHER
GREENFIELD (September 15) — Moments before Tuesday night’s meeting of the Greenfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen got underway, City Judge Beau Pemberton swore in Leanna Stephenson to complete the unfulfilled term of former Alderman Thomas Tansil, Jr., who officially resigned after being sentenced on charges stemming from a Tennessee Comptroller’s investigation. The charges are related to his prior position as assistant district attorney for the 24th District, which includes Carroll, Henry, Benton, Decatur and Hardin Counties.
Stephenson’s husband, Michael Brandon, and the couple’s children were present to witness her recite the official oath of office.
As Assistant Bursar at UT Martin, Stephenson helps manage the financial affairs of the university, and comes qualified to fill the vacant at-large alderman seat.
After Mayor Cindy McAdams called the meeting to order, she said of Stephenson, “We’re happy to have her on board.”
Mayor McAdams gave an update on the status of the city’s finances saying local sales tax collections were $27,907.03, which is $342.36 less than the prior month’s collection totaling $28,249.39. State sales tax revenues amounted to $22,039.38, compared to the previous month’s total of $20,692.36, which amounts to an increase of $1,347.02. Overall, state and local sales tax revenue combined totaled $49,946.41, which is an increase of $1,004.66.
Fire Chief Bob Dudley reported preparations for the Greenfield Fall Fire Prevention Festival are going well. “The brochures are printed; the billboards and signs were put up today; and the press releases will be coming out in the next couple of weeks in newspapers, on radio and TV,” Dudley said. “Money is starting to come in, but it’s a little slow, as expected. We have lost three inside events, due to Covid, but we’ll probably bring them back next year.” Dudley stated everyone needs to be aware that these three inside events were cancelled after the brochures were printed, and should therefore be disregarded.
“We are going forward, and looking for a big event.
“The Tennessee Highway Patrol and safety people from Madison County Fire will be here to demonstrate the proper use of child restraint seat devices, and will give parents a child restraint seat if they don’t have one, or if the one they have is broken. They will not cite or fine anyone; they’ll be here to teach, and for the safety of the kids. This is something new this year.”
Dudley stated the festival will include a live burn (which involves demonstrating how fires get started and how quickly the flames can consume a structure).
He said, “We’re expecting 60-80 vehicle entries in the parade.” This will include fire departments and other emergency vehicles from neighboring counties and states.
Dudley, who also serves as the city’s code enforcement officer, said, “The owner of the old block church building came to see me the day after last month’s board meeting, and again yesterday. He doesn’t have a buyer anymore. The building is heavily damaged in the center, including the cross-beams, where water has been getting in for the past three years. He doesn’t have the funds to repair it.
He noted the property owner is William Pointer, who’s a minister, “is a real nice fellow.”
Dudley stated it would be very expensive for the city to demolish the building for several reasons. “I figure, the liability insurance, just to take care of a contractor would cost $10,000. The fiber optics in and above the ground make it a very difficult location to do anything with. It’s going to be a mess. My recommendation is there is nothing we can do with that structure like it is, unless the city is willing to spend lots of money on it.”
Attorney Beau Pemberton said, “The problem is you have the Williams building next door.” He stated, if the old church is demolished, it would affect the structural integrity of the other building.” He stated, like another building the city wishes to demolish, a structural engineer would have to determine how to make it safe to tear down, if that is even a possibility.
The board approved a final order on the old church building, which will be placed on file for possible future action.
Public Works Director Robert Rodriguez stated his department has received grant funding to purchase a new backhoe a couple of weeks ago.
Mayor McAdams reported Police Chief Joey Radford has been off the past month with Covid; however, he is steadily improving. “Lt. Danny Smith had a stint put in yesterday because of kidney stones,” the mayor said. “We’ve had a lot of our people sick and we need to keep everybody in our prayers.”
Park and Recreation Director Kirk McCartney said, “We got approval from the School Board to use their facilities for youth football, and we picked our Youth Football Flag Teams Tuesday night.” He stated there are two Greenfield teams consisting of approximately 12 players each. McCartney stated he is still working on third and fourth grade teams, but “it’s not looking good, because, there is nobody to play. The only league to play is West Carroll, and nobody wants to play them every single time. Martin and Union City are in a different organization. So, I’m going to get together with Football Coach Don Pitt and see what we can do about teaching those kids some fundamentals. That’s one possibility. Right now we’re still in limbo. McCartney mentioned a junior high track meet was held at the ball park and there was a good turnout. He added a high school track meet would be held soon. McCartney stated he plans to replace a few rotten boards inside one of the dugouts.
The board voted to amend the budget by moving the police car lease payment from capital outlay to debt service, as recommended by the comptroller’s office.
Board Comments And Announcements
In comments from the board, newly-appointed alderwoman Leann Stephenson said, “I’m just glad to be here.”
City Recorder Callie Croom Smithson stated she will be out of town for the next board meeting, but announced this year’s Trunk-or-Treat will be held Saturday, October 30, from 5-7 p.m. on Front Street. She asks churches and businesses wishing to participate to contact her at city hall. They’ll be sending letters out to businesses.
Mayor McAdams said, “We’re going to have Christmas Greenfield Style this year on December 4, from 2-5 p.m. It’s the first time we’ve held the event in several years. We’ll have a Christmas tree, with a tree-lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.
Mayor McAdams announced Ruben and DeAnna May of 102 Littleton St. received the September Yard of the Month Award.
With no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned.