BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (March 7) — During the regular monthly meeting of the Dresden City Board on Monday, March 7, at the Dresden Civic Center, board members awarded a bid for the citywide removal of construction debris, discussed plans for constructing a municipal complex, gave final approval for rezoning ordinances, and accepted a monetary donation to the city in response to the December 10, 2021, tornado that destroyed 187 homes and 21 businesses.
Construction Debris Removal Bids
After reviewing bids from two companies for the citywide removal of construction debris caused by the tornado, the board voted to award the contract to Quality Contractor Services headquartered in Milan, which submitted a project proposal for hauling the debris to an approved landfill at a cost of $50 per ton. The cost is $120 less than the only other bid received.
According to the agreement with Quality Contractor Services, the construction debris is to be loaded from the city’s right of way. The contract stipulates that the firm’s trucks and equipment may not leave the paved roadway, and no vegetative debris or trash is to be picked up. All material will be taken to an approved landfill in Henry, Carroll, Gibson or Obion County.
Construction debris is to mainly be piled on the side of the street within the city’s right-of-way, which is indicated between power poles on either side of the street, in areas where there is above-ground electric lines. Otherwise, public right-of-way is indicated from back of the sidewalk.
Concerning cleanup costs, Mayor Washburn noted the City of Dresden will be responsible for covering 12.5 percent of the cost, the State of Tennessee 12.5 percent and the federal government the remaining 75 percent. FEMA will calculate the reimbursement for hauling off the debris based on the cubic yard.
Alderman Gwin Anderson stressed local citizens need to get their construction and vegetative debris moved out next to the road, before the six-month window closes for FEMA relief funding (beginning from date of declaration of disaster.”) If the property owners wait too long, they may be responsible for the total costs.
The contractor will have unrestricted access to the property during work operations.
A bi-weekly report will be generated to disclose the quantity material disposed of, the area where it was generated, and up-to-date billing to be due in 10 days. Each load must be documented with at least the following information: date, start and stop time, driver name, truck identifier, address of pick-up and drop-off, and tonnage of debris.
The city of Dresden anticipates utilizing Quality Contractor Services for approximately one or two months, or until the debris removal is complete, but no more than six months beginning from the date of Declaration of February 3, 2022. The vendor must be able to manually enter into a contract, mobilize and begin work.
Mayor Jeff Washburn stated it will be a couple of weeks before the paperwork can be completed and cleanup work can begin.
Dresden Municipal Complex Plans
Mayor Jeff Washburn discussed initial plans being developed for constructing a new municipal complex to house Dresden City Hall, Dresden Fire Department and Dresden Police Department under a single roof, after all of these facilities were destroyed by the December 10, 2021 EF-3 tornado that leveled numerous public and private structures.
(See separate article “Dresden Reveals Municipal Complex Plans”.)
Site Plan Requirement Waiver
The board unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance to waive site plan requirements for construction projects involving businesses damaged by the Dresden tornado of December 10, 2021.
The resolution reads: “Due to the impact of a severe tornadic event, it is deemed necessary to the health, safety, and general welfare of the Town to temporarily suspend one certain component of the zoning ordinance to expedite the rebuilding process.”
The resolution, which is recommended by the Dresden Municipal-Regional Planning Commission, calls for waiving the requirement of site plan submission for properties zoned B-3 (Highway Oriented Business), M-1 (Light Industrial), and M-2 (Heavy Industrial) for properties rebuilding due to tornado damage.
The waiver is allowed, providing the following conditions are met:
(1) The development constitutes the rebuilding or replacement of a structure damaged during the tornadic event of December 10, 2021.
(2) The proposed construction will either be located in the footprint of the previous structure or in compliance with minimum building setback regulations.
(3) Adequate parking is provided. Structures to be located in the footprint of a previous track or to be the same size as a previous structure, must: (a.) utilize the previous parking lot; (b.) provide the same number of parking spaces as a previous parking lot; and (c.) comply with the minimum number of parking places per Section 11. 207 (Off-Street Automobile Storage) of the zoning ordinance (if the required number of parking spaces is less). Structures to be larger than the previous structure proposed must meet the minimum number of parking spaces as specified by section 11. 207.
(4) The previously used driveway access point or a different driveway access point is being utilized, which meets the requirements of Section 11-209 (Access Control) of the Zoning Ordinance is proposed.
Prior to being brought before the board for its consideration, a public hearing was held prior to Monday night’s meeting to allow for discussion from local citizens.
Rezoning Ordinance Allows Residential Construction
The second reading of an ordinance amending the City of Dresden’s Municipal Zoning Map to rezone property owned by Richard Pritchett and Hjorfrid Pritchett on the corner of Evergreen Street and Swanson Drive (Tax Map 109, Parcel 14.1) from M-2 (Heavy Industrial) to R-1A (Low Density Residential), received unanimous board approval.
The vacant property is approximately 1.8 acres in size. The lot is surrounded on three sides by property zoned M-2. There is residential property across the street, which is outside the city limits of Dresden.
The land, which is not large enough for industrial use, is proposed to be sold for the intention of constructing a residence on the lot.
A public hearing was held 15 minutes prior to Monday night’s Dresden City Board meeting to give local residents an opportunity to voice any concerns they might have regarding rezoning the property.
The rezoning request was recommended by the Dresden Municipal-Regional Planning Commission.
Warehousing Reclassified as Neighborhood Business
The board unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance that rezones property located at 340 Pikeview St. from R-1 (low density residential) to B-1 (neighborhood business), as requested by property owner Tommy Wu.
Mr. Wu also owns property located at 350 Pikeview St., next to the property he asked to be rezoned, where a warehouse was damaged by the tornado. The rezoning request was made so the warehouse operation can be expanded to both properties.
The B-1 district is adjacent to this residential area, and use of the property as a warehouse is not a permitted use (or a use on appeal) in B-1 districts. The existing warehouse on the adjacent property is a non-conforming use, meaning it can be repaired, rebuilt or expanded on the same property.
During prior discussion on the subject, the Dresden Municipal-Regional Planning Commission determined, in order to establish a warehouse on the landowner’s property zoned R-1, the city board would need to approve an ordinance allowing warehouse use on appeal from the Board of Zoning Appeals and/or a text amendment approved requested to allow enclosed warehousing in B-1 districts.
With this in mind, the city board voted unanimously to rezone the property at 340 Pikeview from R-1 (low density residential) to B-1 (neighborhood business).
In related board action, the text of the City of Dresden’s Zoning Ordinance for B-1 districts was amended to allow for warehousing of merchandise in fully enclosed structures as a permitted use.
Amending the zoning ordinance allows this and other properties located in B-1 districts (or R-1 districts rezoned as B-1) to be utilized for enclosed warehousing.
Disaster Relief Donations
In other business, the board authorized the City of Dresden to accept a monetary donation from the McWherter Foundation in response to the December 10, 2021, tornado. The mayor stated, although no specific amount was designated for a particular purpose, a general donation totaling $25,000 may be used as the board sees fit for the betterment of the citizens of Dresden.
Mayor Washburn also reported the mayors of the City of Cookeville and Putman County, Tennessee have announced that their Disaster Relief Fund is donating a total of $240,000 to Dresden, Mayfield and Kenton, to help with the unmet needs of citizens in these cities, after all public assistance is granted. Dresden and Mayfield will receive $100,000 each and Kenton will receive $40,000.
Mayor Washburn stated auditor John Poole was unable to attend Monday night’s meeting to discuss an audit of the City of Dresden’s financial records for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.
However, Poole plans on being present at next month’s board meeting to go over the audit.
The mayor stated the City of Dresden had a favorable audit. The only finding was for not having enough employees to fully segregate duties. He noted this is the same finding for nearly all small towns, due to not having sufficient funds to hire enough employees to meet the auditing practice.
The next Dresden City Board meeting is at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 11, at the Ned McWherter Civic Center.