BMA in Brief – January 14, 2019

To help you stay informed we will do our best to provide high level summaries for the bi-monthly Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) meetings. These summaries will be fact based with a focus on key items covered in the meetings and summaries of the votes taken. Where needed we will cover important discussions individually.

Mayor Mike Palazzolo welcomed new City Attorney Mac McCarroll and new Alderman Scott Sanders to the board.
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During the Executive Session, changes were made to the agenda. Beer Board item 9.a. was pulled by request of the applicant. On Consent Agenda, two items were pulled from Consent. 10.d will become item 11 and 10.e will become item 19.

9. Beer Board – Poplar Food Mart #1 approved for off-premise use and Rock N Roll Sushi approved for on-premise use.

10. Consent Agenda -approved as amended.

11. Professional Services Agreement Supplement No.2 – Final Closeout Right-of-Way Appraisals – Wolf River Boulevard/Germantown Rd. Intersection Improvements Project – Approved 4-1

12. Change Order No. 2 – Forest Hill-Irene Road Improvements – Requested increase of $37,631.33 (total project is $6.15M) for increased cost estimates for fiber optic lines needed for traffic signal connectivity and coordination and culvert replacement under the road near the school site. Original plan was to add on to the existing culvert however there were cracks and open joints that necessitated the full replacement of the culvert. – Approved 5-0

13. Election of Vice Mayor – Mary Anne Gibson selected 5-0

14. Grant – Leadership Germantown – Request for approval of budgeted grant of $13,600 for Leadership Germantown – Approved 4-1

15. Purchase – Fire Engine – Request for $859,539 to purchase a new custom fire engine.  The purchase will allow F139 (Engine 93) to be placed in reserve.  F139 is 28 years old and typical life span for this type of equipment is 15 years front line and 5 years reserve. Approved 5-0

16. Resolution 19R03 – Banking and Signature Cards. Approved 5-0

17. Ordinance 2019-5 – Amendment to Zoning Ordinance Chapter 23 – SmartCode: Site Standards 1st Reading – The proposed change clarifies language in the code about the width of curb cuts.  This change is needed to insure fire equipment can safely access properties. Approved 5-0

18. Ordinance 2019-6 – Amendment to Zoning Ordinance Chapter 23 – Wireless Transmission Facility 1st Reading – Change in wording to allow for stream lined approval of equipment upgrades on existing facilities and establishment of policies and procedures for placement of small cell wireless facilities in public right-of-ways as a result of changes to state law. This item generated discussion on how state law may allow many small cell towers all over the City of Germantown. Approved 4-1

19. Professional Services Agreement Supplement No. 4 – Wolf River Boulevard/Germantown Rd. Intersection Improvements Project. Approved 4-1

 

Want to Get Fit? Germantown has Choices!

It’s a running joke on social media that Germantown has too many pizza places. So it’s a good thing we have almost, if not more fitness choices.

Let’s take a look at the variety of fitness studio options in Germantown to meet any fitness level or price range.

ATC Fitness has locations all over the mid-south. In addition to the two Germantown locations, there are 14 in Tennessee, as far away as Jackson, and four in Mississippi with one as far away as Tupelo. ATC is open 24 hours and has a full complement of equipment both for cardio and weight training.

CycleBar offers a unique, high-energy, cycling experience for riders of all ages and fitness levels.

CrossFit SOPO Germantown offers a core strength & conditioning program that delivers “fitness that is by design, broad, general, and inclusive.”

The Exercise Coach is the latest fitness center to open in Germantown. They bill themselves as the “Smartest 20-Minute Workout In The World™.” The concept uses Exerbotics Connected Fitness technology. This tech-enabled training method uses scientifically customized strength and interval training. The technology adapts to abilities of any individual and is proven to be more effective than long-duration workout techniques.

F45 has not officially opened but will be coming soon. Originating from Australia, the concept combines elements of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Circuit Training, and Functional Training.

Germantown Athletic Center (GAC) is owned by the City of Germantown and provides a wide variety of services to its members. The GAC boasts an 8,500 square feet fitness area with state of the art equipment, certified fitness trainers, a three court gym, three courts for racquetball, indoor walking track, group fitness classes, a cycling room, a 40 meter indoor pool, dry saunas, locker rooms with separate areas for men, women and families, a cafe and an outdoor pool with a splash park. During January, you can join for $20.19 (regularly $99). For more information, (901) 757-7370.

HOTWORX is a virtually instructed exercise program using infrared heat. They offer either a 30-minute isometric workout or 15-min High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session.

Iron Tribe Fitness blends one-on-one coaching with group fitness to deliver results. Iron Tribe’s 45-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) group classes are paired with one-on-one personal coaching.

Jazzercise has offered dance-based group fitness classes since 1969. The Germantown location is headed by long-time local instructor, Marion Dalton.

The Little Gym Even your kiddos can get fit in Germantown. Bring them to The Little Gym and let them run off some energy with their creative physical activities.

Orangetheory Fitness offers high intensity interval training classes designed to get your heart rate in the “orange” zone for a more effective and lasting workout.

The Owings Life Enrichment Center at Germantown United Methodist Church offers a variety of classes and has a full service gym and walking track. It is open to non-church members for a fee and has limited nursery hours.

Pike Yoga offers group classes and personal training. Their philosophy, “Attitude. Matitude. Gratitude.” comes from their practice of yoga.

Pure Barre classes offer a low-impact, full body workout concentrating on the areas women struggle with the most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals and arms. Men are welcome too, if you want to improve your “Pure Barre shelf.”

Sumits Yoga classes are designed for all levels, beginner through advanced. Each yoga session aims to strengthen the core, increase flexibility and restore balance—all while you sweat out toxins, increase your blood flow and flush fat.

UFC Gym uses an approach that fuses mixed martial arts with state-of-the-art equipment and traditional fitness. They offer group fitness classes, private coaching, personal and group training, plus youth programs.

If you can’t afford a group class or center, no need to sit on your couch. Germantown has a variety of parks, nature areas and a Greenway ready for your exploration.

Germantown Road Realignment?… DOA until 2023

Almost a year ago, Germantown Voice began blogging as a way to engage in political conversations. Our first blog was about the Germantown Road Realignment Project.

This topic continues to pop up, usually as a part of an argument that the “current administration” doesn’t listen to citizen input. Even as late as October last year, there were social media posts saying the Germantown Road realignment project wasn’t dead.

Officially, it is dead until at least 2023. Why 2023? This is where it gets a little complicated. Every 3-5 years the city submits a list of proposed projects to the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization). The MPO is the organization that prioritizes Local State and Federal funding for road and transportation projects in the Memphis Metro area. See the map below for the area covered by the MPO.

The list submitted this year is for projects between October 2019 and September 2023. The prior list was submitted to the MPO in 2013 and that was the list that included the Germantown Road Realignment project and McVay Road Realignment, both of which were not pursued due to community feedback. This year is the first opportunity for the city to submit their new list of priorities for funding of major road projects. Noticeably absent from the list is the Germantown Road Realignment. This is even after claims that last year’s resolution to kill the project were potentially just election year placations.

The time frame for MPO requests is long range due to the long range nature of projects. In many cases, it can take years for design, review, Right of Way acquisition and construction. These projects are important to the city as the majority of them are funded primarily or even wholly with State and Federal funds. In other words, these projects don’t impact your property tax rate.

Road projects are paid for a couple of different ways. First, is the paving of residential streets. The city pays for that as part of the Public Works budgets, roughly $2,000,000 a year. Next, is the work on major roads. These projects are funded with combinations of Local, State and Federal funds. This is where the MPO comes in to play.

When I saw the list of projects I had several questions about the priority of the funding and the MPO process. I sat down with City Engineer Tim Gwaltney last week to discuss the list and how the MPO works.

The MPO funds come from 3 to 5 main buckets. Traditionally, it has funded projects under three main categories, Bridges, Paving and Signalization. Germantown usually sees at least one of each of these types of projects funded. For example, even though the new traffic light at Houston High School is number six on the list it is the highest prioritized signalization project on the City’s list so it is likely to be funded. There are two new categories this year with funding for Safety Improvements and Plans & Studies. The prioritized list is below:

  1. Wolf River Blvd Mill/Overlay from Riverdale to Western City Limits $2.0M (80% Federal)
  2. Forest Hill-Irene Safety Improvements Poplar to Wolf River Blvd $5.0M (80% Federal)
  3. Poplar Culvert Replacements – Phase 5 $550K (100% Federal)
  4. Update City Major Roads Plan $200K (80% Federal)
  5. Intersection Safety Audits $200K (80% Federal)
  6. Signalization Wolf River Blvd @ Houston High $500K (100% Federal)
  7. Signal Upgrades $2.5M (100% Federal)
  8. Neshoba Road Mill/Overlay from Germantown Rd to Exeter $1.5M (80% Federal)
  9. McVay Road Bridge Replacement (just north of McVay and Messick) $600K (80% Federal)

The city will not get official word on which projects are approved by the MPO until near the end of the budgeting process for the city. We will keep an eye on the process and let you know what gets approved from the MPO as soon as we find out. You can find out more detail about each of these projects by following the link below.

https://gtown.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=c75ea4248dc44953b9dcc2287f85670a

For even more information on the City of Germantown’s Transportation Improvement Program funding requests for 2020 to 2023, please attend the public meeting  January 9 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Economic and Community Development Building, 1920 South Germantown Road. Learn more here.

CommUNITY Breakfast

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On Saturday December 8, 2018 Germantown Baptist Church hosted a Community Breakfast. The breakfast was an effort to begin the process of bringing the community together after a contentious election and was the result of conversations between the Mayor and City Chaplin, Dr. Fowler. Graciously, Dr. Charles Fowler and the Germantown Baptist Church Congregation served those in attendance providing hospitality and free breakfast. We asked Dr. Fowler about why GBC stepped up to host this event and he said, “we felt that an event where our community could come together, encourage and give hope would help build unity and help to heal some of the divisiveness of the election season.” We would like to extend our thanks to Germantown Baptist and Dr. Fowler for hosting this event.

There were four guest speakers we have provided links to videos of their speeches below for those who were unable to attend.

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Elected officials in attendance included Mayor Palazzolo, Alderman-elect Sanders, Alderman Owens and Alderman Janda. Recognized guests included former County Mayor Mark Luttrell and former Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy. We estimate the attendance to be around 125.

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Better Cell Coverage Coming to Dogwood?

Tuesday ,December 11, 2018 the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) met to discuss three items. The first item, and probably most interesting to many of us that live in the area, was an appeal to allow a cell phone tower on GMSD property (the Dogwood Elementary campus). Below is the detailed description of the proposal from the agenda packet posted on the city’s web page.

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The BZA approved this request and the next step will be for this project to go before the Planning Commission for site plans. Below you can see all the steps that this project will have to clear prior to going to the BMA for final approval.

This is just one example of Germantown’s extensive review process and multiple opportunities for feedback for projects like this.

If you support or have concerns about this project be sure to engage your aldermen and attend one of these meetings. There was only one resident who spoke up tonight. Comments in the meeting indicated that there were three letters for and three letters against this project. After the Planning Commission, the Design Review Commission will review the proposal before forwarding it to the BMA.

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The documents supporting this meeting can be found by clicking here.

The two other items reviewed by the BZA were a project at Houston High School and a resident seeking an appeal for an additional driveway on a corner lot. All three items were approved by the Board.

You can watch the entire meeting below.

Santa Comes to Germantown

Even bad weather couldn’t dampen the holiday spirits as the Germantown Annual Holiday Tree lighting moved festivities inside city hall last Friday.

The crowd joined the Germantown Chorus in a sing-along of favorite Christmas Carols while the children visited Santa. It was a lovely start to the Season.

If you missed Santa, he will be at the Train Depot Saturday, December 1 at 1 p.m.

Santa had a great time with the Germantown children.
Beautiful tree in City Hall.

 

 

 

Detail of ornament
Girl Scout Troop 13195 lit the Municipal Park tree.

Germantown Volunteers Recognized

On Thursday, November 8, the City of Germantown hosted the annual Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s Commissions Appreciation Dinner at The Great Hall and Conference Center. Hosted by Mayor Mike Palazzolo, the event was also attended by Aldermen Rocky Janda, Mary Anne Gibson, and Forrest Owens, who had to leave early for an event for his daughter. Other officials in attendance were Fire Chief John Selberg and Deputy Chief of Police Rodney Bright. Mayor Palazzolo also recognized former Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy for her mentorship of many of the leaders in Germantown. 

The list volunteers for 2018.

 

This dinner is a celebration of the nearly 200 citizens of Germantown who serve on the boards and commissions of our city. After a great meal catered by Garibaldi’s Pizza and Catering, three special awards were announced.

 

 

 

The first award went to the Reserve Firefighter of the Year. Fire Chief John Selberg presented the award to Mike Letterman. “This is the community I grew up in. It has given so much to me, I just wanted to volunteer to give back,” said Mr. Letterman. “It’s just an honor to get this award.”

 

The second award was the prestigious Jo Reed Award. Sponsored by the Leadership Germantown Alumni Association (LGAA), the Jo Reed Award is presented each year to an individual who represents sincere caring and volunteerism for our community, with no concern for applause or thank you. Jo Reed was a prolific volunteer who lost her life in a tragic accident while in service to the city picking up an illegal yard sale sign on the side of the road.

LGAA president, Natalie Williams presented this year’s award to Elaine Cates. A forty year resident of Germantown, Mrs. Cates is a former teacher and cheer sponsor at Germantown High School, her husband served as city attorney for 27 years and her children grew up here. She currently serves as president of the Germantown Woman’s Club.

“I just have a warm fuzzy feeling about Germantown,” said Mrs. Cates. “It just makes my very, very happy that maybe I did something for Germantown.”

Finally, the Reserve Police Officer of the Year was presented by Deputy Chief of Police Rodney Bright to to Barry Baker. A former employee of Pinnacle Airlines that closed in 2013, he considered the late Phil Trenary a mentor. Trenary was formally president of Pinnacle and was serving as President of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce at the time of his senseless death.

It was Trenary’s emphasis on community service that lead Baker to be involved in public safety. “He encouraged all the senior staff to be a part of the Memphis community and give back,” said Baker. Without his encouragement, he would not have formed the relationships with law enforcement that lead to his involvement with the Germantown Police.

Nearly 200 residents serve on Germantown’s commissions which are involved in every aspect of the community. From beautification to budget approval to historic preservation, there is a commission for every interest and all residents of Germantown are invited to apply. Applications close November 30. Three new commissions will begin in 2019. They are the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission, the Public Arts Commission, and the Technology Commission. Apply here.