State: Hurry up or get left out on 70S
Email Print

Hurry up or get left out was the message County Commissioners heard from the state Department of Transportation concerning completion of state Route 70S through or around Woodbury.

 “We have limited funds … but we have no debt,” Wes Hughen, TDOT project manager, told commissioners Tuesday night (Nov. 12).

 TDOT’s status means that Cannon County needs to make a decision soon on the path Route 70S will take or the project could be delayed for decades. Much of TDOT’s funding comes from the state tax on gasoline and as car mileage improves the amount of funds drops.

 “My recommendation would be to decide what sort of road you want and take it to the PRO (Regional Planning Office),” Hughen said.

 Currently, TDOT is favoring “Alternate C” a plan which would bypass Woodbury to the south, but other alternative plans exist.

 “I wouldn’t assume that it would be a four-lane highway,” Hughen told the commissioners. “You’ve got to consider that we’re not going into debt” to pay for the project.

 One commissioner pointed out that even if “Alternate C” is constructed, Woodbury’s closest connection to Interstate 24 would still be through Murfreesboro.

 Commission Chairman Mark Barker said completion of the highway will take 15 years or longer “unless we start something now.”

 “We need to get our name in the pot or we will never get it. We need to expedite this,” Barker said.

 Commissioner Jim Bush said, “We’ve got plenty of examples of what a bypass will do to a community.” And that’s not good.

 No action was taken on the road project.

 Commissioners did act to fill the seat vacated by the death of Bob Stoeztel. Action had been delayed at last month’s meeting.

 The names of Chuck Holt, Andy Pack, Greg Fauls and Bill Melton were suggested.

 Commissioner Russell Reed nominated both Holt and Pack. Holt was the only nominee in attendance.

 Commissioner Bush suggested that the panel follow its previous action of selecting the person who placed second in the previous election. Fauls had placed second to Stoeztel.

 “You would think that if they were interested that they (the other nominees) would be here,” said Commissioner Jimmy Mingle.

 County Executive Mike Gannon said the Commission was not obligated to select the person who placed second in the last race. “Right now, you can do it anyway you like,” Gannon said.

 Commissioner Tony Neal did point out the winner did have to have five votes, the simple majority of the nine commissioners in attendance at the meeting.

 On the first vote, the Commissioners voted four for Holt, two for Fauls and one for Pack.

 After a brief discussion, Reed changed his vote to Holt, giving him the five votes required. Holt was then sworn in by County Court Clerk Bobby Smith and took his seat on the Commission.

 Commissioner Bush suggested that the panel follow its previous action of selecting the person who placed second in the previous election. Fauls had placed second to Stoetzel.

"You would think that if they were interested that they (the other nominees) would be here," said Commissioner Jimmy Mingle.

County Executive Mike Gannon said the Commission was not obligated to select the person who placed second in the last race. "Right now, you can do it anyway you like," Gannon said.

Commissioner Tony Neal did point out the winner did have to have five votes, the simple majority of the nine commissioners in attendance at the meeting.

On the first vote, the Commissioners voted four for Holt, two for Fauls and one for Pack.

After a brief discussion, Reed changed his vote to Holt, giving him the five votes required. Holt was then sworn in by County Court Clerk Bobby Smith and took his seat on the Commission.

The late Bob Stoetzel was honored during the Commission meeting.

"Bob Stoetzel was a good man. Fearless… He will certainly be missed by the Commission and the voters of Cannon County," Chairman Barker said as he presented a plaque to Stoetzel family members.

Turning to Sheriff Darrell Young, the Commissioners heard a suggestion to create a capital projects fund for future expansion of the Cannon County Jail.

"The TCI (Tennessee Corrections Institute) is pushing for us to build a new jail, not tomorrow or the next day, but in the future," Young said.

"I came up with an idea, take money generated by the jail commissary fund and put it in the capital project fund," the sheriff said.

While the commissary fund does not represent a large amount of money, it will add up, he continued. It also ties directly into the sheriff's ongoing goal to eliminate smoking inside the jail.

The Cannon County Jail does not allow smoking, instead prisoners are allowed to purchase electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking. It generally uses a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution that usually contains a mixture of nicotine and flavorings. The sale of e-cigarettes is generating as much as $1,000 a month at Cannon County Jail.

Selling the e-cigarettes to prisoners is also helping eliminate one of the greatest hazards at the jail - smoking and the attempt to fashion cigarettes out of almost anything, including pages ripped out of the Bible.

Male prisoners caught smoking in jail even get assigned to a pink jail cell, the sheriff said. Eliminating smoking means a cleaner jail in addition to cutting down on some of the smell normally associated with a jail cell.

 

 

Share:
Members Opinions:
November 14, 2013 at 7:58pm
Pay attention voters, Mark Barker is right on this issue,Jim Bush needs to do more research ,The only people that might lose business would be Hardee;s with Warren county people stopping to get coffee.The people that shop in Woodbury, Will still shop in Woodbury.
November 14, 2013 at 8:48pm
We will be better off without it than with it.
November 14, 2013 at 9:11pm
65 stang please tell me how you figure that.
November 16, 2013 at 6:38am
Business places depend on traffic no traffic no busi ess.
November 16, 2013 at 9:51am
Well, if you don't like the "C" plan then, propose another one. It doesn't necessarily mean Woodbury will lose business, as for those who live in Woodbury, in town shopping would be more convenient. Also for those who live close to the existing route will still find it more convenient to use the current "main st." businesses. For example you can go to Murfreesboro by going through Auburntown then taking Hwy. 96, which will put you closer to the Northfield/Memorial side of M'boro, however, I do not see the Wal Mart on S. Rutherford or that area losing Woodbury's business. Why? Because it's more convenient. Back to the route issue now, if you put another road through Cannon County and probably quite close to Woodbury, you've given other (meaning more) business an additional avenue (pardon the pun) to place a business, so instead of losing business you actually gain business. If you build it they will come.
November 18, 2013 at 7:45am
They will come alright. And as quickly they will go. Breezing past Woodbury as it shivers and shakes in the wake of lost businesses and bankrupted entrepreneurs. Change the flow pattern of the revenue stream and you will change the economic stability of the community. Should Woodbury and Cannon County attempt to change and shape their future as a result of this "by-pass", then the public should also see the "plan" developed by the Planning Commission that turns the by-pass into a positive economic opportunity for both local shoppers and business people. Is there such a plan? If so, can it be made public for all to see? If the county leaders wish to gamble upon the future, the citizens of Cannon County deserve to see the odds. If there is no plan, then this by-pass may by nothing more than a pig in a poke, wishful thinking, and poorly understood. Show your citizens the plan if they are to support it. If there is no plan then the by-pass is merely a roll of the dice. TDOT is surely not interested in the economic future of Woodbury but more simply in expediting traffic around it. 65stang hit the nail on the head. Business cannot exist without traffic flow. This is what the by-pass will be designed to do. Alter the traffic flow.
November 18, 2013 at 11:02am
Taking the south C route would be the best. It would open up new real estate for business opportunities, which will bring more overall business to Woodbury. The people who now shop in Woodbury will still shop in Woodbury. Staying the same will never increase business.
November 18, 2013 at 11:46am
The current route that has the completed environmental study is the southern route. No other impact study has been done on any other route (through town or the northern route).

The environmental study will be good for another two years and then will have to be reissued which will mean more time before the road would even begin construction.

The gentleman from the TDOT also said we would not definitely connect a four lane around Cannon County no matter which direction we use. He stated the state was not in debt and would not go in debt. He also stated that if another county wanted a two lane and we asked for a four lane then the probability would be they would get their two lane before we got our four lane due to costs, time, etc.

Personally, I don't have a preference to any specific route. It seems with the impact study already being complete and the recommendation from the TDOT several years ago that the southern route would be the best and easiest route to take.

Having said that, if all we can get is a two lane connection between the two then why not ask for a two lane through the middle of town?

This is going to take some people meeting and getting off the pot to make this happen no matter which direction we take. That means representatives from the Planning Commission, the JECDB, the IDB and the Commissioners all need to be in a room very soon. The longer we wait the less chance we have of actually completing this project in the lifetime of our children.
November 18, 2013 at 1:08pm
I recall when W.Adams st. was redone and was called the "bypass" . The town of Woodbury did not shut down because of that improvement!
November 18, 2013 at 10:17pm
Corey's idea of all the government entities that have a stake in Cannon County's future coming together and developing a plan seems a great idea. Each of these groups are designed to represent the interest of the people and community. What do the people want? Is it not government's role to carry out the wishes of its citizens? A representative form of government should listen to what the people most impacted have to say. Do local businesses support the by-pass? Do local citizens support the by-pass? Do Cannon Countians support the by-pass? Outside these groups, why does it matter what anyone else wants? How has TDOT explained the advantages of having such a by-pass? Are these advantages for Cannon County or for TDOT?
November 19, 2013 at 8:10am
Readyville, Gassaway, Auburntown, Bradyville, all reflect the results of "moving people." Move people past these little centers of commerce so they can more quickly arrive at larger centers of commerce. Is this what you want to do to Woodbury? Think about it.
November 19, 2013 at 12:40pm
Look at Mcminnville you move the main roads to a bypass away from the square and the business grows along it. Is that what you want for Woodbury? The truth of the matter is nobody is a fortune teller we do not know what will happen, but we do know that businesses are not moving here at the status quo.
November 20, 2013 at 7:29am
Bonnie has the right questions, if this is to be a local issue.
For instance, survey all the businesses along 70S from the car wash & flea market to Davenport's and the CO-OP (check also with the owner/operator of the new business going up next to Dr. Walker's--liquor store rumored) and ask them what effect a by-pass around town would have on them? Include those businesses on the square but off 70S. What revenue would be lost? What tax dollars would be lost? Could they survive?
What is the "through" traffic now? What is it projected to be in 5, 10, 15 years?
WBRY's TDOT quote says "If the preliminaries were started now (project) would not be completed until 15 years from now."
Above article .."completion of the highway will take 15 years or longer "unless we start now." Implying that if started now, the project would be completed in less than 15 years????
November 20, 2013 at 7:49am
Include Reed's in that survey list, inadvertently overlooked.
November 20, 2013 at 11:56am
The Commissioners stated last week that their next move was to get with the Planning Committee to discuss the next steps.
As I said above, in order to be more efficient and ensure everyone is on the same page then I would suggest that members of the Commissioners, Planning Commission, JECDB and IDB all be in one room getting the same information.
Surveying is not a bad idea, but it is probably middle of the pack on the list of items to complete.
Nothing will be accomplished until all of those people get in a room and lay out a plan. For example:
1. Do we want a road connection at all?
2. If yes, do we want a two lane or four lanes?
3. Which route do we believe has the most impact positively and negatively on homes, businesses, etc?
4. How will this affect our school system?
5. How will this affect current or future industry to Cannon County?

There are a ton of questions and we can't put the cart before the horse. TDOT representative stated if we started now we were looking at 20 years before a completion date.
November 20, 2013 at 4:26pm
Good questions to start with Corey.
November 20, 2013 at 9:37pm
Excellent questions! Hope these groups can find answers to the questions and keep the public informed.
November 21, 2013 at 8:50am
LOL Bonnie I just hope these groups will meet altogether and not drag this out forever.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to move at a snails pace in Woodbury.

Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: