Ordinance to Change City Election Date Up For First Reading Passage Tuesday Night

The Smithville Municipal Election will be held in August instead of June with the passage of an ordinance, which is scheduled for first reading action Tuesday night at city hall. The purpose of the change is to have the city election in conjunction with the August County General Election and State Primaries in order to save the city money by not having to hold the city election by itself, and to have more city voters participate in the municipal election.
The mayor and aldermen, who normally meet on the first Monday night each month, will not be in session January 2 because of the New Year holiday, but they will meet on Tuesday night, January 3 at 7:00 p.m. in a special session to take action on this proposed ordinance.
The ordinance specifies that the city election would be changed from June to August and that the terms of the incumbent mayor and aldermen would be extended because of the change in the election date.
The proposed ordinance states as follows:
“Whereas, Public Chapter No. 1008, codified under Tennessee Code Section 6-20-102 provides that the board of aldermen may by ordinance change the date of municipal elections to coincide with the August or November general election. The ordinance changing the date shall provide for the extension of the terms of members of the board necessary to meet the election date; now
Therefore, be it ordained by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Smithville, Tennessee:
Section One: Date of regular Municipal Elections
1. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen hereby set the regular municipal election date as the date of the August General Election
2. The term of office for the Mayor and two aldermen elected for a two year term on June 15, 2010 shall be extended to coincide with the August general election date in 2012, a period of approximately two months.
3. The term of office for the three aldermen elected to a two year term on June 21, 2011 shall be extended to coincide with the August general election date in 2014, a period of approximately fourteen months.”
Second and final reading passage will follow a public hearing at another special meeting in January.

Betty Sue Stibil

66 year old Betty Sue Stibil of Smithville died Friday at NHC of Smithville. She was a Baptist and a homemaker. The funeral will be Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Ebrons Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until the service at 2:00 p.m. She was preceded in death by her parents, Elzie and Doshie Fults; a brother and sister, Paul Fults and Larinnie Still. Survivors include her husband, Conrad Stible of McMinnville. A son, John and wife Glenda Stibil of Smithville. A daughter, Connie Hollon of McMinnville. Four granddaughters, Crystal Stibil of McMinnville, Leslie Stibil of Smithville, Kachina Hollon of McMinnville, and Savannah Stibil of Smithville. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. The family has requested that donations please be made to Love-Cantrell Funeral Home to help with burial expenses, in lieu of flowers.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County seeking Partner Family in 2012

Do you dream of owning your own home? Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County is making plans to build an affordable, safe and decent home with a local family this year. The application process will open in February 2012.
There will be an Informational Meeting and Application Fair on Thursday, February 16 at 6 p.m. at the First United Methodist Fellowship Center in Downtown Smithville. Families will receive information about the Habitat Program and assistance to complete the application.
To qualify, applicants must meet the following basic criteria:
1. Be a DeKalb County resident for at least 1 year.
2. Be a U.S. Citizen or have permanent resident alien status.
3. Have a housing need. For example, current conditions may be overcrowded, unsanitary, unsafe, temporary or cost prohibitive.
4.Have an ability to pay. Applicants must provide proof of income and ability to pay a monthly mortgage.
5.Be willing to partner. Qualified families will participate in budgeting and home maintenance classes as well as help in the construction of their own home.
If you are unable to attend the February 16th meeting, you may call 615-215-8181 and leave your name, address and phone number. A Habitat volunteer will contact you to provide additional information and perhaps mail an application to you.
To be considered, completed and signed applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 30, 2012.
The purpose of Habitat is to build houses and sell them at no profit and no interest to families who could not otherwise afford their own home. This Christian ministry is financed through private donations using volunteer labor and donated materials whenever possible.

Larry D. Scurlock

56 year old Larry D. Scurlock of Brooks, Kentucky died Friday at the Alive Hospice in Nashville. He was a Baptist. The funeral will be Monday at 11:00 a.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Virgil Hibdon, Jr. will officiate and burial will be in the Banks Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Monday from 9:00 a.m. until the service at 11:00 a.m. He was preceded in death by his father, Austin Scurlock. Survivors include his wife, Peggy Scurlock of Kentucky. A daughter, Lorie and husband Rob Young of Kentucky. A son, Nathan Douglas Scurlock of Kentucky. One grandson, Austin Douglas Scurlock of Kentucky. His mother, Emma Ruth Vanatta Scurlock. Two brothers, Danny and wife Teresa Scurlock of Smithville and Jeff and wife Debbie Scurlock of Smithville. Three sisters, Janice Johnson of Smithville, Pam Miller of Smithville, and Donna and husband Terry Caldwell of Bone Cave. Several nieces and nephews also survive. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. The family asks that donations be made to Love-Cantrell Funeral Home to help with funeral expenses, in lieu of flowers.

TDOT Negotiating for Right of Way Acquisition in New Sligo Bridge Project

The Tennessee Department of Transportation had hoped to have the new Sligo bridge project ready for bid letting by now but plans have been held up due to negotiations with the Corps of Engineers over right of way acquisition.
Although the Corps of Engineers is the only property owner involved, TDOT apparently has to take into consideration concerns of the Corps’ lessee, Sligo Marina, which is located next to Sligo bridge.
TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges, in a telephone interview with WJLE Thursday, said some of those concerns remain sticking points in the negotiations. “The Corps of Engineers has leased this property to a lessee (Sligo Marina). They’re wanting to be paid for some things. In particular, he (lessee) wants to be paid for some potential loss of business due to loss of some of his parking and the impact of construction. Under state law in Tennessee, we (TDOT) are prohibited from paying those types of damages. So since we’re kind of in a disagreement,” said Degges.
“We’re building a new bridge adjacent to the old bridge and to be able to do that we need the real estate to put the bridge on,” said Degges. ” In this case, the real estate is owned by the Corps of Engineers. That is the sole property owner that we’re dealing with. In this particular case, it’s not the foot print of the bridge per se that’s the issue but we need enough room to actually build the bridge. That’s where the issue has arisen. The Corps of Engineers has leased property to the Sligo Marina for their use in operating the marina as a business enterprise. As we have been going through the development of this project and the design of the bridge, one of the major issues that we’ve had to deal with from a right of way standpoint has to do with constructability of the bridge. Where do I put a crane to hang beams and things of that nature? For us to get access into the site, we’ll have a pretty significant impact on the area that the marina uses for parking,” said Degges.
TDOT can resort to imminent domain proceedings when a settlement cannot be reached. But in this situation, Degges said condemnation may not be an option. ” Our process is, and this is all in state law, that for any typical project we do an appraisal. We make an offer and if the property owner thinks it’s a fair price then we buy the property. If they don’t think that the price is fair, it goes to the attorney general’s office for condemnation. Probably about 75% of the property we buy in a given year, we negotiate and people negotiate with us. About 25% of what we buy goes through the condemnation proceedings. There’s nothing bad about condemnation. It’s just that’s the process used to make sure that people have the ability to feel that they’re getting the appropriate value for their real estate. In this particular case, since the property is owned by the Corps of Engineers, the United States government has sovereign immunity over the state of Tennessee. In other words, we cannot condemn the federal government. So since we’re kind of in a disagreement, the question is can we condemn the property? The Corps of Engineers has determined that we cannot condemn their lessee. So that’s kind of got us in a situation here. Not only is the project contingent on us getting the right of way, but the Corps of Engineers also issues us water quality permits. So we can’t finish up the permitting process nor can we get the right of way to actually build the project until the issue is resolved.
Degges said he is optimistic that an agreement can be reached soon so that the project can go forward. “We had a meeting with the Corps of Engineers, the attorney general, and Sligo Marina and their legal counsel earlier this month to try to resolve the issue. We are going ahead and finishing up our appraisal and we are going to provide the marina with what we feel is a fair offer under state law that we can provide to them. We are optimistic it will work out and that we will be able to move on with the project. This right of way issue is the only thing holding us up from going to contract. The permits are contingent on it but the new bridge is designed. We have everything ready to go except for this little piece of it. We feel it can be worked out but it is not a resolved issue at this point. We want to do everything we can to make sure that the marina continues to operate. But the marina is concerned that all the construction activity and impacts of the parking lot is going to have an impact on their ability to do business and that is the issue we’re trying to negotiate through right now. Our goal is to work with the lessee and the Corps of Engineers to try to come up with an amicable solution that allows us to deliver the project,” said Degges.
The Sligo project, which was funded in the 2011-12 state budget, calls for replacement of the existing overhead truss bridge which is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The new bridge will be located a few feet to the north of the existing bridge, which will remain open to traffic during construction. The new bridge will be a continuous welded plate girder design with a composite concrete deck slab and will be 1,545 feet in length. The project typical section is two-12 foot lanes with 10 foot shoulders. The total project length including bridge and approaches is approximately 0.8 mile. The total estimated cost of the project including engineering, right of way, and construction is $31-million.
“We’re going to build what we call a steel plate girder bridge with a concrete deck,” said Degges. ” Right now, the bridge is a truss. The truss has quite a bit of age on it. I believe it’s right at 80 years old. The steel of that vintage, when it starts to deteriorate, deteriorates pretty fast. So its time for us to put a new bridge in there. The bridge is somewhat narrow. The new bridge we’re going to put in here will have twelve foot lanes and ten foot shoulders. It will be what most people would consider a traditional bridge in that the beams of this bridge will be under the deck. One of the challenges here is that the water is over one hundred feet deep at this location which makes the construction of the bridge somewhat more challenging. Just think about trying to pour concrete one hundred feet under water. Its a pretty tough proposition. We don’t have a whole lot of that type of work in Tennessee, but we do have some. We’ll build the new bridge adjacent to the existing bridge. It’s a vital artery for this part of the state of Tennessee. DeKalb County is very interested in this project. This county is split by the river and transportation is a key component of the economy there. So we want to make sure we get this bridge replaced before we have to do any additional repair work to the bridge,” added Degges.

Judy Ann Youngblood

51 year old Judy Ann Youngblood of Smithville died Thursday at DeKalb Community Hospital. She was a cook/waitress at Neo’s Restaurant. The funeral will be Monday at 1:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Love-Cantrell Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Bethel Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from noon until 8:00 p.m. and Monday from 9:00 a.m. until the service at 1:00 p.m. She was preceded in death by her parents, Bobby and Myrtle Potts Vaughn; a brother and sister, Vernon Vaughn and Sandra Harper. Survivors include two sons, Chris Vaughn and Thomas Vaughn and his fiance, Autumn Hutchins; One daughter, Tiffanie Youngblood; A grandson, Ivan Hutchins; A nephew, T.J. Harper all of Smithville. Four brothers and one sister also survive. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. The family asks that donations please be made to Love-Cantrell Funeral Home to help with funeral expenses, in lieu of flowers.

Fires Destroys Local Restaurant

A fire destroyed Barbara’s Cedar House Restaurant Tuesday morning in the Johnson’s Chapel Community.
Central dispatch received the call at 9:05 a.m.
County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that the restaurant was closed when a passerby saw heavy black smoke coming from the building and alerted 911.
County firefighters were dispatched to the scene and made entry at the rear of the building, but Chief Green said the fire had already reached the attic. Firefighters were unable to save the structure but kept it from spreading to a 20 foot enclosed utility trailer just eight feet away from the building. The trailer held some $20,000 worth of restaurant equipment.
Members of the Johnson’s Chapel, Short Mountain Highway, and Midway stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded. Local firefighters also received support under a mutual aid agreement with White County from volunteers with the Cassville Fire Department who brought a pumper and tanker to help fight the fire.
The fire apparently started in the kitchen of the restaurant but the cause is undetermined.

J.E. Bain

80 year old J.E. Bain of Smithville died Wednesday at DeKalb Community Hospital. He was a farmer and a Pentecostal. The family has chosen direct cremation, however a memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 7 at 1:00 p.m. at the Christ Pentecostal Church at Brush Creek. Billy Hale will officiate. Visitation will be from noon until 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Bain was preceded in death by his parents, Johnny and Bertie Sue Atnip Bain; two daughters, Katrina Bain and Peggy Frances; a grandchild, Carol Jo Bain; two great grandchildren; three brothers, Honest, Bernice, and Alton Bain; and four sisters, Velma and Bonnie Bain, Flossie Linder, and Bertha May Bain. Survivors include six sons, Johnny and wife Kristy Bain of Lancaster, Jason Bain of Smithville, Jerry Bain of Temperance Hall, Jimmy Bain of Smithville, David and wife Priscilla Bain of Smithville, and Larry Bain of Smithville. Two daughters, Peggy and husband Tommy Hensley of Sparta and Melinda Griffith and Terry Strayn of Smithville. Twenty six grandchildren and twenty nine great grandchildren survive along with a brother, Troy Bain and a sister, Grady Gribble both of Smithville. Love-Cantrell Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Missing Nashville Physician Figures into St. Thomas Decision to End Heart Transplants

The Nashville physician who went missing on Center Hill Lake in October figured into Saint Thomas Hospital’s decision to stop performing heart transplants, according to a report in the Tennessean last Thursday.
Vanderbilt will be the only hospital in Middle Tennessee offering heart transplants when Saint Thomas ends its program January 14. According to the report ,Saint Thomas will shift its focus to ventricular assist device (VAD) destination therapy, another option for heart failure patients.
Saint Thomas has 15 patients on its heart transplant waiting list.
The Tennessean reported that Saint Thomas lost one of its heart surgeons this summer with the disappearance of Dr. William Coltharp, who was last seen kayaking on Center Hill Lake. The loss of the surgeon figured into the hospital’s decision.
“The program was already under evaluation, but yes, the unexpected loss of a cardiac surgeon was a catalyzing event in our discernment process,” said Dr. Mark Aaron, medical director of the Saint Thomas Heart Ventricular Assist Device Center.

Ruby Jean James

The funeral for 79 year old Ruby Jean James will be Friday at 1:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Baxter Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Maynord Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:00 a.m. until the service. She is survived by seven sons, Timmy, Larry, Mickey, Frankie, Lloyd, Eddie, and Roger James. Two daughters, Susie Ramsey and Vicki Fields. Four brothers, Freddie, Leonard, Billy, and Royce James. Two sisters, Treble Roberts and Ann Overturf. Fourteen grandchildren, fourteen great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. Baxter Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.