Poop Scoop: My First Workshop

LaVergne.  How I love thee.  You’ve seen us moan and groan online for awhile.  We’ve seen you ignore us for awhile.   Now I know why.  We are but a gnat buzzing around your face, trying to land on your pizza.  I attended my first workshop tonight – the meeting that is to prep the Mayor and Board for the “real” meeting coming on August 9th at 6:30 p.m.  I don’t know where to begin except to say that you’ve got much bigger problems than the little issues we’ve raised here:  1.) Parking on the streets, 2.) Gangs, 3.) Greedy developers and builders.

You’ve seen the link where LaVergne is being sued by Nashville for nonpayment of sewage fees.  Nashville wants LaVergne to pony up a staggering $2,279,581.  That’s two MILLION plus.  But wait!  There’s more!  (And it only gets worse.)  Not only is Nashville suing LaVergne, but they are also kicking LaVergne out of their sewage system.  Throwing us out with the proverbial bathwater, it seems.  LaVergne has until August 14th to respond to the suit, with the request for a 30-day extension so far ignored.  Something litigious this way comes.

In defense of LaVergne, and when I could hear him, city administrator Mark Moshea said LaVegne has been paying Nashville $38,000 p/month for years and years and years.  They’ve asked for an explanation from Nashville a number of times – an explanation of what I’m not sure because I heard “mumble mumble mumble.”  The mayor responded, “mumble mumble mumble.”

UPDATE : Bob Burns was not at the meeting.  He has been out on medical leave for several months.  The man that spoke was the city’s advisor / engineer on water projects – Bill Griggs.  Thank you, commenter! 
And while we’re talking about our city poop, the city’s director of public works Bob Burns, described the recent pump failure and sludge overflow.  The state was called in and cleaned up the poopie mess, mumble mumble mumble.  The pump is there to keep the city from having to spend $100,000 twice a year to have the sludge pond cleaned out and the crap hauled away.  The mayor was adament that the city will not wait for an expensive repair, but wants the pond cleaned as soon as possible to prevent another overflow accident (no one wants to see sludge coming out of manholes).  Glad to hear the mayor sees the sense in that and for taking a firm stand.

Things are getting pretty expensive for the city – Nashville doesn’t want our poop anymore, but they do want over $2 million.  Our pump is malfunctioning, so expensive repairs may be coming.  And it costs $100,000 a shot to haul off the poop.  And the city is going to have to hire the services of a law firm to address the Nashville suit.  Cue Pink Floyd “money money money.  MONEY!”

In other news, the city recently got a report card on our water quality.  The document is being scanned in to be posted as a zip file (too big to just post).  We did not get a good grade.  I won’t say what it was because I don’t have the document, but keep your eyes open for it.  Speaking of agua, the city water lines are going to be flushed soon – a state mandate.  A new map of the water lines is needed because there are a lot more streets and houses now.  (Another way massive housing growth is costing the city)

Here’s something interesting I learned.  If you know a street that has problems due to potholes and/or needs paving, contact the Mayor or city administrator Mark Moshea to let them know.  They’ll try to get it on the list of streets to be repaved.  You can call Mayor Erwin at 793-6295 ext.3274  or Mr. Moshea at 793-6294 (no extension given). 

And something fun: a grant is available called “2007 Community Enhancement Grant Program.”  Police Chief Boyd is looking for ideas on how to use the money in addition to law enforcement and fire training.  For example, programs for children could be developed.  The city has until August 16th to come up with items for the grant.  If you have ideas, you can contact Chief Boyd at 793-7744.

This gnat does need to say one more thing before calling it a night:  The meeting started at 5:00 p.m.  At exactly 6:00 p.m., a break was called.  The public sat in the meeting room from 6:00 until 6:44 p.m. waiting for the break to end and watching city officials and workers walk in and out, enjoying pizza and conversation.  The meeting resumed and finally adjourned at 7:46 p.m.  Had you not taken your dinner break, we could have all left at 7:00 p.m.   Also, it was a pleasure to meet Miss Sylvia, frequent commenter CeeDee, and to see approximately a dozen citizens who showed up.

FINALLY, please I beg of you city of LaVergne.  Please.  Mic your meetings.  There are those of us who suffer from hearing loss and heard a lot of mumble mumble mumble.  I don’t need an interpreter (can’t read sign language).  Just a microphone.   Thank you very much.


5 Responses

  1. Thanks for the round up. I hope I can make the next workshop. We’ll see.

  2. Thank you so much for the bringing us news of the workshop Kathy.

    Also, I’m not sure if the 3 problems you mention at the beginning of the post are little things even compared to the lawsuit with Metro. Actually I feel fairly good about that one because Brentwood and… Millersville is it? I don’t recall. Anyway two other towns have refused to cave to Metro without a chance to negotiate and they are likewise facing a lawsuit. The rate increase is huge.

    Of the five issues mentioned here, only the water quality issue and the gang activity has me looking through real estate advertisements.

  3. (Kathy T said): “The pump is there to keep the city from having to spend $100,000 twice a year to have the sludge pond cleaned out and the crap hauled away.”

    Anybody know where this “sludge pond” is located?

    (no LFE comments, please)

    I’m Just Sayin’…..

  4. Casey: I believe the city is considering co-hiring a law firm in conjunction with Brentwood and Millersville. This appears to be a very serious problem and the city’s counsel, Evan Cope, said his acquaintances in Nashville seem pretty grim about it. Let me say this about Mr. Cope …. I was very impressed. He really seemed to have done his homework and wasn’t afraid to speak about what needed to be done.

    I’m Just Sayin’: I think the sewage plant is near the Madison Square neighborhood, but not sure exactly where.

  5. Bob Burns was not at the meeting. He has been out on medical leave for several months. The man that spoke was the city’s advisor / engineer on water projects – Bill Griggs.

    The sludge ponds are located at the water plant, but the sludge is not actually “poop”. I think what happened was that the sludge was being put in the sewer and it got clogged up somewhere down the line. The “poop” that was deposited by homes between the plant and the clogged up pipe is what came out through the manhole(s). If the pipe is clogged, the “poop” has to go somewhere. Thankfully it didn’t get into any homes. The sewer pump station that is near where the “poop” came out is near WatersEdge.

    There is no sewage treatment plant in or near La Vergne. It is several miles inside metro city limits. That’s why this lawsuit is so important. La Vergne cannot treat it’s own sewer. Either Metro or Smyrna would have to do it. There is no way the state will allow La Vergne to have their own plant. There is no where to put one. We don’t have any suitable places with enough water flow in a stream to put a sewer plant. It’s been investigated before.

    As far as Evan Cope, he is a great benefit to the city. He is much better than the attorney the city used to have. The previous city attorney used to be Amnon’s own attorney – talk about a conflict of interest.

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