Town of Pulaski is in the process of developing a survey to help gauge public support or opposition to an extension of its boundaries.
At Pulaski Town Council’s meeting earlier this week, Town Manager John Hawley presented a draft boundary adjustment survey and a proposed list of services that will be available to citizens living in the projected expansion area if a boundary adjustment is sought.
Councilman Morgan Welker said he thinks it is important that information containing the “pros and cons” of an expansion be included with any survey that is sent out to citizens.
“To get good responses, people have to be pretty well informed,” Welker said.
The councilman said some people in the projected area may be opposed to an expansion because they will have to pay taxes in the town and county. However, if those same people already have town water service they will be billed at a lower rate if they are taken into the town. The savings may offset the added taxes, he said.
Councilman Joseph Goodman pointed out that homeowner insurance may also decrease due to fire hydrants being installed to service the expansion area.
Councilman Joel Burchett Jr. urged town staff to have the consultant continue to fine tune figures related to the financial costs and benefits of such an expansion.
“I don’t want this to come off as a growth of government,” Burchett said. “There needs to be some benefit to doing it.”
Mayor Jeff Worrell said he would like to see a financial rundown with a new firehouse being excluded from the equation. Although a new firehouse would be needed to service the expansion area, Worrell said that is an expense the town is going to have to bear regardless of a boundary adjustment.
Worrell also asked that the consultant run a report to include revenue benefits for growth at Exit 94. He feels growth at the interchange is almost certain once water and sewer is made available based on the growth other I-81 interchanges have experienced.
Hawley said the consultant should have plenty of time to provide the requested figures. He noted that the deadline to submit a request to expand boundaries to the Commission on Local Government is October, so there is not enough time to make a submission this year.
Worrell said he thinks it’s important to try to expand the town out to Exit 94 because there has been little growth at the interchange since it was developed in 1965. He pointed out that other localities have experienced growth by expanding utilities “miles and miles” to connect with an interchange.
“Here we sit a mile from an interchange. We need to see this work,” he said.
Questions included on the draft survey are:
•Would you feel safer with regular police patrols in your neighborhood? Why or why not?
•Is the response time of law enforcement important to you? Why or why not?
•Are you satisfied with the response time of law enforcement in your neighborhood? Why or why not?
•A boundary adjustment will extend water and sewer service. Are you satisfied with your current provision for water and sewer? Why or why not?
•A boundary adjustment will provide town street services including snow removal. Are you satisfied with your current situation regarding street/road services? Why or why not?
Some of the services Hawley listed for inclusion with the survey include:
•Snow removal, more frequent mowing of road medians and shoulders, and street resurfacing rotated on a basis of usage.
•Increased police visibility and response times that averaged 1.69 minutes last quarter. Communities also will be able to work with the Pulaski Police Department’s Crime Prevention office to develop neighborhood watch programs.
•Water lines and fire hydrants will be extended to serve the main roads of the proposed areas. Sanitary sewer lines also will be extended.
•An opportunity to have street lights installed in key areas or intersections and neighborhoods “as needed.”
•Increased fire protection due to installation of fire hydrants and the service of a full-time paid fire department and fire marshal. A more centrally located fire station may be needed to serve the larger area.
•Nuisance abatement as the town works to improve or remove nuisances such as dilapidated buildings and tall grass/weeds.
•A variety of facilities, programs and events such as Calfee Park and other athletic fields, Gatewood Campground, tennis and skateboard parks, Pulaskifest and concert parks.
•Proposed development of an industrial park in the expansion area to provide a site for a potential industry.