Aldermen approve storm water plan

By Brian Bloom

The Bartlett Board of Aldermen approved nine of 13 proposed changes to its Storm Water Management Program Ordinance, in a brief regular session Oct. 23.

The changes relate to mandates from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). The new requirements are part of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process for cities of specific population density in Tennessee.

According to City Engineer Director Rick McClanahan, three of the changes are not set to go into effect until 2015. Those three, relating to first flush and water facility inspection, have been tabled until further inquiries with state officials can be made.

“These have nothing to do with flood control,” McClanahan explained. “This ordinance relates to storm water management only.”

Approved changes to the ordinance include:

The potential for the city to increase administrative penalties from $50 to $5,000.

The establishment of a storm water board of appeals.

Establishes a Shelby County watershed management best practices manual

Establishes specific requirements prior to land disturbing activities

Establishes a storm water pollution prevention plan, an erosion control plan. These have always been required but had not been in the ordinance.

Empowers inspectors to issue verbal and written violations

Establishes a water construction buffer along streams with a minimum of 120 feet on blue line streams and 300 feet on streams identified as part of the city’s greenbelt system.

The three changes tabled called for a design requirement that 100 percent of the first inch of rainfall is retained without run-off into the storm sewer system. It also mandates all privately owned storm water facility is inspected annually by the owner and every fifth year by a professional engineer.

McClanahan noted it was those three amendments that are most controversial and onerous for the city to enforce.

First flush relates to the first inch of rainfall being absorbed before entering the water table. This is designed to restrict potential contamination from entering the water system.

“This is a great concern, especially in eastern Tennessee where they get their drinking water from reservoirs,” McClanahan explained. “The problem is that it can create an unfair competitive environment for Bartlett.” McClanahan pointed out lesser populated communities adjacent to Bartlett are not restricted or forced to incur the same expense in water management. That advantage could lead to those communities getting residential and industrial growth because of lesser costs.

Following the engineer’s recommendation, aldermen approved the ordinance changes with three omissions until further discussion can be held with the state.

In other action the board approved the second reading to annex five parcels from the Bartlett reserve.

Other approvals, without comment, included:

Special event permits for Ellendale Baptist Church’s Family Fall Festival; special event permits for two Memphis Runners Track Club events and a permit for the Shelby County School’s Race for Education.

Bids for two GVWR trucks with 9-yard flat beds from Tag Truck Center for $158,900.

Bids for eight 2013 Dodge Chargers for a total cost of $187,697 from Swope Auto Group for the Bartlett Police Department.

One 2012 Ford F250 from Dobbs Ford for $17,560 for the police department.

One Nissan Altima from Dobbs Ford for $21,718 for the police department.

Appointed the mayor’s son, Brooks McDonald to the Bartlett Station Commission.