Bartlett board weighs 3 citizens’ requests to resolve property issues

Three citizens cordially asked the Bartlett mayor and aldermen for relief from some property problems at the Aug. 14 city board meeting.

First was Perry Short, who lives on the 3500 block of Marietta Cove. He said his land floods during a large rain with runoff from 19 other properties, and the water backs up in front of his and other people’s properties. He said every rain leaves about 2.5 inches of water and piles of debris behind.

He took a look at nearby properties and said he believes the water is not flowing correctly as the builder intended, possibly because of debris buildup.

He also said he has spoken with Rick McClanahan, director of the city’s Engineering Department, and said it’s not practical to dig ditches on Marietta because of buried AT&T cables.

According to Short, the solution they lean toward is the installation of a bigger culvert on Marietta. He said the current 12-inch culverts under each driveway are inadequate for the volume of water and asked that the city take on the expense of improvements.

Mayor Keith McDonald said the additional lift from paving the cove (at the request of one resident and several aldermen) made the existing problem worse. He believes that Bartlett may be the only municipality in Shelby County that doesn’t assess a stormwater fee to take case of special cases like Marietta Cove’s flooding. Without that, the mayor said he doesn’t currently have a funding solution.

He did, however, promise to get with city engineers to evaluate the situation’s needs and options to resolve it.

The city’s dilemma is to offer the right level of help when it’s needed without damaging the city’s budget, particularly since resolving one issue is likely to open the door to other property owners making similarly costly requests. A key to that solution is to find out what is exceptional about Short’s property flooding issues, he said.

A second Bartlett resident, Joe Giove, talked about a retaining wall problem at his home on the 4400 block of Glenchase Drive. He said a neighbor erected a retaining wall that is about three and one-half feet tall with a fence on top, but the city only approved a two-foot wall. Giove said a court ordered the limit on the height.

This construction butts up against his own fence. He said the placement makes it impossible for him to repair pickets on his own fence.

McDonald said he will have city attorneys review the man’s court order to see if there’s anything outside of a civil action the city can do.

The third resident to address the board was Stan McKinney, who lives on the 6400 block of Bristol Glen Drive. He asked for help with a water problem “like a river” in his back yard after a good rain. He bought his home in 1997 when most of the subdivision was still being built.

The problem worsened over the years, and he contacted Public Works about four years ago. Unfortunately, the department couldn’t make a significant difference. Today, the flowing water is washing away the foundation of his rear fence. He said suggestions to plant more grass in the area aren’t enough to stem the flow of water.

The mayor said the city will review the situation with its department to see what solutions might be available.

McDonald cautioned, though, that some study will be needed in all three citizens’ issues.

In other business, the board:

  • Held a public hearing and approved a resolution to allow the sale of children’s used clothing in a retail store, “Summer Kids” to be located at 2831 Bartlett Boulevard.
  • Accepted the lowest qualified bid for two automated side loader refuse trucks from Sansom at a total cost of $475,600.
  • Accepted the lowest bid for one knuckleboom trash loader from Tag Truck at a cost of $127,454.63.
  • Approved the purchase of 26 replacement office computers for the Police Department from Hewlett Package for a total cost of $27,690. This purchase is from a state contract.
  • Authorized the sale of eight surplus property items with a potential auction value of $500 or more. They will be auctioned on
  • Authorized the mayor to sell a $16,100 contract with the Groundwater Institute at the University of Memphis for a wellhead protection study and other regional work.
  • Approved the water contract for Open Arms Care Subdivision. The developer, Facilities Development Group, will pay $6,264.00 in city fees, and the bond is set at $21,102.50.
  • Passed a resolution to approve a funding policy for the city’s retirement (cash balance) plan, effective July 1, 2014, as amended.
  • Had the first reading of an ordinance adopting the 2015 Editions of the International Codes, as amended. The public hearing is set for Sept. 11.
  • Appointed Kenneth Gilmer to the City Beautiful Commission.