Note: Steve Allen is seeking re-election as Ashland City mayor.
I love being the mayor of Ashland City. While, at times, it can be challenging, I find it very rewarding and put my whole heart into serving our town. Each day I work with council members, city officials and department heads to answer the call and address concerns of our local citizens, business and industries.
Recently, there has been recent discussion about the status of the flood berm initiated by AO Smith and the city’s position about this proposed berm.
After the flood of 2010 the county and town with the help of Economic Development Council purchased 234 acres of land from AO Smith in order to help assist with recovery costs. Since this time the berm project has been in the works and the town officials have met with the industry’s leaders and engineers and have worked alongside the county and state officials to move this project forward and ensure the plant stays here in Ashland City.
The town has finalized agreements and easements with AO Smith for the project. This has included moving the town’s sludge press building for the sewer treatment plant, donation of eight acres of fill site material for the construction of the berm and multiple easements from both the county and city. The town has agreed to take possession of the south end of Tennessee Waltz Parkway after construction is completed because TDOT did not want to have a street inside the berm, and the city and county have finalized the agreements with AO Smith for the construction and easements.
The town has also signed an agreement with Economic Community Development and AO Smith for a passthrough grant awarded by the state to be administered through the town for 1.2 million dollars that will help alleviate some of the cost of the project. The town and AO Smith are currently working toward planning and constructing a traffic signal at the intersection of South Main Street and Tennessee Waltz Parkway that will be crucial for traffic control during the construction of the berm.
The county has worked with the Corps of Engineers to exchange parcels of land between the federal government and AO Smith. The county and town are working with engineers to ensure no citizens will be affected by the construction of the berm.
The berm project is the biggest project the town has seen in the time I have been on the council and it has required lots of time and attention by everyone involved.
I am honored to be mayor of the Town of Ashland City and there is still lots of work to be done. AO Smith is a valued member of our community and there is definitive recognition at the state and Corps of Engineer levels that this property and its operations need to be protected and I am committed to doing what it takes to protect this valued entity in our city.