Spring Hill continued an upward growth trajectory in 2019, bringing with it many notable changes and accomplishments. Here’s a look at some of the many City of Spring Hill highlights in 2019.
The City held a grand opening June 1 for the newly renovated and expanded Spring Hill Bark Park at Evans Park, which doubled in size. It features new hydration stations for humans and for dogs; an area to rinse dogs’ feet before leaving the park; separate areas designated for small dogs and large dogs, each with their own shade structures, park benches, and upgraded agility equipment. These improvements were made possible through $30,000 in grant funds awarded to the Spring Hill Parks & Recreation Department in 2018 specifically designated to revamp the existing Bark Park. The City of Spring Hill would like to thank the Boyd Foundation for a $25,000 grant, and the Pet Pals of Maury County for a $5,000 grant, to fund these quality of life renovations for our residents.
The City was again designated a Healthier Tennessee Community by the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, an organization dedicated to enabling and encouraging Tennesseans to lead healthier lives. At an awards gala in Franklin, the City of Spring Hill was named a “Bronze Healthier Tennessee Community” based on local engagement, promotional efforts, and measurable progress to address critical health challenges. It’s one of only 33 Healthier Tennessee Communities in the state. Spring Hill first received the designation in December 2017.
The April 11 Spring Hill Municipal Election seated three new aldermen: John Canepari in Ward 1, Dan Allen in Ward 3, and Hazel Nieves in Ward 4. Incumbent Alderman Matt Fitterer was re-elected to his Ward 2 seat. Alderman Amy Wurth was appointed by the BOMA as the new vice-mayor.
One of the most citizen-requested traffic projects in Spring Hill got under construction in the fall. The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) safety project is installing much- needed traffic signals at the on- and off-ramps of Saturn Parkway (S.R. 396) at Port Royal Road, along with other safety improvements on Port Royal from north of Jim Warren Road to Old Port Royal Road North, including grading, drainage and paving.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BOMA) discussed the preliminary results of a place branding initiative that was conducted over eight months to develop a new City of Spring Hill brand. The branding project will yield a Spring Hill brand story, tagline, and a new City logo, all of which the BOMA will discuss in 2020.
Construction continued progressing on two state road improvement projects: Duplex Road is being widened to three lanes, with a sidewalk on one side of the road and a multiuse path on the other. Beechcroft Road is being widened to three lanes, while Saturn Parkway is being extended to connect into Beechcroft. This project will help reduce tractor-trailer truck traffic along Town Center Parkway, and accommodate a more direct delivery route for trucks accessing the GM Spring Hill Manufacturing Plant and auto part manufacturers along Beechcroft.
Mayor Rick Graham created the Town Center Task Force to explore the potential for creating a Spring Hill town center. The new advisory task force will be asked to study the possibilities and feasibility of a town center, identify potential locations, and advise the BOMA with its findings and recommendations.
Mayor Graham also created the Sportsplex Task Force to perform the groundwork needed to eventually consider building a Spring Hill Sportsplex and/or Sports Complex to meet our community's needs for baseball and softball facilities, and potentially other sports facilities. Currently, Spring Hill does not have enough active ball fields to serve our population size, and many children are not able to play organized baseball/softball due to the high numbers or have to play or participate outside of Spring Hill. The task force will serve as an advisory committee to the BOMA to make non-binding recommendations about these facilities for the board's consideration.
Tyler Green, a tour guide for the Rippavilla mansion and battlefield, was this year’s recipient of the Tennessee Historical Commission’s Certificate of Merit. Tyler curated the World War I Exhibit at Rippavilla Plantation – “Come With Me, Boys,” commemorating 100 Years since the end of “The War to End All Wars.” The exhibit honored 1st Lt. Walter S. Yarbrough (1895-1918) and soldiers from Maury County and Tennessee. Tyler Green, a Spring Hill High School graduate, is an engineering student at Tennessee Tech University.
Rippavilla, Inc.’s governing board in August appointed Pat Bearden as Rippavilla’s new Executive Director. Net proceeds in the Rippavila gift shop from June through November 2019 rose 37% over the same period in 2018. Rippavilla also saw a 17% increase in mansion tours.
Rippavilla also co-hosted with Spring Hill High School (SHHS) Career Tech Program a new joint Harvest Festival and Antique Tractor Show in which the proceeds helped support the two nonprofit causes.
The City continued adding new sections of sidewalk through the Neighborhood Sidewalk Program (NSP), which allows citizens and neighborhood associations to submit new sidewalk projects for consideration for the upcoming budget cycle. The NSP annually builds new sections of sidewalk all over town, connecting neighborhoods to key areas, such as schools, parks, recreation facilities, and retail areas. In fiscal year 2019-2020, seven new sidewalk projects were built totaling 3,084 feet.
Spring Hill Fire Department’s Assistant Chief of Training/Safety, Mike Bryan, had the honor of being asked to serve at the 38th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in October at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Assistant Chief Bryan, also a fire chaplain and a member of the Tennessee Federation of Fire Chaplains, joined 20 other chaplains and support staff from across the state to lend their services.
The BOMA approved a resolution seeking to increase voter turnout by improving voter awareness, polling locations, and early voting access times, starting with the next Spring Hill Municipal Election in April 2021 for mayor and four aldermen seats.
A new Crossings Circle North Bridge was completed this month, connecting The Crossings shopping center and The Columns, the new development being constructed north of The Crossings. The BOMA officially named the bridge “Clyde Farmer Crossing,” in honor of Calvert Clyde Farmer, an exemplary citizen and community leader. In addition to being a U.S. Army veteran, Mr. Farmer has been a resident of Spring Hill for 60 years. During that time, he has taught, coached and served as Principal at Spring Hill High School for 31 years; was a member of the Spring Hill Fire Department for 41 years; served as City Alderman for four years; and as Municipal Judge for nine years. Construction began in May 2019 on the bridge, which crosses McCormick Creek and adds a much-needed second entrance/exit for The Crossings.
The process of updating our City’s Parks, Recreation & Greenways Master Plan was launched this month to ensure adequate long-term planning is put in place for Spring Hill's future of building and expanding our parks, recreation and greenway infrastructure. Residents are being asked to assist with this effort by completing a brief survey about our current Parks and Recreation facilities, and what additions to these facilities you would like to see in the future at https://www.springhillparkplan.com.
Spring Hill was ranked the sixth "Safest City in Tennessee" by New York-based consumer review website, Security Baron. The ranking of the top 50 safest cities, along with a full ranking of the top 100, at the link below, is based on the FBI’s 2017 and 2016 Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data, based on factors such as the rate of murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, vehicle theft, arson, and a community's median household income.
The BOMA in October approved a $978,600 contract for the design of the widening of Buckner Lane from Duplex Road to Buckner Road. The design firm, Kimley Horn and Associates, will study the roadway and ultimately create design and construction plans for this critical project. Buckner Lane could be widened to either four lanes with a center grass median, or five lanes with a center turn lane. This ultimately will depend on the traffic demands in that area, primarily the additional traffic flow that will come from the related project to widen Buckner Road and extend it to I-65, where a new I-65 interchange will be constructed. It also will depend on the feedback of residents, which will be gathered at future public meetings as part of the design process.
The U.S. Census Bureau launched its neighborhood canvassing process to gather data for the 2020 Census count, including hiring hundreds of Middle Tennessee residents to assist with the process.
After a successful City of Spring Hill economic development effort in 2018, Faurecia, the automotive components manufacturer, opened its new $30 million facility in Summer 2019 off Cleburne Road, where it created 143 new jobs. Founded in 1997, Faurecia 300 sites including 30 R&D centers in 35 countries around the world. It is now a global leader in its three areas of business: automotive seating, interior systems and emissions control technologies. Faurecia is the world’s top supplier of seat frames and mechanisms, emissions control technologies and vehicle interiors.
What was originally the annual John Maher Builders Country Ham Festival was rebranded and revived under a new name, the John Maher Builders Whole Hog Festival. In its 13th year, this fun, family festival was held in October along the beautiful lake on the back side of the Tennessee Children's Home property.
The City hosted an initial public meeting about the Buckner Road/I-65 Interchange project, which allowed the public to ask questions and provide feedback. The first major step with this project, the environmental study, is expected to be complete in January.
The Spring Hill Water Department scored 100% on the Sanitary Survey performed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Division of Water Resources. This stringent survey documents every aspect of the operational performance of our municipal water system and includes a detailed onsite inspection of our water treatment and distribution system. The survey covered the time period from August 2017 to June 2019, and our water system earned 599 points out of a possible 599 points! This perfect score is to the credit of the fine work being done by our water treatment and distribution employees.
In May, traffic signal timing along the U.S. 31 (Main Street) corridor was optimized to help improve traffic flow by retiming the lights along Spring Hill’s busiest roadway so that drivers get the greatest amount of green light time and, if you’re within the speed limit, to not get caught at every red light. This project was the result of an extensive signal timing study, which focused on the 12 intersections along U.S. 31 that have existing signals or are planned to be signalized from Crossings Boulevard on the southern end to Buckner Road on the northern end.
Our city website for utility payments began offering two additional features that allow you to either enroll in auto-pay or schedule a payment in advance.
A temporary traffic signal was installed this summer at Kedron Road and Hummingbird Lane, and a second signal will follow at Kedron and Mahlon Moore Road. The BOMA included $75,000 in the 2019-2020 City Budget for this project in preparation for the new Battle Creek Elementary and Middle Schools that opened in August off Mahlon Moore Road in south Spring Hill.
Spring Hill Public Library in June was chosen for an exciting Summer Reading Pilot Program that will be offered statewide in 2021! State Rep. Scott Cepicky presented a $10,000 check from the State of Tennessee to fund the pilot program
The city recently launched the process of creating a Rippavilla Master Plan, which will establish a true long-term plan for the historic antebellum mansion and its related property. The City issued a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) to take submissions from firms interested in managing the creation of the plan.