The town of Thompson's Station saw many major developments get underway in 2019; the beginning stages of improvements to Critz Lane, the approval of a multi-million dollar wastewater treatment plant, as well as major improvements to Preservation Park.
To recap on the year, the Home Page sat down with Mayor Corey Napier to get the latest on all of Thompson's Station's most important developments.
How is the progress going on Critz Lane?
So [for] Critz Lane, I think the the salient concern right now is it's an old cattle path — it became a road at some point and it wasn't built for the level of development that has obviously transpired at Canterbury, and now Bridgemore. The town has known for many years it needed to address some issues with it.
And so, we've been planning and talking about ways to find and get on with those safety measures, while simultaneously connecting those subdivisions to the central Preservation Park and overall just connect our community in general
So, what happened in this year was we have reached an agreement with the developer of Canterbury to cost share where they're actually throwing additional money to the town to help with some of these improvements and to work collaboratively to reduce the level of impact to area residents and ultimately achieve what we want, which is a reduced incline on the steep hill. So that's a huge win for us.
We're in the process of acquiring the right of way acquisition from the various land owners to make this happen in the new year. It really drug on an extra year more than we would have liked for it to, but ultimately, when the construction's done it will be done in a lot of the off season to reduce the school year impact. And so I think hopefully most people are going to be very excited about it. We received a very large grant too, and that grant is funding a good portion of the trail way section, so that's a big win for our town — it's not coming out of the taxpayers of Thompson Station.
Napier said construction on Critz Lane is estimated to begin sometime in Spring of 2020.
How is the new wastewater treatment plant coming along?
It's picking up pace. What happened since we last spoke is we needed, as a board, to approve the acquisition of the land. We have to have the land, and we acquired it. We also acquired Alexander property, so two different parcels. Parcel one, the Hill Property, which is abut the sewer plant, and is the best land, really from a long term cost of ownership standpoint and practical standpoint of getting sewer water over to the drip fields — the engineering was completed on that. And, we're in the process of beginning the installation project of the piping, and we're clearing the land and putting the underground piping in place. So that's exciting, and it's necessary.
That's a win for the town in that we're getting enough land to accommodate the committed taps and get a little bit of the monkey off our back once that comes online.
Napier said the new wastewater treatment plant on the Hill Property is estimated to go online by late summer 2019.
What would you consider to be the biggest accomplishment of the town of Thompson's Station in 2019?
I think by and large, the two things that we just talked about are two of the largest — those are both big wins. And, we did all this while we were hiring, and I consider these some other wins. We hired a new town attorneys, we have a new town administrator, we added positions to our planning group and to our building inspector group to deal with our growth. Not to sound trite or anything, but I feel that it's hard to point to one thing — we got a lot done with a little bit of turnover in our channel.
So I'm pretty proud of our staff, I'm grateful for our consultants and our other citizens who've stepped up and joined us on some of these boards to help the town out. And, we've not had to increase taxes, we ran a balanced budget... we're very fortunate. Despite our challenges, that's, to me, the biggest win: coming together as a community.
What is the main priority for Thompson's Station in 2020?
It's going to be a continuation; getting the sewer where we need to get it, our revenue model is another one: How are we paying our bills with limited sales tax dollars? And so we're going to focus on the drivers of revenue for our town.
And we're going to embark on some some additional fun things in our parks. This year we opened up restrooms, and that's a small thing, but it's a big thing. We now have restaurants and Preservation Park — that's cause for celebration. We'll be working on these trail ways and seeing those come to fruition, that north/south trail and Preservation Park. We have the ATP grant, which was a $2-plus million dollar grant that allows us to complete that main 10 foot-wide trail from Tollgate Village all the way down to downtown.
And some continued branding stuff. We started that this year with our new website. That's another great win for community because it's kind of a front door for a lot of communication. And so that's updated and, and helps us be more transparent and more accessible to folks.
How can we be modern Mayberry and keep this rural small town thing going? I think it's part and parcel to our branding. If you want small town USA and the vibe and the values that many small towns espouse, come hang out with us in Thompson Station, and we're going to back it up by giving you parks and trail ways and small town Americana stuff.