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SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE TODAY 5/13/22

Updated: 3 days ago

All news stories are aggregated from various sources and modified for time and content. Original sources are cited.


We start with Local News

Property assessments won’t impact tax bill much (MS MAURY) Maury County residents have begun receiving updated property value notices in the mail showing significantly increased values for almost every property in the county.


With the current housing market and growth trajectory of the county, there should be little surprise in the values increasing, but many residents are concerned about potential increases to property tax bills in the near future.


Fortunately, residents can rest easy – for now – as most will not see an increase in their tax bill at all, but no property owners will see significant increases due to what is known as equalization. Equalization is a process in which the state determines the average property value increase in the county, and requires the county to then cut taxes to match the amount of property tax revenue from the previous year.


For instance, if the average increase in property value throughout the county is 45% but a property increased by 50%, that property owner would be assessed an additional 5% in taxes. Conversely, if a property’s value appraised for less than 45%, the tax bill would decrease by the percentage less than the average.


The Maury County Commission, however, has indicated the need for more funding to deal with being the 14th fastest growing county in the country, and a recent attempt to earn a waiver that would allow an impact fee to be assessed to developers failed in the state legislature. Due to those issues, the county could enact a higher property tax rate, which would increase the tax bill for property owners in the county.


There are a few options for some property owners in the area to decrease or even eliminate their property tax bill going forward.


Property owners are allowed to appeal the appraisal through the state comptroller’s office. With limited exception, a disputed assessment must first be appealed to the county board of equalization of where the property is located or it becomes final. Property owners should contact the Maury County Property Assessor’s office at 931-375-4001 prior to June 1 to appeal to the county board of equalization.


The 105th General Assembly enacted the Property Tax Freeze Act which establishes the tax freeze and authorizes the legislative body of any county and/or municipality to adopt the property tax freeze program. The Act became effective on July 1, 2007.


For residents over the age of 65, the city of Spring Hill has opted into a property tax freeze option for residents with a combined household income of $38,330 annually in Maury County or $56,060 in Williamson County or less.

Based off 2021 figures, a 65-or-older property owner in either county whose household income is less than $31,190 would qualify for property tax relief. Additionally, permanently disabled veterans, who were not dishonorably discharged, would also qualify for property tax relief.


The deadline for 2022 was April 5, but a new deadline is set annually and applications can be accepted for 2023. Those who wish to apply can contact Spring Hill City Hall for more information.



Columbia hosting police memorial service (RELEASE)

The City of Columbia would like to invite the public to attend the annual Columbia Police Department Memorial Service on Monday, May 16, 2022, at 7:00 PM at Highland Baptist Church. The service will be a tribute to the brave men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty. There will be special remarks from Mayor Chaz Molder, Police Chief Jeremy Alsup, and others. The event is scheduled for Monday, May 16, 2022 at 7:00 PM at the Highland Park Baptist Church, located at 1800 Highland Park Dr, Columbia, TN 38401.


It’s Tick Time in Tennessee (MS MAURY)


Ticks are little pests that can cause big problems, and starting around this time of year they are especially troublesome for outdoorsmen.


Fishermen traipse through areas overgrown with weeds and bushes, and campers and hikers are equally tempting tick targets.


Every year cases of tick-transmitted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease are diagnosed. The disease can be debilitating. Symptoms include fever, headaches, nausea and muscle aches. Some Lyme victims become bedridden and require months of recovery.


Even a bite by a non-disease-carrying tick can cause problems if the bite becomes infected.


At the end of every trip outdoors, a thorough tick-check is prudent. If a tick is found clamped onto the skin, use tweezers to remove it. If the head is embedded, take care not to break it off; it can cause serious infection.


Treat the bite with an antiseptic. If the bitten area becomes inflamed and remains so over the next few days, consult a doctor.


Even tiny seed ticks — the size of mustard seeds — can be a torment, causing maddening itching in areas they infest, primarily legs and ankles.


PORT ROYAL: SPRING HILL’S NEXT FRONTIER (MS MAURY)

Developers in Spring Hill seem to have found their next frontier in the city.


With June Lake soon to be developed into live-work neighborhoods along the new interstate access point, the city’s growth spurt is not likely to soon slow down.


In an attempt to get ahead of another likely population boom, several developers have approached the city’s planning commission with more residential retail options along Port Royal Road.


Last year, Spring Hill Towne Crossing was approved to build a mixed-use project south of Saturn Parkway along Port Royal Road, and three different developers have come before the commission in 2022 with plans for growth along one of the roads connecting Saturn Parkway with Duplex Road.


Of those three, one would require a zoning change to incorporate retail, and another has not returned since hearing negative feedback, while a third mixed-use property just recently submitted initial proposals at the work session in April and is located south of Saturn Parkway.


South Point Square, proposed by Paradym Studio in February, would feature four 3-story retail buildings of 15,500 sq. feet, with apartments above the retail space, located where Port Royal Road meets Commonwealth Drive. Additionally, three standalone apartment buildings three stories in height would also be placed in the rear of the property, along with a clubhouse.


“This is a development that staff and Paradym – the applicant – have been working on together for months to come to this design. We expect for this design to be predicated with other developments,” Spring Hill Planning Director Calvin Abram said.


This type of retail-condo hybrid design is something the city of Spring Hill has seen come up several times now, starting with the Kedron Square development and the aforementioned June Lake development.


Paradym’s project would require a rezone to C-5, which allows the commercial access needed, but restricts the retail from certain types of businesses.


Linville did say the intersection of Buckner Lane and Port Royal Road was a major capital project he would like to see taken on by the city because it would cure a lot of the traffic woes in the area with a relatively small budget, but this project was not going to make the current issues any better.


Spring Hill does have a more grid-like roadway system between Duplex Road and Saturn Parkway with both Kedron Road and Port Royal Road taking traffic from one another, but as Port Royal Road currently stands as a two-lane road with a center turn lane, more retail will only attract more traffic.


Alderman Matt Fitterer said in the most recent Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting he believes the city should make a priority of widening both Kedron Road and Port Royal Road, but also studying changes for Buckner Road because of the increase in traffic expected once the interstate interchange opens.


“We’re talking about high-level planning, not design, not right-of-way acquisition, but get some good structure in place so the planning commission can act appropriately on it,” he said. “We all know we’re about a calendar year away from driving on the new interchange, and that’s going to create some new pressures on Buckner Road.”


Linville told Main Street Maury that has been on his radar since before he was elected, and he plans to continue pushing to be ahead or close behind growth as it comes.


“I said when I ran that we’ve got to prioritize infrastructure on that side of town because we are going to repeat the sins of the pass if we don’t,” Linville said.



NOW FOR YOUR HOMETOWN MEMORIALS BROUGHT TO YOU BY OAKES AND NICHOLS FUNERAL HOME IN COLUMBIA


Mr. Wallace Eugene Kelley, 85, retired employee of Occidental Chemical Company and resident of Columbia, died Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at NHC Maury Regional. Funeral services will be conducted Friday at 2:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens. The family will visit with friends Thursday from 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home.


Noah Eli Stancle, 4-month-old son of Michael Jasper Stancle and Kassidy Tatum Violet Lee Stancle, died Friday, May 6, 2022 at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Funeral services will be conducted Saturday at 2:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. The family will visit with friends Saturday from 12:00 P.M. until service time at the funeral home.


HERE’S A LOOK AT THE WEEKEND WEATHER

On Friday, look for sunny skies and hot temperatures, as we’ll see the mercury rise to 85 before the day’s end here in Columbia. A low of 64 degrees is expected with nearly no chance of precipitation. This weekend, thunderstorms are likely on Saturday with a high of 82 degrees and a low of 62 degrees. The rain will move out, but won’t take the heat with it on Sunday as temps are expected to hit 87 degrees during a partly cloudy day with a low around 64.


AND NOW A LOOK AT NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE


Judge declines to place ousted GOP hopeful Robby Starbuck back on ballot (AP) A federal judge on Thursday denied a congressional hopeful’s motion to reverse his removal from the GOP primary ballot.


In his 19-page decision, U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw said that while the Tennessee Republican Party may have possibly violated its own bylaws in kicking video producer Robby Starbuck off the ballot, it did not violate the U.S. Constitution.


“Exactly why Mr. Starbuck’s name was removed from the ballot the Court may never know,” Crenshaw wrote. “His complaint speaks of smoke-filled rooms with carpetbaggers engaged in political chicanery reminiscent of the Daley machine in Chicago during the 60’s and 70’s, and New York’s Tammany Hall in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.”


Last month, state GOP officials confirmed that Starbuck, small-business owner Baxter Lee and former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus did not qualify to run in the upcoming Republican August primary. All three had received challenges over their voting records.


Starbuck has been the only candidate who has fought to overturn the Republican Party’s decision in court. According to the lawsuit, Starbuck was seeking a court injunction to stop the removal of his name from the primary ballot, alleging that the state Republican Party violated its own bylaws in a decision “inconsistent with federal and state law.”


“Starbuck’s efforts were thwarted not because of any clear violation of federal law, but because (for whatever reason) the (Tennessee Republican Party) decided not to follow its own rules,” Crenshaw wrote.


Starbuck on Thursday said he was considering all of his options, including taking the case to state court.


“There’s no excuse for keeping a vouched for, bonafide, leading Republican candidate who’s endorsed by Senator Rand Paul off of the ballot,” he said in a statement.


Several candidates have set their sights on Tennessee’s freshly drawn 5th District after Republican redistricting this year. The seat opened up after Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper announced he would not seek reelection rather than run in a remapped district. The redrawn district carved up Nashville, favoring Republicans in each of the three seats and making it impossible for him to win any of them, in his view.


The Republican field for the 5th District includes former House Speaker Beth Harwell, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead.


On the Democratic side, state Sen. Heidi Campbell is seeking the 5th District seat.



Tennessee expects changes to lethal injection protocol (AP)


Tennessee officials say they anticipate that an independent investigation of the state’s lethal injection methods will result in changes to how those executions are carried out, including how the procedures are staffed.


State corrections officials made the statement last week in a federal court filing, and a judge on Tuesday agreed to pause litigation challenging the lethal injection protocol while the probe unfolds.


The investigation is being led by former U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton.


It’s unclear what the state specifically expects to change.


Additionally last week, the state told the court “there may be factual inaccuracies or misstatements” in its previous filings in the case, saying officials will correct them “once the truth has been ascertained.”