Smith Park takes center stage at commission meeting

Smith Park takes center stage at commission meeting

By SUSAN LEATHERS A $20,000 check and three resolutions passed Monday indicate real progress in the development of Smith Park …

The goal to raise $3 million to add an additional 80 acres to Marcella Vivrette Smith Park got a $20,000 push forward Monday night. Gil Hutchinson, president of Citizens for Brentwood Green Space, presented a large check to the Brentwood City Commission to go toward the purchase.

The city hopes to purchase the property, located on the northwest corner of Ravenswood Farm, from The Conservation Fund which holds an option on it. In December 2010, the city paid $10 million for 320 acres of adjacent property – the city’s largest land purchase — for the new city park. The Conservation Fund facilitated that purchase from the Smith family.

Hutchinson updated the commission on the non-profit’s fundraising activities on behalf of the capital campaign which is expected to involve both public and private funding. In April 2012, the city officially partnered with Citizens for Brentwood Green Space in regards to raising funds for the purchase as well as future park facilities and improvements.

The presentation was timely, given that most of the major items on Monday night’s commission agenda concerned the new park, located just east of Wilson Pike and north of the Franklin city limits.

With a unanimous vote, commissioners authorized an agreement with PBG Builders Inc. to serve as the construction manager for the renovation of the historic Ravenswood home which serves as the showpiece of the park. PBG, one of four firms which submitted a proposal for the job, has recently renovated the Tennessee Governor’s Residence and Lytle Hall at Meharry Medical Company.

It is expected that Leatherwood, a contractor who specializes in historic structures, will perform the historic renovation under PBG’s management. PBG will be responsible for selection of the contractor that will complete the remaining renovation work.

The total amount of the contract with PBG is expected to cost the city $132,000 and is already funded in the Capital Projects Fund.

“I’m so excited that we’re getting ready to work on the Ravenswood house,” Commissioner Anne Dunn, who also sits on the city’s Historic Commission, said before the vote.

City manager Kirk Bednar tempered her enthusiasm a bit by explaining the timeline of the project. Work probably won’t get under way until May, he said, but should be complete by the end of the calendar year and definitely by the time the park opens to the public in early 2014.

Two other items critical to the park’s development were approved as part of the consent agenda.

First, the city will enter into an agreement with CSX Transportation so work can begin on the new bridge over the CSX railroad tracks that parallel Wilson Pike. The bridge and new entry road will serve as the primary park entrance as the existing at-grade crossing isn’t compatible with the volume of vehicle and foot traffic expected at the park. The cost to compensate CSX for its engineering and flagging services is expected to be $281,961.

Second, a resolution passed that will allow the city to construct a new temporary crossing just south of the new bridge location that will be used to transfer heavy equipment needed to build the bridge and other park improvements. The cost is $25,100.

In other business, the commission:

  • Authorized revisions to the ORSD development plan for the Owl Creek Subdivision and minor revisions to the Hidden Creek Subdivision development plan
  • Amended the investment allotment of the city’s “other post-employment benefits” Trust
  • Authorized an agreement with Turf Managers LLC for mowing and related services at city parks.
  • Approved a change order to the Plymouth Drive water line/pump station project.

Related story: Commissioners, citizens speak out on now-defunct Streets of Brentwood project.

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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