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Council nods budget on 2nd reading, Project Tango grants

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By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Two readings down and one to go for the citys 2011-2012 fiscal year budget as Lebanon City Council approved on second reading a budget proposal with amendments at its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The budget passed 4-2 with Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino and Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry voting against the budget that has been described as status quo from last year.

Added onto the budget was a proposal by Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler to give all full-time city employees who have been employed for one year or more a $300 bonus. Only Cesternino voted against that amendment.

For the last four years we havent been able to get them anything, Buhler said of the city employees.

Cesternino and Barry have been opposed to a budget that does not raise city revenues through tax increases or fees to help fund city services.

The council must have a public hearing before the budget can be approved on a third and final reading.

Also during the meeting, the council approved two fast-track grants from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation related to Project Tango.

Officials have said Project Tango is a single, domestic company that could have two locations in Lebanon that could also bring up to 1,700 jobs. The company is looking at sites in other counties in Middle Tennessee as well.

The first grant with TDEC is through the Infrastructure Development Program to provide matching grants for infrastructure improvements in anticipation for Project Tangos locating here.

The second with TDOT is through the State Industrial Access Program for roadway improvements that could be needed to accommodate the company. No other information about a possible location or the identity of the company was released.

Were trying to get as much of the up-front work done as we can, said Chuck Boyett, city engineer. We know were on the short list. We want to be ready when they say go.

The council also unanimously passed during the meeting an ordinance to install street lights on South Hartmann Drive from Interstate 40 to West Main Street. Jeff Baines, commissioner of Public Works, said the work was budget neutral and all would be reimbursed by TDOT funds.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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