2013 Calendar of Events
2013 Community Calendar of Events
From: The Lebanon/Wilson Chamber of Commerce
Dec 02 - Spotlight: Wilson County Community Help Center
Spotlight: Wilson County Community Help Center December 02, 2013 From: The Lebanon/Wilson Chamber Newsletter ...
Nov 27 - Thanksgiving arrives early at 'Mission Possible'
Thanksgiving arrives early at 'Mission Possible' November 27, 2013 From: The Lebanon Democrat ...
Nov 25 - Lebanon High School wins $100,000
Lebanon High School wins $100,000 November 25, 2013 From: The Lebanon Democrat ...
Nov 25 - Students score on safety
Students score on safety Wilson Central wins contest’s grand prize November 25, 2013 From: The Lebanon Democrat ...
Nov 22 - The Chamber Ushers in the Holiday Season
The Chamber Ushers in the Holiday Season November 22, 2014 From: The Lebanon/Wilson Chamber Newsletter ...
Nov 20 - Officials hope air school will boost tourism
Officials hope air school will boost tourism November 20, 2013 From: TheWilson AM ...
Nov 20 - Historic Places Tour to feature several unique stops
Historic Places Tour to feature several unique stops November 20, 2013 From: The Lebanon Democrat Historic Lebanon will feature its sixth...
Nov 08 - Gospel Music Festival Week
Gospel Music Festival Week November 8, 2013 From: The Lebanon Democrat ...
Nov 08 - Halloween On The Square 2013
Halloween On The Square 2013 November 8, 2013 From: The Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber ...
Lebanon Certified as a Tennessee Main Street Community
Lebanon is 26th City Added
NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today Lebanon, located in Wilson County, has achieved Tennessee Main Street certification. The community joins 25 other Tennessee Main Street communities that are certified through the state program and accredited by the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“Creating vibrant downtown districts that support businesses and draw-in community members and visitors alike, is an important part of Tennessee’s culture and distinctive appeal in a global economy. Strong downtowns signal a healthy local economy and show companies looking to expand or move why Tennessee is the best place to do business,” ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “I congratulate Lebanon on their achievement and welcome them to the Main Street community.”
“Lebanon has both momentum and vision for realizing the full potential their historic downtown can achieve as part of a comprehensive and effective economic development strategy,” Tennessee Main Street Director Todd Morgan said. “They will be a wonderful addition to the Main Street network and I look forward to working with the community.”
“Becoming a part of the Main Street program has been a goal for Lebanon the last ten years,” Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said. “Changes in the dynamics of our historic downtown and the city's plan for the future of this area make the acceptance of Lebanon into the program a very timely announcement. Being a Main Street community takes our efforts to the next level and we thank the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for this opportunity.”
"The Main Street designation is a very important step forward for our community and Cumberland University is proud to be a part of the Historic Lebanon,” Cumberland University President Dr. Harvill Eaton said. “Cumberland University partnered with Historic Lebanon in late 2012 with the goal of becoming a part of the Main Street program. Their partnership allowed for the hiring of an executive director and continued support of Historic Lebanon's mission.
“Our incredible City of Lebanon, Tenn., being awarded the renowned designation of a Main Street Community will have positive ripple effects for many years to come,” Todd Tressler II, Founder/Attorney, Tressler & Associates, PLLC said. “Kim Parks as the Director of Historic Lebanon should be commended for her outstanding efforts in leading the way—along with many other of our fantastic citizens here in Lebanon. It’s an exciting time for our city and our law firm is blessed to be in position to share an integral role within the community as we continue to build on now being one of the very few distinct Main Street Communities in the entire state of Tennessee.”
“Historic Lebanon is proud to represent the Main Street mission for Lebanon,” Historic Lebanon Executive Director Kim Parks said. “Our community leaders and citizens have shown great support for this cause and we believe our efforts towards the economic revitalization and preservation of our historic Public Square and surrounding neighborhood will be greatly enhanced by becoming a Main Street community.”
Tennessee Main Street provides technical assistance and guidance for communities in developing common sense solutions to make downtowns safe, appealing, vibrant places where folks want to shop, live and make memories.
In 2012, certified Main Street communities generated more than $82 million of public/private investment and created 604 new jobs.
Lebanon’s designation is based upon a successful application submitted by the city of Lebanon. The Tennessee Main Street Program application requires communities to illustrate a strong commitment to a Main Street Program from city/county government, an adequate organizational budget, a commitment to hire staff, a strong historic preservation ethic, a collection of historic buildings and a walkable, historic commercial district.
There are currently 26 certified Main Street program communities across Tennessee: Bristol, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dandridge, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Lebanon, Leiper’s Fork, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Morristown, Rogersville, Tiptonville, Savannah, Union City and Ripley.
Tennessee Main Street operates under the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information about the Tennessee Main Street Program, please visit www.tennesseemainstreet.org. For more on the National Main Street Center, visit www.mainstreet.org.
A Message from the Mayor
As Mayor, one of my constant objectives will be to provide the citizens of Lebanon with clear and concise communication from their elected government.
Our government is intended to serve the people, and provide the leadership and guidance to help our city and community grow, remain safe, and prosper.
This website will be another source of insight into the government of Lebanon, TN. Please be clear that the information here is from ME - I am responsible for the content you will see here, this is my own personal idea for helping to increase transparency and communication in the Mayor's office.
We are just getting started here - so be sure to check back often!
Mayor Philip Craighead
Middle TN Flood Disaster Video ...click here
A Message from Mayor Philip Craighead
Lebanon at a Crossroads
July 09, 2013
The economy has been very tough on everyone for the last six years. The City of Lebanon is not immune to cost increases or having to trim its budget to survive.
The last property tax increase our citizens experienced was in 1992. Our property tax rate was raised from 65¢ to 78¢. The taxes increased from $162.50 to $195.00 per $100,000 of property value.
Last year’s tax rate was 34.56¢, which equaled to a payment of $86.40 for each $100,000 of property value per year. Over the past 22 years, our property tax rate has decreased more than half from what it was in 1992. Our city has grown from 15,000 in 1990 to over 26,000 today covering over 35 square miles.
Our responsibility for the maintenance of the number of street miles has drastically increased over the last 22 years, along with the cost of asphalt, striping and labor associated with the installation. Our garbage collection, which is a free service, costs the General Fund Budget about $1.3 million per year. Our customer base has nearly doubled, while fuel and landfill tipping fees have increased.
We pride ourselves on being a city for the children. There are no city fees charged a family to participate in city sports. There are some fees charged by the organization which runs the associations, but none comes back to the city. We provide free access to our parks and wading pool and very reasonable fees are charged at our Jimmy Floyd Family Life Center. In all, we spend over $750,000 annually for the Recreation Department. The Jimmy Floyd Center covers all of its operating cost and the city covers the principal and interest on the building. Most cities are lucky to recoup 50% of their operating cost at similar centers.
The city continues to provide free monthly chipper service. This service was weekly, but was curtailed due to budget cuts five years ago when we slashed our General Fund Budget by over 11% to continue running our city in a conservative responsible manner.
We continue to provide fire and police protection. The Fire Department costs the General Fund Budget over $3.8 million per year and the Police Department Budget is over $7.8 million per year. Our labor force in the Police Department is adequate for now, but will not be as our population increases. Our Fire Department is adequate for ¾’s of our city, but the need for a 4th fire hall is needed in the Highway 109 and I-40 area. Response time in these areas is close to 15 minutes where the rest of the city has an average response time of under 4 minutes. The citizens in this area are also dealing with insurance rates 30% to 50% higher than other areas of the city due to the unacceptable response time.
Our Building and Code Inspection Department had a total of eight people in 2008 when I first became Mayor. Today this Department has only three people and they are more than covered up. This budget asked for that additional Inspector to help with the field inspections. The review of plans for commercial buildings can take up to five weeks due to the backlog. This delay costs our citizens days at work and slows the city revenue stream for permits, stormwater fees, tap fees, sales tax, etc. The city has continued to provide these services at this ridiculous low tax rate for years; even through some of the hardest economic times in our history. We have done an admirable job in watching after the taxpayers’ dollars. The Council and city employees need to be commended for their efforts.
The past relied on growth to cover increased expenses. The last three years, our city has relied on the use of our reserves to balance our annual budget because projected expenses exceeded projected revenues. Due to some increased revenues and a very conservative approach to the daily operation of our city; it has enabled us to be able to retain most of our reserves. People say the government needs to live within its budget. That’s true. The City of Lebanon has been doing that and more this last five years. The problem is now it’s time to move our city forward and not stay stagnant being afraid of embracing the future and reaping the rewards of the opportunities which lie before us. I did not take this job to just hold the steering wheel and coast along. I took this job to drive our city forward. We have survived this past five years in good standing. Now it’s time to make our move on the future. Getting our budget on level ground is vital to insuring a fiscally strong city, which can provide our citizens enriching opportunities.
The budget, which is proposed, is about $2.1 million short of reserves to cover projected expenses. An increase in property tax of 26.19¢ will balance this budget.
To continue to provide the citizens of Lebanon with quality services, this budget needs to be passed. Even this budget has many needs which go unaddressed such as:
- Additional paving – need to spend $1 million per year to be on a 15 year rotation
- Aging Equipment (many times repairs are higher than value)
- Sidewalk Replacement - $300,000 plus per year
- Fire Hall at Highway 109 area - $1,000,000 per year
- Expansion of Parks & Trails
- Sports Complex Expansion (soccer, baseball, softball, football – facilities of this nature will provide jobs and revenues)
I feel it is important to insure the city stays fiscally strong. It is time to establish a tax rate to insure the needed revenues are available to keep us financially secure. This only gets us to level ground. To do no increase will only traumatize the budget process for years to come; along with the neglect of not being able to meet head on the issues of the future.
I believe in progress and I detest the idea of just kicking the can down the road again and again.
Council has examined these numbers for months now and no other suggestions on how to close this gap have been presented on the revenue or expense side.
The decision left to be made is do we continue to use reserves to balance this budget or do we place this city on level ground with the property tax increase. If there is to be a compromise, I encourage the Councilors to express where they can meet on middle ground.
If I get the opportunity to vote, my vote will be level ground.
Mayor Philip Craighead