The end of 2015 and the beginning of a new year, 2016, allows time to reflect on the City's accomplishments during the past year. The following is a list of accomplishments City Manager Rob Lyons communicated to City leadership during the final staff meeting of 2015. It's also a list Murfreesboro citizens can take pride in as the community heads into 2016.
Safe and livable neighborhoods
- The Airport welcomed the addition of Air Methods Vanderbilt LifeFlight 5 on a temporary pad, providing the area with time-saving access to emergency and trauma centers in Nashville.
- The City Municipal Airport completed a $4.5 million Runway Extension and LED lighting improvement project.
- Progress continued on TDOT construction of the Broad & Memorial Interchange to be completed in 2017.
- The Murfreesboro Police Department reported a 4 percent drop in overall crime during 2014. MPD also created a new section to fight Human Trafficking.
- The City maintained its AA bond rating along with a "positive" outlook" by Moody's credit ratings.
- Issued an RFP for a New Police (MPD) headquarters on Highland Ave. in the former Murfreesboro Medical Clinic with construction scheduled to begin in January 2016.
- Hired new Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Foulks from the City of Greeneville and celebrated the retirement of Fire Chief Cumbey Gains.
- MFRD Swift Water Rescue Team deployed to South Carolina flooding.
- Celebrated the retirement of MPD Chief Glenn Chrisman after 39 years of service to the community.
- Opened bids for the Middle Tennessee Boulevard Improvement Project to reconstruct from a four and five lane roadway to a consistent four lane divided roadway with a median, bike lanes, improved sidewalks, new traffic signals, and underground utilities. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2016.
- MPD and MFRD breaks ground for first of four new Public Safety Communications Towers.
Strong and sustainable financial and economic health
- The City of Murfreesboro received its 4th consecutive Distinguished Budget Award and the Tax & Finance Department received 17th consecutive GFOA award for audit.
- Local sales tax collection set a record $4.1 million.
- Developed the 2015-2019 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), a $313.1 million list of projects to enhance the City infrastructure. The 2015 CIP includes $10 million for the purchase of land to develop a new park on the City's west side: $6.2 million for expansion of Hobgood Elementary School; and $3.6 million for renovation of Lytle Street in conjunction with the new Rutherford County Justice Center.
- Phase I of the Fountains at Gateway in the got underway with construction of a 100,000-square feet, four-story "Class A" office building designed to attract corporate jobs.
- Completed a comprehensive Class & Compensation Study under consultation with consultant Management Advisory Group, Inc. (MAG), the first pay plan developed for the City since 2004 to correct pay inequities by achieving external and internal equity.
- Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative submitted offer to purchase Murfreesboro Electric Department (MED) and a joint workshop is held between MED and the Power Board. Council hires GAI to conduct valuation study of MED.
- Celebrated groundbreaking of M-Tek headquarters, a 63,800-square feet, two-level building, on Garrison Dr. in the Gateway Design District. When completed, the $13.4 million investment by Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Kasai is expected to attract 250 high-paying corporate jobs to the Japanese company.
- City received operational authorization from FAA to being training of Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drones, the first Tennessee municipality to receive such approval.
- Celebrated the grand opening of Schwann Cosmetics.
Excellent services with a focus on customer service
- Opened the $5.8 million Adams Tennis Complex, providing community and MTSU Tennis programs with a new 70,000-square feet Indoor Tennis Facility with eight indoor courts at Old Fort Park.
- Hired Shane Lamb as a full-time Turf Manager to manage conditions on all city-owned athletic fields including the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex and Community Park. Harsh winter weather had significantly deteriorated the fields, impacting playing performance. Lose & Associates is hired to correct drainage problems at Park.
- Sports*Com re-opened after a $2.4 million renovation and expansion that included a new fitness area, resurfacing of the basketball court and upgrades to locker rooms and restrooms.
- Council Committed $400,000 toward the construction of a new Community Technology Center at Hobgood Elementary School.
- Murfreesboro Water & Sewer Department (MWSD) broke ground for a new $30.5 million expansion of the Sinking Creek Plant which will increase capacity of the plant from 16 million to 24 million gallons per day when completed in 2018.
- MWSD completed work on a Southwest Force Main and Headworks to convey wastewater flow between the Southwest Regional Pumping Station to the Sinking Creek Treatment Plant approved for a $30.5 million expansion from 16 million gallons to 24 million gallons per day.
- Initiated the design of a new Airport Terminal Building for the City Municipal Airport.
- MWSD launched citywide installation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a meter replacement program to improve the accuracy of meter readings. MWSD also developed a new mascot named "Blue" to market water conservation.
- A revised Sign Ordinance was approved by Council after numerous public meetings and revisions by Building & Codes and Planning Commission.
- Celebrated the retirement of City Attorney Susan McGannon after 23 years of service and welcomed the arrival of new City Attorney Craig Tindall from Arizona.
- The Joe B. Jackson Parkway Extension opened for traffic connecting U-S 231 (South Church Street) with I-24 at Joe B. Jackson Parkway.
Engaging our community
- City Council commits funding to Miracle Field, a baseball complex supported by the David Price Foundation gives challenged children the opportunity to play baseball.
- The City Parks & Recreation Department accepted transfer of Bradley Academy Museum from the Bradley Academy Historical Association Inc. with the goal of maintaining and managing the cultural resource built in 1917.
- Kendig Keast Collaborative completed several draft chapters of the Murfreesboro 2035 Comprehensive Plan, including a second community-wide workshop on the Future Land Use Map and a mid-point briefing.
- The Parks & Recreation Department secured a Native American site discovered inside Black Cat Cave and began working toward the transfer of the property to Middle Tennessee State University.
- The Murfreesboro City Schools Combating Hunger on Wheels (C.H.O.W.) bus is featured on NBC News.
- Welcomed new Assistant City Manager Jennifer Moody from the City of Columbia.
- Jex Wilson appointed Director of Instruction and Youth Development at Old Fort Golf Club.
2015 has been another prosperous year for the growing City of Murfreesboro.
In 2016, the City Council and City management will continue to focus on its four major goals in the New Year:
1. Safe and livable neighborhoods.
2. Strong and sustainable financial and economic health.
3. Excellent services with a focus on customer service.
4. Engaging our community.