Growth to dominate Hendersonville’s 2015

With 2014 in our rearview mirrors, here's a look at what Hendersonville residents are likely to read about in 2015

Sumner’s first NICU

TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center will open this year a new women’s center that will include Sumner’s first neonatal intensive care unit.

Officials broke ground on the facility in October. The two-story, 40,000-square-feet women’s center will house an obstetric and NICU on the second floor. The first floor will be shelled out for future development.

The NICU is slated to open in December and will feature six private suites that will allow parents to room-in with their infants. The trained staff will include neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, and NICU-specific registered nurses who will have the ability to care for babies born at 32 weeks gestation or later.

The hospital’s corporate office committed last June to provide $33 million to fund several projects at the local hospital that will also include an expansion of the emergency room from 15 to 20 beds.

New residents expected

2015 will likely see a substantial amount of residential growth as construction picks up at two mixed-use developments approved in 2013. Homes are already underway at Millstone, a 221-acre development along Saundersville Road. That project will include 420 single-family homes and 194 villas, cottage homes and town homes.

Several amenities are planned as well including a pavilion, resort-style pool, community lake, fitness center, playground, walking trail, and a mill house complete with a grinding wheel. The plan also includes 16.7 acres of commercial property.

Residents can also look for construction to begin on a 472-acre mixed-use development on the city’s northern edge between Drakes Creek Road and Long Hollow Pike.

Known as Durham, that development will include 1,090 homes and town homes ranging in price from $175,000 to $875,000. It will also include 49,490 square feet of commercial space, 75 acres of park land, and a bike/pedestrian trail.

Both projects are expected to take eight to 12 years to fully build out.

Upcoming trials

Trials for two brutal crimes are on Sumner County Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay’s docket for 2015.

Seventeen-year-old Zachary Davis’ jury trial is scheduled to begin April 13. The Hendersonville teen is accused of bludgeoning his mother, Melanie Davis, to death with a sledgehammer in 2012. The former Station Camp High School student is charged with first-degree murder as well as attempted first-degree murder and aggravated arson for allegedly setting his family’s home on fire. His older brother escaped unharmed.

Sandie Calvert, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife’s father in February, will stand trial on May 18. Calvert, 42, is accused of shooting James Hudgins in the head and decapitating him. His attorney, James Ramsey, has said he will pursue an insanity defense.

Mayor faces ethics complaint

Hendersonville aldermen will decide in 2015 if they should investigate whether Mayor Scott Foster violated any city or state policies by performing consulting work through his engineering firm for companies that also do business with the city.

Ward 1 Alderman Mark Skidmore filed an ethics complaint with City Attorney John Bradley during the Dec. 9 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, referencing a news report in which the mayor admitted Foster Engineering & Energy was paid $10,000 to show property to a company that owns land in Indian Lake Village.

“The question is raised whether or not he essentially was paid to perform his usual duties as mayor of Hendersonville,” said Skidmore’s complaint.

While it was common knowledge that Foster owned an engineering firm, three alderman have said they were unaware that the firm performed work for companies that did business with the city, or on projects that eventually needed the city’s approval.

Foster denied any wrongdoing during a Nov. 25 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

Final vote on deer plan expected

How or even if Hendersonville should manage its deer population was the subject of much debate in 2014 — and will be back in the spotlight this month.

Last year the city formed a special Urban Deer Herd Committee to look into the deer issue. An ordinance proposed by the committee recommended culling the herd with a controlled hunt by USDA-certified sharpshooters.

Board of Mayor and Aldermen members voted on first reading to amend the ordinance in December, taking out that controversial recommendation. A second vote is slated for Jan. 13.

Elementary school will open

Students will see some changes this year, with a new elementary school opening, the end of construction at Hendersonville High and another opportunity to earn college credit.

The William Burrus Elementary School at Drakes Creek is scheduled to open in August off Drakes Creek Road with about 500 students. A $7.5 million addition to HHS is expected to open for the 2015-16 school year. The project will add an administration area and much-needed classrooms.

In fall 2015, 40 seniors with 22 or higher composite ACT and a minimum of 3.0 GPA can enroll at the University Experience at Union University in Hendersonville for $3,300 with possible scholarships.

New judge to start mid-year

A new General Sessions judge will take the bench this year to help with an annual 30,000-case load burden.

A judicial selection committee recommended in December that commissioners consider attorneys Thomas Boyers V, Mike Carter and M. Allen Ehmling for the job. The three were selected among nine candidates based on applications, interviews and a poll from the Sumner County Bar Association.

Commissioners will take additional nominations in January with plans for the new judge to be in robes by June 2015.

Beretta to make guns in Sumner

This year, Beretta USA Corp. officials anticipate moving about 160 jobs to the company’s new Gallatin manufacturing facility, which is expected to become operational in June or July.

Last month, several job openings for Beretta’s Gallatin facility were posted online at www.jobs4tn.gov. The company expects that within two to three years the facility will have about 240 jobs with that number eventually growing to around 300.

In July, the gunmaker announced its plans to move all of its manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee. The decision came just six months after Beretta USA announced it would invest $45 million in building a new production and research and development facility in Gallatin.

 

Article from Tennessean

Written by Tena Lee-Reporters Josh Cross and Dessislava Yankova contributed to this report.