While the city of Pulaski is expecting growth in upcoming years, those looking to relocate to a more rural area and expecting to work remotely may struggle to find the space/internet capabilities to do that.
Giles County Chamber CEO Jessie Parker presented the Pulaski Board of Mayor and Aldermen with a solution for that: Makeshift, a Rural Cospace Proposal.
“Currently, remote workers in our area are working at their kitchen tables or busy coffee shops,” Parker said, adding that working remotely is now offered to many employed local citizens.
Parker emphasized that Pulaski and Giles County lack a place to accommodate that need.
“In working with the SCOPE network and developing our Main Street Pulaski initiatives, we aspire to provide remote workers and entrepreneurs with a space to work, train, develop and be creative in order to make a positive impact on our rural community,” she said.
The pandemic has only made this need more obvious.
Parker suggested that a cospace of separated offices, a “phone booth” and a shared open area desk that could be pushed aside for conferences or group training would be of assistance.
The chamber is looking to convert its ground floor to such a space for the one-time startup costs of $110,000 which would be funded through a 90/10 match, the chamber needing to invest $11,000, she added.
The costs would include micro office construction, wiring, furnishings, office amenities, proximity services and entrepreneurial programming.
“I think it is a fabulous idea,” Alderman Jerry Bryant said, adding that it being on the Square was a good idea as well.
Additional benefits of Makeshift include: 24/7 digital access, fiber optic broadband, over 20 high or low workstations, eight micro spaces, training and meeting space by digital reservation, copy center, break area and a phone booth for private calls.
“This is exactly what we need,” Alderman Pat Miles said. “I totally support you.”
The project is expected to be completed in October and is proposed to be self-sufficient with its own manager within two years. Any revenue would be reinvested into chamber programs, as the chamber is a non-profit organization.
Parker’s request for the city’s contribution toward the 10 percent startup costs will be considered during next week’s regular session.
Fireworks Near Grave Sites
After ending the previous meeting without addressing concerns about Independence Day fireworks being shot off near grave sites, Alderman Hardin Franklin brought it up again at last week’s board meeting.
At a recent city council work session, former school teacher Willa Smith said she had to crawl under a rope to visit her daughter’s grave on July 1, ahead of the city’s fireworks display. Smith described it as resembling a “crime scene” with yellow tape being used to set boundaries for the show.
Franklin maintained during last week’s regular meeting that the fireworks for the Independence Day Celebration still needed to be discussed.
“It ought to be one of those things that we discuss and take some action on, one way or the other,” Franklin said, adding that it should not be held off until next year’s celebration.
Miles said she had not heard any more complaints about the fireworks being set off in that location but recognized that Smith had “an outstanding presentation and she made some very good points.”
“We that do have ears should hear and respond accordingly,” Franklin insisted.
The issue was then added to the agenda and discussed during last night’s (July 19) work session.
Alderman Ricky Keith said he had spoken with the parks director and was told that the tape would have been removed for those visiting the grave sites on that day, and access to that area would have been allowed until two hours before the event started.
Keith added that no fireworks were shot off by gravestones, but it was taped off only for the fallout from the fireworks.
The rest of the city council said they had not received any additional complaints while Mayor Pat Ford said he had only gotten two.
Keith said the event was intended to be a celebration and not a lack of respect.
With the elevation of the recreation area allowing the fireworks to be seen from afar and residents being able to walk to the park while many gather on the front porches of nearby houses, it was acknowledged that another location would not provide that view/access.
In conclusion, Ford said he would meet with the parks director and see about other locations.
In other business during its regular session July 13, the board:
• Heard the final draft and presentation for the bike and pedestrian trails by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Ragan-Smith Associates would be Tuesday, July 27. Ford encouraged the city council to look at the plans and contact him “sooner than later” if they have any suggestions.
After the presentation, the city council will vote on the final plan.
• Heard some of the equipment orders for the dog park on Rhodes Street have been coming in while others are taking more time. Signage is also expected to start going up around the park.
“It is moving along,” Ford said. “A lot slower than we wanted it to.”
• Heard the splash pad at the Recreation Center is also experiencing some delays. City Administrator Terry Harrison said he does not expect it to be finished until the end of August.
Concrete should start being poured in a couple of weeks and the tank for the water should be arriving this week as well.
“We want a good job,” Harrison said, adding that he wants the work to be done right, and that he will also be inspecting it.
• Heard the PES Power Board’s CEO interviews have been completed. As soon as city and PES Attorney Andy Hoover is available, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss “how to move forward,” Ford said.
“Looking forward to that,” Ford insisted. “It is going to be a tough decision, because we had some really good candidates that applied.”
• Heard EDC Director David Hamilton had been successful in negotiations for the buying of property for the possible site of a future spec building. The land will include the possibility of leasing part of the property to an adjoining industry.
The city council approved the mayor and city administrator to enter into an agreement to purchase the approximately 25 acres of land.
• Opened a bid for the installation of an automatic water and gas meter read system from Ironwood Construction and Engineering in Crossville, Tenn., for a base bid of $2,568,500 and with the additive for GPS coordinates $2,599,300. Harrison said the bid was in budget.
The city council referred the bid to the city administrator and engineer to review and award.
As the beer board, the city council approved a beer permit for Señor Lopez Mexican Grill at 1030 W. College St.
In other business during its work session July 19, the city council:
• Heard from EDC Director David Hamilton that several more projects could not be submitted on without having the facilities those businesses were needing, signifying the importance of a spec building.
• Heard Ford had received some requests for memorials at the dog park. He asked the board to be thinking about if that was something they wanted to consider.
• Heard adult changing tables were needed within the community to prevent those with this need from having to be changed on a bathroom floor. Ford asked the board to consider maybe putting one in the Recreation Center, so it is convenient for those visiting the splash pad.
It was also discussed that these changing tables needed to be in more public spaces.