Mt. Juliet, RTA continue work toward solution

Xavier Smith • Mar 23, 2018 at 2:49 PM

Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenny Martin said city and Middle Tennessee Regional Transportation Authority officials are working on a solution to issues regarding the city’s Music City Star commuter train service. 

City officials sent a potential resolution to the group earlier this month after it claimed the city neglected to pay its annual budgeted $30,000 Music City Star operating contribution since 2014. The city’s $30,000 budgeted for Music City Star operation is about $25,000 less than Lebanon and $20,000 less than Wilson County.

The committee met with Mt. Juliet officials in November, and each site presented their issues and potential solutions. The group, which included Martin, Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto and RTA board members, worked on an agreement to the issue.

Mt. Juliet Commissioner Ray Justice said the city sent the group $30,000 following the meeting with the hope of additional parking at the train station on East Division Street.

“We are still working together on the language, but we are united in moving the added parking forward,” Martin said. “They are in the design stage and should know about funding in the coming weeks.”

The Regional Transit Authority board discussed a memorandum of understanding with the city last month, which included:

• annual payments by Mt. Juliet for Music City Star service.

• a parking lot expansion to address current parking shortages, with parking expansion to be constructed at the RTA’s expense and the design of the parking expansion will be done in a manner that anticipates the possible widening of East Division Street by the city at some point in the future.

• incorporation of a small park and city center such as a monument or fountains, including a pedestrian trail connecting the station to Mt. Juliet Road, as an incidental use of the overall site into the corner of the parcel at East Division Street and Mt. Juliet Road to be constructed at city’s expense.

• coordination with Mt. Juliet and possible developers of a site not owned by the RTA to the north of the Nashville and Eastern Rail Authority right of way to include examination of possible approaches to better connect users to the rail station and rail service.

• commitment to work together to finalize any design and construction plans, including those that require the review and approval of other parties such as the NERA, Federal Transit Administration and others.

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