Town’s budget approved, development gets OK

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Town officials approved Collierville’s $190.3 million budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year Monday night during their regularly scheduled meeting.

The proposed operating budget is around $61 million. 

“There were 11 decreases in operating budgets,” said Town Administrator James Lewellen. “Every operating department cut budgets this year to some extent.” 

The overall expenditure budget increase is $316,452 and includes the salaries of to two new firemen. Lewellen offered a demographic breakdown of the town before presenting the budget. 

The town now encompasses 30 square miles. Germantown and Bartlett have jurisdiction of 20 and 26.5 square miles, respectively. 

The estimated population is 52,789 and the total number of households is 18,955. Lewellen said that total revenue is expected to be down $1.9 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

However, property tax numbers will likely be up.”Local option sales tax,” he said, “that’s a big number.

Because of current economic conditions, we’re projecting a 10-percent reduction in local option sales tax. Revenue could be down $1.2 million.”

Related News: Board members also approved the rezoning of 65 acres south of Bill Morris Parkway. 

On Monday, the Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to rezone Cartwright Farms from ‘forest agricultural residential’ to ‘low density residential’ to make way for the Clara’s Ridge planned development. 

Alderman Billy Patton voted against the resolution. The ‘cluster subdivision’ development will include 81 single family residential lots and a large park. 

The property is surrounded by Highway 385 and the new Collierville High School. Kevin Vaughan, of Township Development Services, has submitted the application on behalf of Crews Development. 

The development will include a 32-acre public park. “Clara’s Ridge at Cartwright Farms marks the beginning of the development of the former Cartwright Nursery property that has been in the Cartwright family for over 70 years,” Vaughan wrote. 

The property was once home to the largest commercial nursery in North America. It closed operations in 2019 and being used for row crop production.

The name ‘Clara’s Ridge’ pays homage to the matriarch of the Cartwright family. 

“The development of this property was contemplated during the site selection for the new high school and provisions for a protection of the view shed to the new high school property was sought,” wrote Vaughan. 

More than 50-percent of the property will remain open space. A public hearing on the matter was held on March 9.