Town business briefs for June 15, 2016

New apartment building’s tax abatement altered

The owners of Hawthorne Hills senior apartments won’t see their tax bill  reduced until next year.

The town council approved a resolution May 19 pushing back the project’s tax abatement schedule by a year.

Starting with the 2017 assessment, the portion of property taxes that would be due on the Hawthorne Drive land because of the apartment building being built on it will not be charged. For 10 years, the owners will only have to pay taxes based on the value of the vacant lot.

The value of the tax break is an estimated $326,000.

The town council approved the abatement last summer, but Town Attorney Andy Szakaly said the schedule listed a start date that would have applied this year.

Developer RealAmerica LLC announced on its social media pages that it’s planning a grand opening for Hawthorne Hills in July.

The 57 one- and two-bedroom apartments are open to 55-and-older residents. Rents — which are held at low levels according to federal rules — range from $335 to $769, according to the developer’s website.

They’re being built across Hawthorne Drive from Willow Manor senior apartments, which were developed by the same company in 2010.

Shopkeepers ask for restrooms to be preserved

Town leaders are willing to meet with downtown shop owners and employees who’d asked to talk about keeping the old Antique Alley restrooms open.

The town replaced them with the larger Village Green Restrooms the first week of May. The lease with the owner of the Antique Alley restroom property, Andy Rogers, has been terminated, town leaders said.

The plan had been to allow Rogers to do what he wished with the town-built restroom building on his land.

Last month, a small group of Antique Alley merchants asked the town council to keep those restrooms open, because they said they still see long lines during peak visitor times.

Parking and Public Facilities Corp. Chairman Lamond Martin said the town hadn’t budgeted to operate both of the restroom buildings, less than block from each other.

He expected more discussion could happen at that group’s next regularly scheduled meeting, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 at Town Hall.

“The third choice is not that we keep running them,” town council President “Buzz” King said at the May 25 council meeting, with choices one and two being Rogers operating them or the town demolishing them at Rogers’ request.

Town, county to collaborate on economic website

To a prospective resident or business owner looking in, there is no distinction or division between economic development efforts going on in Brown County and going on in Nashville.

There also isn’t one place where that person could go to learn everything they would want to know about relocating, county redevelopment commission members said.

At a joint meeting between the Nashville and Brown County redevelopment commissions June 7, a consensus was reached to work on a website together to reach those people.

“The goal is to raise the knowledge base: We are here; bring your knowledge-based business, which is low-impact, to Brown County,” said county redevelopment commission member Jim Schultz.

Of course, “knowledge-based” internet companies need high-speed internet, which not all of Brown County has.

But Town Manager/Economic Development Director Scott Rudd said a task force has been meeting to talk with prospective providers and research grant funding. A USDA grant could fund 85 percent of a broadband deployment in an underserved area, but the application deadline can’t be met this year, he said.

Task force member Ric Fox, who’s also president of the Nashville Redevelopment Commission, said he’s “thrilled” with the progress the group has made so far. He added that discussion about expanding Internet has been focused on the county as a whole.