January Special Election, Cell Coverage, LED Streetlights, and other Brentwood News from Vice Mayor Nelson Andrews

Fall is here, and it is one of my favorite times of year. Volleyball post-season is in full-swing with both Ravenwood and BHS moving to the regionals, our local football teams moving into the second-half of very successful seasons, and tons of people out in our parks enjoying the fields, trails, and other facilities.

At the Brentwood City Commission, we are wrapping up the year and in January will begin the process of reviewing our next budget and capital spending plan. The first step is a very important special election to fill the seat left vacant by the loss of Regina Smithson. The special election takes place on January 12 with early voting at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library from January 3rd through 7th. It is important to get this on your calendar and be sure you participate.

As we move past the special election, we hit a very busy time of year as we update the capital improvement plan, operating budget for the city, and hold a regular election for another 4 seats (McMillian, Dunn, Travis, and mine).

As always, your perspective and feedback is important to me, and you can reach me at either Nelson.Andrews@BrentwoodTN.gov if it’s not “on fire” and 615-917-1384 (voice or text) if it is.

Sincere thanks to friends who contribute the process of creating this newsletter. Keeping people informed is vital to good governance, and “it takes a village.” I link to source material whenever possible and welcome your questions or suggestions.


Information on the Brentwood Special Election

Brentwood Special Election

  • Brentwood will have a Special Election on Thursday, January 12 to elect a City Commissioner to serve the remainder of the term vacated when we lost our Friend and Colleague, Commissioner Regina Smithson.
  • Early voting at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library is January 3rd to January 7th, 2023.
  • The candidate qualifying deadline is Thursday, December 1st 2022.
  • Devin McClendon is the first candidate to publicly declare his candidacy, appoint a treasurer (former Brentwood Mayor Betsy Crossley) and start a campaign for this special election. You can learn more about Devin through coverage by the Williamson Herald.

Cell Phone Service in Brentwood

  • Voice and Data service over cell connections is poor in several areas of Brentwood — notably along Wilson Pike between Church and Crockett as well as along Concord Rd from I65 to Edmundson Pike.
  • Improving service can be challenging since it generally requires adding cellular towers:
    • Cell towers are not always welcome near homes.
    • Cell towers are all privately owned and require someone who is capable of buying, installing, operating and maintaining the equipment.
    • Technology is moving away from large 4G towers towards smaller 5G towers with improved speed but shorter range. This requires more cell towers for similar coverage.
  • Recently the Tennessee Legislature made a change that allows local governments to charge higher fees to cellular carriers installing new cell towers. The previous maximum fee allowed was $100 for the first five 5G towers and $50 each for any additional towers on the same application. The new maximum fee allowed is $500 for up to five towers plus $100 each for each additional tower on the same application.
  • Ordinance 2022-15 is currently in front of Brentwood City Commission, and if passed will raise our fees to the maximum allowed. It will be voted on at our October 24th meeting.
  • At this point, I don’t feel like I have proper context for assessing the impact raising fees will have on building new cell towers. We have not had a new 5G tower go in since before COVID, and I don’t know if this is due to fees, demand, chip shortages, or something else. Because we already have what I consider spotty service in our city and because I’m against high fees or additional regulation, I’m hesitant to support a fee increase that might discourage cell companies from investing in Brentwood. On the other hand, if our fees are don’t matter and are not discouraging anything, I would want to recognize that as well. To know the difference, I have to have more context.
  • If you have expertise or contacts that could help me in analyzing this decision and/or solving our cellular and data challenge, please email me at Nelson.Andrews@BrentwoodTN.gov.
  • Thank you for your help and insight!
5G Cell Tower in Maryland Farms near Andrews Cadillac

LED Lighting Project

  • The City of Brentwood has partnered with Path Company and is working in conjunction with NES and Middle Tennessee Electric to move our entire street light system from incandescent bulbs over to an LED system.
  • Benefits including lowering our use of electricity with more efficient technology, updating our lighting system for better safety with less light pollution, and updating to consistent fixtures across the city to simplify repairs and maintenance.
  • We expect to see project pricing in November 2022.
  • You can find news coverage on the Brentwood Home Page.

Windy Hill Park

  • A preliminary plan has been submitted to the City of Brentwood Parks Board as well as the City Commission for consideration.
  • Elements include:
    • 1 mile multi-use trail
    • 4,500 linier feet of secondary trails
    • A 400 meter loop trail
    • 2 stream crossings
    • A 30’ x 20’ structure
    • Gazebo
    • Picnic tables, benches, drinking fountain and restrooms
  • The final Windy Hill Park master plan public meeting is Wednesday, October 19, from 6-7:30 pm at the Brentwood Library in meeting room B. We are excited about tightening up this design and beginning construction 2023.
  • Thanks to ESP Associates, our outstanding design partner on this project who has local offices on Wilson Pike Circle here in Brentwood. Thanks also to the team at Bike Walk Brentwood for your excellent insight on design and trail surfaces with pedestrians and cyclists in mind. It really makes a difference!

Stormwater Improvement Program

  • We are investing more than $7 million over the next few years to study and improve stormwater handling in the major watersheds in the City of Brentwood.
  • Efforts are focused first on areas where the biggest improvement is possible.
  • Our efforts can be greatly enhanced by homeowners checking their own property to make sure:
    • Culverts under driveways are clear of debris and working properly
    • Drainage ditches are clear of landscaping and other impediments to waterflow
    • Ditches and retention areas are free of sediment and otherwise well-maintained
    • Your sewer cleanouts are properly capped
    • Your roof drains are not connected to the sewer system
  • HOA’s can play a similar role by helping to make sure neighborhood common ground has well maintained stormwater handling systems.
  • If we continue to experience more severe storms as we have this past several years, the stormwater handling systems, both public and private, will continue to be more and more important to our Brentwood Community.

Follow up on Previous News

Miles Together Playground is officially open!

  • This inclusive playground in Granny White Park is accessible to all ages and abilities.
  • Mayor Rhea Little presided over the official ribbon cutting and grand opening on Saturday, September 24 with the help of many engaged Rotarians.
  • We would like to recognize and thank the Rotary Clubs of Brentwood for their diligent fundraising and volunteer support of this project. It couldn’t have happened without them.

Construction of two Synthetic Turf Baseball Fields at Crockett Park is Complete

  • After several complications, including a sink hole repair, synthetic turf has been successfully installed on two baseball fields at Crockett Park.
  • Construction was completed Sept 2022 and Fall Baseball is already using them.
  • These fields were made possible through significant support by the Brentwood Ball Club.

Construction has started on the new Brentwood Middle School

The Brentwood Middle School Site Masterplan
The southwest corner after initial demolition
Construction of the future gymnasium


Focus — Large Upcoming Projects

This project will widen Ragsdale Road between the intersection with Split Log Road and the Glen Ellen subdivision. The new roadway will be three-lane curb and gutter road with a center turn lane and intermittent raised median. A 10-foot bike/pedestrian path behind a five-foot grass strip would also be included and a six-foot sidewalk on the other side if sufficient land is available. The cost of this project is currently programmed at $13 million.


  • FY 2022 – project design
  • FY 2023 – right-of-way acquisition and construction
  • FY 2025 – estimated project completion

Carondelet Water Line Replacement

The Water Services Department Capital Improvements Plan, Annual Pipe Replacement & Renewal Program includes funding for planned, incremental replacement of aging water lines throughout the water distribution system in order to maintain our highest level of distribution service, reduce maintenance costs and avoid significant future capital costs. Projects are identified using the department’s asset management and geographical information system which aides in tracking features such as asset age, maintenance cost and historical performance.

The scope of work identified for this project includes replacing approximately 20,000 feet of water pipe in the Carondelet North and South neighborhoods between Old Smyrna Road and Hedgewood Drive. Work will include replacing all waterlines, fire hydrants, valves and customer service lines from the road to the meter.

Stormwater Equalization Tank

Brentwood’s stormwater equalization tank is well under way. This tank is located west of Hillsboro Road immediately adjacent to the Brentwood Pump Station. When complete, this tank allows us to capture and retain stormwater during severe storms and pump it out over time, which reduces the potential for overflows.

We are finalizing plans and hope to begin construction of the Murray Lane/Holly Tree Roundabout in 2023. Much thought is going into how to minimize the community impact of this construction process.

Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home is getting ready to update its residential facilities. These renovations bring the entire operation up-to-date and allow TBCH to implement what they have learned over the past 50 years to the benefit of the kids and families they serve.

Old Smyrna Road

Old Smyrna Road

As we continue to have more vehicles on Old Smyrna Road, the Brentwood City Commission has asked our staff to put together a study on how to improve safety and capacity while preserving the character and scenic nature of this beloved road.

As always, I’ve made every attempt to do my research and share what understanding I have, knowing that there is often even more to consider than what I’ve discovered. If you have something to add to this conversation, please drop me an email or give me a call. I continue to learn a lot from our residents, and I value you help.


Nelson Andrews
Vice Mayor
City of Brentwood

“From Brentwood, For Brentwood”


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