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America runs on Dunkin’

Dunkin’ had a successful opening in Portland beginning on March 11. It is located inside the Valero Gas Station at 301 S. Broadway.

Owners are Steve Catalano and Matt Campohasso and operate under Route 65, LLC. The two own 22 stores in Tennessee and 20 in Massachusetts. According to Catalano, this is the first Dunkin’ inside a gas station in Tennessee. The grand opening was held on Saturday, March 27.

Bob Rosenberg was the founder of Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950 in Massachusetts. The name was recently changed to Dunkin’ because of the wide variety of items that can be purchased at each store. Dunkin’ was one of the first specialty coffee shops opened and today it is known as much for its coffee blends as its doughnuts.

The store will feature 15 to 20 varieties of doughnuts daily, but will rotate the various varieties sold from many other choices they create. At holidays there will be special doughnuts sold such as heart shaped doughnuts for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

There will be special doughnuts during the Christmas holiday season. Customers are encouraged to ask for a particular variety, if it is not on the shelves. The most popular doughnuts are the chocolate glazed creamed filled doughnuts, and the chocolate glazed doughnuts.

Dunkin’ has a variety of breakfast food items and sandwiches. There are various combinations of bacon, ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches to choose from. These come on a variety of breads such as bagels, croissants, and biscuits. They have a grilled cheese melt featuring three types of cheese on sourdough bread. Customers looking for a snack are invited to try the bacon sleeves, which are sold like fries. Hash browns are also available. Plans are to include a chicken croissant soon.

Dunkin’ coffee is a special blend with regular and decaf available. Flavors such as hazelnut can be added to any coffee. Latte caramel swirls and mochas are other popular coffee drinks. All coffee drinks come hot or iced depending on the customer’s choice.

The owners said they like to get involved in the communities where they own stores. They enjoy supporting local sports programs and other community events. In addition, they support Second Harvest Food Bank and homeless shelters in the area.

Catalano said, “We have been welcomed to Portland. We are happy to be here.”

The store currently employs15 full and part-time employees, and may go up to 20, if the store continues to grow.

New City Hall now open for business
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Portland city employees and residents were excited that the newly renovated City Hall opened on Monday, March 29.

All services have returned to the building. During the renovation, offices were moved to two buildings in town, which included the donation of The Farmers Bank Branch to the City, and the use of the former Sumner Employment Exchange, Inc. building by Jaska Collins Russell.

The renovated building has many safety features for employees and citizens. Those coming into city hall will no longer walk to the offices they wish to do business with, but will wait in the lobby until someone comes to get them.

The drive-thru window provides a safer exit for those leaving the building. The council chambers will also have safety features and will seat approximately 60 people. The additional parking lots in the back of the building add to the safety features of the building.

The purchase of the concrete block building facing South Russell has allowed a directional change in the exiting and entrance of High Street from/to South Russell near the train tracks. The new exit /entrance is still on South Russell but is on the opposite side of city hall.

Mayor Mike Callis said, “We are excited to be in the new building, and look forward to our community using it for many years to come. City Hall was a big project, but even more so during the uncertainty of a pandemic.

“Our employees really pulled together to make the move out and back in pretty easy. A big thank you goes out to Jaska Russell, Larry Collins, and The Farmer’s Bank for providing all of the extra space that made it easier on our citizens.”

Sumner County Courthouse construction nears

Construction of a new Sumner County courthouse in downtown Gallatin is expected to begin later this year, according to officials involved with the project.

As early as this week, demolition work could start on an existing building located on the property at the corner of East Main Street and South Boyers Avenue next to the Gallatin Public Library, added Sumner County Commissioner Leslie Schell, who also serves as chair of the county’s general operations committee.

“It’s exciting to finally see movement going on with the construction of the courthouse,” Schell said. “The county, other than our school system, has never embarked on an endeavor this large, so we wanted to make sure that we took our time and got it right. I have 100 percent confidence that we have done that.”

Once the existing building is removed, crews will spend an estimated three months performing various site work on the property. Without any delays, construction of the new courthouse would begin in late summer and will last for two years.

The five-story, predominantly brick building will feature more than 46,000-square-feet of space and will consolidate all of the county’s courts under one roof once it opens in 2023.

County officials also expect to complete the purchase of property for a planned parking garage nearby within the next 30 days, according to Schell. The property is currently owned by the Gallatin Church of Christ and is located on East Franklin Street directly across from Christian Towers.

“We still have about six months of design work left on (the project),” Schell added. “As soon as they get that done, we’ll move along to construction.”

Gallatin city leaders have previously agreed verbally to partner with Sumner County to bring additional parking to the area. While the multi-level structure is expected to have approximately 370 spaces, specific details about the project and the partnership have not yet been finalized.

In 2017, Sumner County commissioners voted to hire Justice Planning Associates to review the county’s criminal justice and court facilities following several emergency funding requests for building repair projects.

Following the study, the firm recommended building a new courthouse, expanding the jail along with the sheriff’s office and renovating the existing courthouse in downtown Gallatin.

County leaders later voted to issue up to $103.6 million in general obligation school and public improvements bonds in December of 2019. Of that money, $86.75 million would be used to fund the design, construction and equipping of the new courthouse and nearby parking garage.

According to Schell, the parking garage is expected to take between nine months and one year to construct and would open sometime before the new courthouse was completed.

Alderman presents list of possible park upgrades

Alderman Brian Woodall presented the Portland Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BOMA) a list of items at the February meeting that he would like to see completed at Meadowbrook Park and Richland Park. The council requested that Woodall work on a price list.

Woodall presented an approximate price list and possible date of completion for each item on the list to the council at the March 15 meeting.

The estimated cost of the projects are as follows: Demolition of old maintenance shop and building a new one — $150,000, splashpad at Richland Park (3,000 to 4,000 square feet) — $350,000 — $500,000, OEO outside restroom rehab — $25,000, paving Richland Park — $35,000, paving Meadowbrook parking lot — $30,500 and double tennis courts — $300,000 — $400,000 (1/2 cost for one court).

The new maintenance shop, Richland paving, and the Meadowbrook parking lot addition of 34 spaces and sealing the parking lot could be completed in 2021. The splash pad could be ready for the 2022 season. In addition, the rehab of the outside restroom facility behind the OEO Center (Robert Coleman Community Center) is projected to possibly be completed in 2022.

Woodall, whose campaign platform included efforts to get a splash pad, said on WQKR’s Good Morning Portland program, “I can picture children playing on the splashpad with their mothers sitting around watching them play.”

All projects would need to be approved by the BOMA. According to Woodall, the prices are not guaranteed pricing. He added that the document he presented was a work in progress.