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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Shelbyville, TN

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Insurance Agency in Shelbyville, TN You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Shelbyville, TN

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Shelbyville, TN

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

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Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Shelbyville, TN

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Shelbyville, TN

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Shelbyville, TN

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Shelbyville, TN

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Shelbyville, TN

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Shelbyville, TN phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Shelbyville, TN phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Shelbyville, TN phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Shelbyville, TN that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Shelbyville, TN

Latest News in Shelbyville, TN

The World’s Longest Bar Now Exists at a Distillery in Tennessee

You and two hundred of your closest friends can grab a stool at the newest spot to enjoy Uncle Nearest whiskeyMarch 21, 2023photo: Courtesy of Humble BaronIf you’re a bourbon aficionado, you’ve likely sampled your favorite spirit in tasting rooms, at festivals, and even along curated trails. Now you can add another peak whiskey experience by visiting the distillery that is set to break the world record for longest continuous bar, pending official authentication from the Guinness folks this week....

You and two hundred of your closest friends can grab a stool at the newest spot to enjoy Uncle Nearest whiskey

March 21, 2023

photo: Courtesy of Humble Baron

If you’re a bourbon aficionado, you’ve likely sampled your favorite spirit in tasting rooms, at festivals, and even along curated trails. Now you can add another peak whiskey experience by visiting the distillery that is set to break the world record for longest continuous bar, pending official authentication from the Guinness folks this week.

On March 23, Nearest Green Distillery, the Shelbyville, Tennessee, producer of award-hoarding Uncle Nearest bourbons and ryes, is opening an on-site restaurant and music venue dubbed Humble Baron. Inside that venue is a winding, 518-foot-long bar that surpasses the previous record holder by more than one hundred feet. (Sorry, Beer Barrel Saloon of Put-in-Bay, Ohio—records, like liquor bottle seals, are made to be broken.)

“If you look at our operation, Uncle Nearest is the most-awarded bourbon the last four years running and the biggest-selling Black-owned spirits brand in history,” says Nearest Green cofounder Keith Weaver. “As an extension of that, we’re wired to run fast and break records, to go bold or don’t go at all.”

Such ambition is by no means a gamble. The distillery is already a destination, drawing 110,000 visitors last year even though Shelbyville, situated about an hour’s drive south of Nashville, has a population of 20,000.

Other features of Humble Baron touted by the owners are the state-of-the art sound system (designed by the folks responsible for the same at Prince’s iconic Paisley Park) and twin stages that allow for shows in the 18,000-square-foot interior, or the expansive outdoor area that can host up to 15,000 fans for touring acts or festivals. First-class amenities also extend to the performers’ backstage green-room. “Artists are not as respected as they should be,” Weaver says. “I want them to be in a beautiful space before they ever get to the stage.”

If those artists or fans get peckish, Humble Baron’s kitchen offers a menu developed by James Beard–nominated celebrity chef G. Garvin, with signature dishes that include Nashville hot shrimp and grits, and snow crab claws marinated in brown butter and sage. Naturally, there is also a serious bar program, crafted with the hospitality company behind the Death & Co. cocktail meccas.

But let’s belly back up to that record-breaking bar, shall we? “It’s pretty much the whole space,” Weaver describes. “As you enter Humble Baron, you are greeted with one big horseshoe bar that flows into two smaller horseshoes and then flows on from there.”

Along that serpentine journey, there are seventeen separate service areas stocked with 3,048 glasses, and 202 barstools. “We could have added even more stools, but I’m a big guy myself, and I want everybody to be comfortable,” Weaver says. “The way I think of this space, and what I want in life, is for everyone to have a seat at the table. Whether you’re a lawyer or drive a tractor by day, you come here and feel comfortable and strike up a conversation.”

Or maybe 201 conversations, if all those stools are occupied.

Motorist Strikes a Massive Black Bear in Shelbyville, TN

SHELBYVILLE, TN - A little over 20-miles south of the Murfreesboro City Limits along Highway 231 South, in Shelbyville, Tennessee, a motorist crashed into a 450 to 500-pound animal. After the accident, the driver had to call a tow truck due to the extensive damage on the front end of the vehicle.ADVERTISEMENT The animal that caused the crash is one that few encounter with their car... the animal was a BLACK BEAR that weighed up to 500-pounds, according to a TWRA estimate. From nose to tail, the bear was 78-inches long and its...

SHELBYVILLE, TN - A little over 20-miles south of the Murfreesboro City Limits along Highway 231 South, in Shelbyville, Tennessee, a motorist crashed into a 450 to 500-pound animal. After the accident, the driver had to call a tow truck due to the extensive damage on the front end of the vehicle.

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The animal that caused the crash is one that few encounter with their car... the animal was a BLACK BEAR that weighed up to 500-pounds, according to a TWRA estimate. From nose to tail, the bear was 78-inches long and its paws appeared to be about 7 or 8-inches wide.

Tad Craig of Craig & Wheeler Realty & Auction, told WGNS, “...we were all very sad to see him dead, but even more shocked to even see a black bear in Bedford County.” The incident occurred in front of Mr. Craig's home.

Evidently, the bear versus car accident happened on Saturday night about 400-yards from the Shelbyville City Limits. Bedford County Sheriff's deputies worked the accident and the Highway Patrol showed up to assist. According to the homeowner, he was alerted to the wreck when a Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper called him to say a dead bear was in his front yard, which Mr. Craig thought was a joke. After he made his way to the road this past Saturday night (11/11/2023), he quickly realized the Trooper was serious.

After the wrecked car was towed away, something had to be done with the bear. A tractor with a scoop on the front was used to pick the bear up, due to its girth. The deceased animal was then loaded into the bed of a TWRA Game Warden’s truck.

Craig told WGNS News that he has hunted in Alaska and has hiked the Great Smoky Mountains for years and has seen lots of black bears, but this was one of the largest black bears that he has ever seen. Keep in mind that this bear was not in the Smoky Mountains, it was in Bedford County, just 400-yards from the Shelbyville City Limits.

After reviewing past news stories that originated in the area of Shelbyville and Bedford County, this looks to be the very first confirmed black bear sightings in Bedford County, TN.

Click the photo above this article to see more pictures. To see larger photos, click one of our three extended view pictures – Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3.

MTSU flight program going to Shelbyville

With MTSU Aerospace-branded planes flanking the stage on which he would speak, Gov. Bill Lee joined Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee, and other state, local and university officials last Thursday in ushering in a new era for the university’s growing Aerospace Department.With several hundred people — including MTSU students, staff and Diamond and Piper aircraft — attending the special event at Shelbyville Municipal Airport, remarks by Lee and McPhee signaled a new flight plan for one of the...

With MTSU Aerospace-branded planes flanking the stage on which he would speak, Gov. Bill Lee joined Middle Tennessee State University President Sidney A. McPhee, and other state, local and university officials last Thursday in ushering in a new era for the university’s growing Aerospace Department.

With several hundred people — including MTSU students, staff and Diamond and Piper aircraft — attending the special event at Shelbyville Municipal Airport, remarks by Lee and McPhee signaled a new flight plan for one of the top aviation programs in the nation.

“What an important day for the university, Tennessee and Shelbyville and Bedford County,” Lee said. “We’ve been advocating for this, and MTSU and Shelbyville have created an environment for this to work.

“… This is money well spent. … This is one of the leading aviation programs in the nation and we need to invest in it. Southwest (Airlines) put its crew base in Nashville and that is a very big deal. … That’s why Tennessee is the envy of other states.”

The MTSU Aerospace-Shelbyville announcement detailed the program’s need for expansion and an eventual departure from its longtime home at Murfreesboro Airport to a new training campus off Highway 231 in Bedford County.

A combined $62.2 million in state ($57.2 million) and university ($5 million) funding has paved the way for the move to include being in temporary facilities by the end of spring semester 2024 and approximately 10 to 20 aircraft relocating to Shelbyville next spring.

Groundbreaking is set for summer or fall 2024, with eventual relocation to Shelbyville by summer or fall 2026.

The aerospace program plans to eventually have everything currently available at Murfreesboro Airport at its new home. This includes flight operations facilities (dispatch, briefing spaces, office), aircraft, simulators for the professional pilot concentration and fleet maintenance facilities. For the maintenance management concentration, lab spaces and classrooms and all the equipment they will utilize will also move.

McPhee said the university “marks a new beginning of a new age in aviation education, not only in Tennessee but in the United States. MTSU will build on its reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent aviation schools, providing educational opportunities for future pilots, as well as those who seek careers in the vast field of aviation services.

“… As the transportation needs of our state and nation continue to evolve and expand, we are positioning ourselves to better sever the needs of our communities and students.”

Shelbyville Mayor Randy Carroll said that when he took office last December the MTSU Aerospace campus’ proposed move to Shelbyville Airport “was one of the most important decisions,” which led the Shelbyville City Council and staff to record each step of the proposal as well as hold public meetings to receive citizen input.

Carroll said city officials met multiple times with McPhee and MTSU staff to work through the complex lease terms and agreement to solidify a 40-year lease proposal.

The city helped MTSU kick of Thursday’s announcement ceremony with one of its fire trucks stationed on the tarmac shooting a series of water canopies over several MTSU Diamond Aircraft as they taxied just beyond the stage after landings from their brief flights from Murfreesboro as the audience looked on.

Established in 1942, Aerospace is a signature department at MTSU and has 20 full-time faculty members, 100-plus flight instructors, and over 1,000 students as one of the largest of the nation’s collegiate aviation programs.

Related Stories by Main Street Media of Tennessee

MTSU aerospace program set for move to Shelbyville Airport by 2028

Bri McDonald, right, outreach services assistant for the Aerospace Department at Middle Tennessee State University, and MTSU certified flight instructor...

MTSU says use of Shelbyville Airport worth millions

A proposed Middle Tennessee State University aerospace campus at the Shelbyville Municipal Airport would generate tens of millions of dollars...

MTSU puts out welcome mat

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee (left) helps freshman Hunter Rogers (far right) and his father, Joe Kirk, move Hunter’s books,...

Shelbyville Council Votes Unanimously in Favor of Housing Resolution

By Ashley BenkarskiSHELBYVILLE, TN — Shelbyville’s City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution recommended by the city’s Safe and Affordable Housing Committee and organizers with the Bedford County Listening Project (BCLP) seeking accountability from landlords receiving public funds.Back in late August, the BCLP released their report Defending Our Homes: Addressing the Housing Human Rights Crisis in Rural Middle Tennessee and displayed a public art installation documenting the...

By Ashley Benkarski

SHELBYVILLE, TN — Shelbyville’s City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution recommended by the city’s Safe and Affordable Housing Committee and organizers with the Bedford County Listening Project (BCLP) seeking accountability from landlords receiving public funds.

Back in late August, the BCLP released their report Defending Our Homes: Addressing the Housing Human Rights Crisis in Rural Middle Tennessee and displayed a public art installation documenting the experiences of renters in their own words, taped to the backs of folding chairs. Although about 170 Shelbyville renters spoke to the BCLP, only one was willing to be named publicly. Retaliation by landlords against tenants for filing complaints was a common fear in the narratives.

During that event BCLP members were joined by the town’s Mayor, Randy Carroll, City Manager Scott Collins and a few of the Councilmembers to hear the testimonies of their constituents.

“People from out of town see Shelbyville as a good, quick investment opportunity where they can buy something up and flip it. And they’re using other people’s money to do that,” BCLP’s Dr. Tristan Call said. “And that’s going to continue. It’s going to happen this year; it’s going to happen next year. And it’s something that we can’t pretend isn’t happening, and we can’t pretend that it’s not threatening hundreds of households and having worse and worse conditions as it’s happening.”

Call said now that the resolution has passed, it will be sent to the Federal Housing Finance Agency next month.

“Not a lot of local governments weighed in on this, and so I’m excited to hear people did . . .

We certainly hope that they adopt all four of the requests that came today out of Shelbyville, which includes regulation of how much rent can be raised in those properties that are [purchased with] federally backed loans.”

The other three requests are to “require landlords to do repairs and provide liveable conditions specified in a clear, publicly-available lease agreement; ban landlords from retaliating (i.e. through threats, punitive charges, or evictions) against residents who speak with federal regulators, make complaints to local codes departments, or speak publicly about the conditions in their housing complexes; establish a landlord registry including the name and phone number of the owner.”

According to the study’s appendix, there are at least four apartment complexes in Shelbyville bought with federally-backed loans within the last decade.

Call said, “It gave us an opportunity to really tell people and educate and let people know about why things aren’t getting fixed, why rents are going up, and why nobody knows who’s doing it.”

He noted that the BCLP is planning to send a delegation to meet with the FHFA in November. He expects that a number of people from other states will join them.

Call remarked, “We probably are gonna have to put a little bit of pressure on the Biden administration that they actually do their job now, which this is something they can do.”

Though Call admits the resolution was a small step, getting this far has taken a lot of work.

The last time tenant advocates showed up at the town square, police were called on them. Now, he said, the City is on record with its support for renter protections.

“I think that’s validating for people to hear,” Call said. “It also gives you a little bit of hope that after years of work educating people who might not know that they can actually begin to understand others’ experience and maybe even back them up.”

He added “the real test” will be to see what actions the Council takes on local laws.

“This was an indication of their willingness to take the issue seriously and say someone should fix it. Now it’s our job to come back to City Council with things that we are expecting them to actually act on locally.”

City officials have come and gone since that adversarial encounter, and that’s helped. Councilmember Stephanie Isaacs is one of those new faces, and she was elected in part due to her advocacy for tenant rights. Isaacs is a renter herself.

“It lets the city and the county and everybody know that renters matter, people matter, and they deserve to have a good place to live here, they deserve to raise their families in good housing,” she said. “People don’t want extravagant things, but they want heat in their homes. They want food on their table.”

Of course, the issue isn’t constrained to Shelbyville; what’s happening there is happening across the nation. Stories of rising rent, property mismanagement, and unjust evictions by landlords are nothing new. But Bedford County’s residents, and others like them, are creating a movement, making their voices heard and holding their local governments to account.

“Sometimes it does take a process. Sometimes the state is involved, but it just goes beyond a local level. So please keep that in mind,” said Councilmember Marilyn Ewing at the Aug. 26 event. “We all care. We feel the pain. We see all of this. It’s heartbreaking.” Along with Isaacs, Ewing visited Bedford Manor residents who had handrails taken out of 27 stairwells after the company was bought by a Boston-based owner. “It’s heartbreaking with no restroom, bathroom. It’s heartbreaking with holes in the floor, holes in the wall. It’s heartbreaking to see roaches and this, that, and the other.”

Isaacs said that what’s been done in Bedford County can be done anywhere, as long as people organize to make things better. “We have to start caring about our neighbors. That’s how we’re going to make it,” she said.

You can find the BCLP at bedfordcountylp.org.

MTSU officially moves aerospace campus to Shelbyville

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — New heights and a new home are coming for Middle Tennessee State University’s aerospace campus.“Our soon-to-be new aviation campus in the beautiful city of Shelbyville promises to expand our capabilities even further,” said MTSU President Sidney McPhee.After years of planning, Shelbyville’s Municipal Airport will off...

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — New heights and a new home are coming for Middle Tennessee State University’s aerospace campus.

“Our soon-to-be new aviation campus in the beautiful city of Shelbyville promises to expand our capabilities even further,” said MTSU President Sidney McPhee.

After years of planning, Shelbyville’s Municipal Airport will officially house the university’s growing aerospace program.

“It’s massive actually,” said Donald McDonald. “Unforeseen (and) never thought of.”

A move like this is something McDonald never imagined would happen.

“We were a very small outfit back then,” he said. “We had three or four instructors and two airplanes.”

Before the aerospace program existed, the university only had an aviation program that McDonald was a graduate of in 1963.

“We had two trainers,” he said. “Two old, worn out trainers back in those days, and now they have 44 training airplanes.”

After sweeping hangers at the Murfreesboro Airport, Bernard Doubler soon found himself at MTSU.

“I was just coming through the program at just the right time, and accidentally wound up being the first aerospace graduate,” he said.

Both men have had the privilege of watching this program continue to soar over the last several decades.

“I started flying in Piper Cubs and Cessna 150s, and now their graduates are going to be flying 787s and 797s, and maybe even some of them super sonic transport,” said Doubler.

The city of Shelbyville voted to approve the relocation in April of this year.

“I am absolutely excited to finally be here,” said Dr. Chaminda Prelis.

Prelis, who is the chair of the Department of Aerospace, said the move from the Murfreesboro Airport will allow room for more growth, as well as the chance to make this program the best in the country.

“This is just the very first chapter of our work in Shelbyville,” he said.

With a 40-year lease set, McDonald is one of many excited for what’s to come.

“Who would have ever dreamed of that back in 1957 when I was flying?” he said.

Over $60 million in funding, with a majority of that coming from the state, was able to help make this move possible.

The university will have temporary facilities up by the end of the spring semester in 2024, with up to 20 aircraft moved for flight training.

They plan to break ground in the summer or fall of 2024, which plans to be fully moved and running in Shelbyville by the summer or fall of 2026.

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