published on 04/10/2002
Town of Signal Mountain Official Minutes of Meeting on March 11, 2002
The Town Council of the Town of Signal Mountain held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 11, 2002, at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. Those present were:
Mayor James H. Althaus, Vice-Mayor Robert E. Steel, Jr., Councilmember Stephen Ruffin, Councilmember William C. Steele, Jr.
Also present were:
Town Manager Hershel Dick, Town Recorder Diana Campbell, Town Attorney Phil Noblett.
The Mayor called the meeting to order and offered the prayer. The Recorder called the roll.
Vice-Mayor Steel made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 11, 2002, regular monthly meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Steele and passed unanimously.
The first resolution for the Council to consider was “A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE, TO SIGN A LANDLORD WAIVER AND ESTOPPEL AGREEMENT AS REQUESTED BY AMSOUTH BANK FOR THE SIGNAL MOUNTAIN GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB.” Mr. Mike St. Charles, representing AmSouth Bank briefly explained the agreement. He explained that the Town would be acknowledging the lease used by the Club as collateral on a loan with AmSouth. He further explained that, if the Club defaulted on the loan, the Town would not have to pay off the loan but instead AmSouth would have the right to “step into the shoes of the Club” and operate the golf course. Vice-Mayor Steel made a motion to approve the resolution. Councilmember Ruffin seconded the motion. Three Councilmembers voted to approve the resolution. Councilmember Steele abstained.
The second resolution before the Council was “A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE, TO SIGN A CONSENT TO THE TRANSFER OF CONTROL AND REORGANIZATION OF COMCAST CORPORATION TO AT&T COMCAST CORPORATION.” There was a brief discussion with the Mayor explaining that Comcast pays a franchise fee to the town each year. He explained this year Comcast paid more than $79,000. Vice-Mayor Steel made a motion to approve the resolution. Councilmember Ruffin seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
The next resolution before the Council was “A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWN RECORDER OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE, TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE TENNESSEE MUNICIPAL BOND FUND CONCERNING POSSIBLE REFINANCING OF EXISTING CAPITAL OUTLAY NOTES AND TO EXECUTE ANY NECESSARY APPLICATION DOCUMENTS FOR POSSIBLE REFINANCING OF SUCH CAPITAL OUTLAY NOTES.” The Mayor explained the refinancing of three notes at the current interest rate would save the Town approximately $127,000. Councilmember Ruffin made a motion to approve the resolution. Vice-Mayor Steel seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
The last resolution before the council was “A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWN MANAGER TO IMPLEMENT A 2002 FEE SCHEDULE FOR SPORTS, RECREATION, LEISURE, AND OTHER TOWN SERVICES FOR NON-RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN.” The Mayor explained that the Town had a study done on the activities in the Town by Anne Marshall with the Parks and Recreational Technical Advisory Service (PARTAS) of the State of Tennessee. One of the things reviewed was the fees charged to non-resident participants. He explained that the study recommended that the Town should make the fees accurate, fair, supportable and consistent. He read a list of the net costs to the households of the Town funded through property tax: Swimming pool $21, Tennis $3, Ballfields $34, Summer Camp Program $3, Gym $9, MACC $32, Library $49, Recycle $17, and Transfer Center $8 for a total of $176. The Mayor recommended these fees be charged to non-residents on a calendar year basis. The Council discussed these fees and heard from several citizens regarding this matter. Councilmember Ruffin made a motion to approve the resolution. Vice-Mayor Steel seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
The next item before the Council was the ordinance “AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING AND ENACTING SUPPLEMENTAL AND REPLACEMENT PAGES FOR THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE” for the second and final reading. Councilmember Steele made a motion to approve the ordinance. Vice-Mayor Steel seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
During the opportunity for citizens and others to address the Council, Mike St. Charles, Chairman of the Curfew Committee addressed the Council. He noted the Committee also consisted of Chris Albright, Lorraine Cash, George Galloway, Greg Hall, Fay Rothberger, Larry Welch, Greg Wright, and Bonnie Hamilton. He presented the Committee’s recommendation that the Town vote against the enactment of the proposed curfew ordinance. Councilmember Steele made a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation. Vice-Mayor Steel seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Next Lara Caughman from the Welfare Council addressed the Council. She gave a presentation informing the Council and citizens of the work her organization had done in the Town. She explained that the Welfare Council was raising money to purchase a house so they could have a bigger operating space. She requested the Council donate $1000 toward the down payment on the house. Councilmember Steele made a motion to approve the request. The Mayor seconded the motion. The request was not approved. Councilmember Steele voted to approve the request. Vice-Mayor Steel and Councilmember Ruffin opposed. The Mayor abstained from voting. The Mayor suggested that they make the request for next year’s budget.
Marian Riggar, representing some citizens in the Olde Town section, addressed the Council. The group she represented wanted to raise money for decorative street lamps for the Historic District. She explained they wanted to give the lamps to the Town and have the Town maintain the lamps. She further explained they wanted to put up decorative street signs and a yield sign. The Mayor explained that the group would need to take their request to the Design Review Commission (DRC) first. In the mean time, the Town could study the potential cost.
Next Lou Oliphant from the Planning Commission noted that the Planning Commission had not met and did not have a report to the Council.
Mr. Noblett then informed the Council of the status of the jurisdiction of the Town Judge in trying State cases. He stated a bill had passed first reading that would take Hamilton County out of the Knoxville law, and permit the Town Judge to hear State cases again.
Mr. Noblett also informed the Council of the State’s requirements that a non-profit organization requesting a donation from the Town must be classified by the IRS as a 501C(3), (4), or (6) and furnish a copy of the letter from the IRS to the Town.
The meeting was adjourned.
Editor's note: (To view a list of others present at the meeting, see the list at the Town Hall.)