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published on 05/18/2002

Town of Signal Mountain Official Minutes of Meeting on April 8, 2002

Town Recorder

The Town Council of the Town of Signal Mountain held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, April 8, 2002, at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. Those present were:
Mayor James H. Althaus
Vice-Mayor Robert E. Steel, Jr.
Councilmember Rachel Bryant
Councilmember Stephen Ruffin
Councilmember William C. Steele, Jr.

Also present were:

Town Manager Hershel Dick
Town Recorder Diana Campbell
Town Attorney Phil Noblett
See list attached for additional people

The Mayor called the meeting to order and offer the prayer. The Recorder called the roll.

Councilmember Ruffin made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 11, 2002, regular monthly meeting. The motion was seconded by Vice-Mayor Steel and passed unanimously.

The first resolution for the Council to consider was “A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWN MANAGER TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE HUMANE EDUCATIONAL SOCIETY FOR ANIMAL CONTROL, IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED TWENTY-THREE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO AND 80/100 ($23,772.80) DOLLARS, AND PAYABLE IN MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED EIGHTY-ONE AND 07/100 ($1981.07) DOLLARS.” During the discussion that followed, it was noted that the Humane Society was the “dog catcher” that patrols in the Town twice a week on a staggered schedule. Vice-Mayor Steel made a motion to approve the resolution. Councilmember Steele seconded the motion and a vote was taken. There were three votes to approve the resolution, Mayor Althaus, Vice-Mayor Steel, and Councilmember Steele. Councilmember Bryant voted no and Councilmember Ruffin abstained.

The second resolution before the Council was “A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWN MANAGER TO NEGOTIATE AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN AND TO CHANGE THE ANNUAL CONTRACT RENEWAL WHICH CURRENTLY RENEWS ON MAY 1 OF EACH YEAR TO A FISCAL YEAR CONTRACT WHICH WOULD RENEW ON JULY 1 OF EACH YEAR.” The Mayor explained that the health insurance plan for the employees of the Town would renew on May 1. The Town Manager had proposed to renew the health plan at May 1 with reduced benefits to the employees and a 3 percent increase in rates, put the insurance out for bid, look into the State insurance plan, and change the renewal to July 1 to be in line with the fiscal year. Vice-Mayor Steel made a motion to approve the resolution. Councilmember Steele seconded the motion. A discussion followed regarding the amount of the coverage paid by the Town for the employees. The Town Manager offered to poll other cities in the area to see what other cities were doing. A vote was taken on the resolution with three votes in favor, Mayor Althaus, Vice-Mayor Steel, and Councilmember Steele. The votes opposed were Councilmember Bryant and Councilmember Ruffin.

During the opportunity for citizens to address the Council, Kim Griffin and the swim team coaches presented a trophy to the Town for the Signal Mountain Swim Team.

Next John Clark, representing Mountain Recreation addressed the Council and gave an update on the Shackleford Ridge Park. He requested that the Town consider funds for the Shackleford Ridge Park in the next budget. The Mayor stated the Council would take this under advisement in the budget year that begins July 1. During the discussion, it was noted that the Town of Walden paid $3,000, the County paid $5,000, and the Town of Signal Mountain paid $10,000 toward the maintenance of Shackleford Ridge Park. Councilmember Bryant requested that Mr. Clark find out what the County and Town of Walden’s commitment will be and get back to the Council.

Next Lou Oliphant gave a report on the Planning Commission. She stated that the Planning Commission had met and reviewed the Zoning Ordinance. She further stated they would be making a recommendation on changes to the Zoning Ordinance.

During the time for motions, reports and discussion items, Ken Gross and Glen Showalter, representing the Mountain Arts Community Center Board addressed the Council and requested two items. They explained that MACC operated similar to a school year and they would like to request the Town prorate the first year of the non-resident fee or let MACC go on a school year or fiscal year basis. Secondly, they stated it would be easier for them if the non-resident fee could be collected at MACC rather than participants having to come to the Town Hall. The Mayor explained that countless hours had been spent on this subject, and he appreciated the cooperation of the Board but the answer would be no on both requests. He further explained that everyone else was required to abide by the decisions and procedures and the Town must be consistent.

Councilmember Ruffin stated that the non-resident fee was one of the most positive things the Council had done. He expressed regret that the Signal Mountain Post had run a negative headline regarding the subject although he felt their article had not been bad. He further commended the article by Bob Anderson in the Signal Mountain Mirror.

The Mayor informed the citizens there was a proposed meeting on May 21 at the Mountain Arts Community Center by the Federal Energy Regulatory Center regarding the proposed gas pipeline.

The meeting was adjourned.

Editor's note: (To view a list of others present at the meeting, see the list at the Town Hall.)
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