Monday April 2nd, 2007 home > community > government > council notes
Signal Mountain Community Information and Events Signal Mountain Town Web Site
Site Map
Contact Us
Sponsored Links
Bluff Creek at Fox Run
Mountain City Realtors
The Grapevine
Push Hard Lumber
Town of Signal Mountain
Official town council meeting minutes
Town council meeting notes
Signal Mountain Town Budget
Signal Mountain Public Library
Signal Mountain Recycling Center
Signal Mountain Post Office
Signal Mountain Emergency Services
Signal Mountain Utility Services
History of Signal Mountain
Just for Kids
Community Interests
Signal Mountain Newcomers
Signal Mountain Historic District
Signal Mountain Recreation & Sports
The Signal Mountain Baptist Church
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Signal Mountain Bible
Signal Mountain Church of Christ
Signal Mountain Presbyterian
St. Timothy's Episcopal
Wayside Presbyterian
Signal Crest United Methodist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
signal mountain

this will open the article in a new window that is printer friendly. printer-friendly version
published on 06/11/2002

June Town Council Meeting

By staff writer

Signal Mountain Town Hall
Breaking news!! Two candidates running for Town Council attend meeting and announce whom the other candidates are.

The Town Council met at 7:00 PM, Monday, June 10 for the regularly scheduled meeting. Mayor Jim Althaus called the meeting to order and then opened with prayer. Also present were Councilmembers: Rachel Bryant, Steve Ruffin, Billy Steele, and Bob Steel. Town Manager Hershel Dick, Town Attorney Phil Noblett, and Town Recorder Diana Campbell also responded to roll call.

The minutes of the two previous meetings, one the regular meeting on May 13th and the other a called meeting held May 25th to discuss the 2 Budget were approved.

Mayor Althaus temporarily closed the regular meeting to call a Public Hearing to discuss the 2 Budget. He informed the people in the audience that it was a balanced budget based on the assumption that monies from the State of Tennessee will again be received. There were no questions from the audience. Residents were encouraged to come to the next called meeting on June 17th with any questions. Mayor Althaus closed the Public Hearing and reconvened the regularly scheduled meeting.

There were five Resolutions presented tonight for approval:

A. Resolution amending Resolution No. 2002-14 and providing for a Six (6) Year term for members of the Health, Educational, and Housing Facility Board. For details on this board, click here. The purpose of the amendment was to change the number of years to serve on this board from five to six.
B.Resolution authorizing Town Manager to provide additional payment to Wayne Caughman, Architect, for professional services in the construction phase of renovations to the Signal Mountain Town Hall. Renovations to the Town Hall were previously approved. A $1,000 increase in fees was due Mr. Caughman and approval of this resolution allows Hershel Dick to pay the fees.
C.Resolution authorizing Town Manager to enter into a contract with Advance Tank and Construction Company for the replacement of the Suck Creek Road water receiving tank. Replacement of the tank was approved at a previous meeting. Advance Tank came in with the lowest bid of $197,000 and approval of this resolution allows the Town Manager to pay for the replacement.
D.Resolution authorizing the award of a contract to Highways, Inc. for the repaving of various Town streets. The Town of Signal Mountain has committed to replacing and/or repairing 3 miles of Town roads a year. After reviewing several bids, Highways, Inc. came in with the lowest at $129,000. Town Manager, Hershel Dick has a list of which roads will be repaired. Councilmember Billy Steele asked how it was determined a road needed to be repaired and Hershel Dick responded by saying a hole is driven into the road similar to what the state is currently doing on the way up the mountain, and the quality and stability of the earth under the road determines the necessity of repaving or not.
E.Resolution authorizing the award of a contract for milling asphalt pavement on Woodclift Circle to Mayse Construction Company. This resolution will allow the Town Manager to give Mayse Construction $13,000 to repair Woodcllift Circle, one of the designated streets on the list to be repaired but needed more than repaving.

All these RESOLUTIONS were approved by unanimous vote.

Two ordinances were presented for approval:
A.Ordinance Adopting Amendment to FY 2 Budget Ordinance. Because the Town of Signal Mountain was able to refinance some of it’s loans, the interest payments and proceeds from the refinancing had to reflected in the budget. Councilmember Rachel Bryant pointed out that the money coming in is the same as the money going out and that this Resolution is really an “accounting ” issue to keep the books correct. Town Recorder Diana Campbell agreed.
B.Ordinance Adopting FY 2 Budget and fixing tax rate on Town property and the time taxes are due and providing for interest and penalties on delinquent taxes and privileges. This ordinance provides for the approval of the 2 Budget. Mayor Althaus pointed out once again that the Budget is a balanced one and that no reserved funds (which are currently around 2 million) are being used.

Both of these ordinances passed on the first reading. A second reading will be held June 17th at the Town Hall at 7:00 PM. Councilmember Billy Steele asked that residents remember to come to the meeting with written questions and be prepared to have a good discussion on the matter of the Budget. Copies of the proposed budget are available at the Town Hall.

During citizens opportunity to address the Council, resident John Houstrup brought to the Council’s attention his research and point of view of the recent meeting at MACC with the representatives of FERC concerning Duke Energy’s decision to enlarge the current pipeline and build a compressor on Kell Road in Sequatchie County. Mr. Houstrup’s background includes some forty (40) years in the Nuclear Components Dept. at Combustion Engineering. Although his background is nuclear and not gas pipelines, he is trained in failure prevention, setting acceptable standards, and evaluation of failure modes. He reviewed data in the Code of Federal Regulation, which he got from the Department of Transportation. He was able to get a copy of the Environmental Statement concerning incidents over the past eleven to sixteen years. As far as Mr. Houstrup is concerned, the agency is more concerned about environmental issues than safety issues. According to Mr. Houstrup, “It is my considered opinion that, in spite of the safety history of pipelines, it would be very difficult to improve the safety requirements currently incorporated in the Federal and State rules, and impossible in the time frame of this project.” Mayor Althaus thanked Mr. Houstrup and encouraged him to contact Leo Brown and Representative Zach Wamp’s office with the information he has obtained including his opinions of the issue.

Lou Oliphant, Secretary of the Planning Commission presented the Council her report of the Commission’s last meeting. She announced the next scheduled meeting is July 4th, therefore suggested it be moved to July 3rd if needs require them to meet.

Under new business, Councilmembers spoke. Councilmember Steve Ruffin expressed concern over the destruction of a viable dogwood tree at a residence on James Boulevard. Town Manager, Hershel Dick, said that trees planted on the Town’s right-of-way can not be removed without the Town’s permission. Mr. Ruffin asked him to look into this incident and also make the public aware of the situation.

Councilmember Billy Steele reported that a citizen had made a complaint to him that the Town’s garbage men were seen playing toss-up with resident’s garbage cans, which both he and the resident felt were a waste of taxpayer’s time. Hershel Dick offered to look into it. Then Mr. Steele complimented Mr. Dick and the other Town employees but most of all praised Mayor Althaus for his dedication to his job.

Councilmember Bob Steel warned residents to not buy anything from someone who comes to your door to sell you something, to in fact call the Signal Mountain Police as some ladies in one part of town did. He also complained of the growth along the “cliff” section coming down the mountain obscuring the view of the gorge and asked if anyone knew how the Town could get it removed so people traveling down the mountain can see the beauty of the gorge. He also reminded citizens, once again, to not donate clothing to the American Family boxes but to give to the Signal Mountain Welfare Council.

Mayor Althaus reported that the maintenance fees implemented this year are working well on all recreation programs. At one time the Town received many complaints and are now receiving many compliments on the upkeep of the fields being used by the recreation department. He thanked Scott Cook and Hershel Dick for making this happen. He also complimented the Town for the decision to change the non-resident fee program as it too has received many compliments not only on the charges but the collection as been successful this year compared to past years.

Town Attorney, Phil Noblett, pointed out that the cost of the Town’s liability insurance has increased. This is because the state raised the limits people can sue. It wasn’t clear at the time if this increase is included in the 2 Budget or not.

Before the meeting closed (and the Councilmembers met privately to discuss the Tabb Property law suit) a member of the audience asked who the person was doing the “Steve Ruffin” (waving to residents coming up and down the mountain – campaigning for Town Council). That person was Bo Patten who stood up and introduced himself. Joe Dumas then stood up and pointed out that he too has registered to run for Town Council. Then Bo Patten called out the names of the other people who have registered so far and they are Jason Farmer, Robert White, and Bill Leonard, III. Mayor Althaus then announced that Councilmember Bob Steel will run again and that he has also decided to run again. (Ed. Note: This contrary to what the Mayor has been saying all year, which is, he is “through, out of here, gone”).

The deadline to register to run is August 1, 2002.

Councilmembers Rachel Bryant and Steve Ruffin do not have to run again and Councilmember Billy Steele announced a long time ago that he would not be running again. Councilmember Bob Steel got less votes than Ruffin or Bryant in the last election, and therefore is required to run again.

The meeting closed around 8:15 PM.

Editor’s note: The Town of Signal Mountain sends me the agenda of each meeting. Sometimes it is not sent until the day of the meeting, however, I will post it on the sight as soon as I get it so that you can be informed as to what to expect at the Town Council Meeting. PNS

To contact the Town of Signal Mountain .
Valid XHTML 1.0!