published on 06/11/2003
Official Minutes of the May 12, 2003 SM Town Council Meeting
The Town Council of the Town of Signal Mountain held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, May 12, 2003, at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall. Those present were:
Mayor James H. Althaus, Vice-Mayor William O. Leonard, Councilmember Rachel Bryant, Councilmember Robert E. White, II.
Also present were: Town Manager Hershel Dick, Town Recorder Diana Campbell, Town Attorney Phil Noblett.
See attached list for others present. (Editor's note: complete list is at Town Hall.)
Mayor Althaus called the meeting to order and offered the prayer.
Vice-Mayor Leonard moved that the minutes of the April 14, 2003, regular meeting be approved. The motion was seconded by Councilmember White and passed unanimously.
The first resolution to be considered by the Council was “A RESOLUTION APPOINTING MEMBERS TO THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN’S LIBRARY BOARD”. Phil Noblett explained the resolution. Those members to be reappointed were Jean Brye for a 3-year term expiring December 31, 2005; and Pat Vincent for a 3-year term expiring December 31, 2005. Laura Pierce was to be appointed for term expiring December 31, 2003. After a discussion, Councilmember Bryant moved that the resolution be approved. The motion was seconded by Mayor Althaus and passed unanimously.
The second resolution to be considered by the council was “A RESOLUTION APPOINTING HALE HAMILTON, DAN SAIEED, JR., JEAN BULLARD, LOU OLIPHANT, LAMAR RANKIN, DICK DILLENDER, WELLS BLAKE, AND BRENDAN OLIN AS THE APPOINTED MEMBERS TO THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE, PLANNING COMMISSION”. Phil Noblett explained the resolution. Hale Hamilton was to be reappointed for a 2-year term expiring on January 31, 2005; Dan Saieed for a 2-year term expiring on January 31, 2005; Jean Bullard for a 3-year term expiring on January 31, 2006; Lou Oliphant for a 3-year term expiring on January 31, 2006; Lamar Rankin for a 1-year term expiring on January 31, 2004; Dick Dillender for a 2-year term expiring on January 31, 2005; Wells Blake for a 1-year term expiring on January 31, 2004; and Brendan Olin for a 1-year term expiring on January 31, 2004. After a discussion, Mayor Althaus moved that the resolution be approved. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Bryant and passed unanimously.
The third resolution to be considered by the Council was “A RESOLUTION APPOINTING MEMBERS TO THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN’S RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD”. Those members to be reappointed were Don Close for a 1-year term expiring on January 31, 2004; Gene Ezell for a 1-year term expiring January 31, 2004; Debra Blake for a 3-year term expiring January 31, 2006; and Gayle Gamble for a 2-year term expiring January 31, 2005. Jason Farmer was to be appointed for a 3-year term expiring January 31, 2006. After a discussion, Councilmember Bryant moved that the resolution be approved. The motion was seconded by Councilmember White and passed unanimously.
The next resolution to be considered by the Council was “A RESOLUTION APPOINTING JUDY EKISS TO THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS FOR THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE”. Phil Noblett discussed the resolution noting that the appointment would be for a term to expire on December 31, 2005. Councilmember Bryant moved that the resolution be approved. The motion was seconded by Councilmember White and passed unanimously.
The last resolution to be considered by the Council was “A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TOWN MANAGER TO AWARD A CONTRACT TO OLD DOMINION BRUSH IN AN AMOUNT OF THIRTEEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE AND 00/100 ($13,645.00) DOLLARS AS THE LOWEST AND BEST BID FOR THE PURCHASE OR ONE (1) LEAF MACHINE FOR THE TOWN”. Hershel Dick explained that the bids for the leaf machine were opened May 8, 2003. He stated that there were three bids—Old Dominion Brush with the lowest bid of $13,645, H. H. Hooper Machinery Co. and CMI Equipment Sales, Inc. with the highest bid of $16,957.50. After a discussion, Councilmember White moved that the resolution be approved. Vice-Mayor Leonard seconded the motion and the passed unanimously.
Pris Shartle spoke about the potholes on James Boulevard. She requested that these holes be repaired. The Town Manager said he would check into this request.
Lou Oliphant asked what was wrong with the traffic light. The Mayor explained that the Town could not fix this in-house, but had hired someone to fix it. Ms. Oliphant also asked about the guardrails on Mississippi Avenue. Hershel Dick advised her they would be finished by summer.
Paul Nolan thanked the Council for the potholes that have been repaired on James Boulevard. He expressed his concern about walkers, bikers, etc. not walking facing traffic. He was afraid someone would be hurt. Pris Shartle said she talked with Public Safety Director last year and that there was no law requiring people to walk against the traffic. The Mayor said maybe the press would print something in the newspaper concerning this concern.
Joe Dumas asked about the status of the sidewalk to be built on James Boulevard. Hershel Dick explained the status and that the Town would have to go back to the State and the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization). He explained the work should be completed in the fall. Vice-Mayor Leonard stated that utility poles, fire hydrants, etc would have to be moved.
Lou Oliphant reported the Planning Commission had gotten in another hour of training.
Scott Cook, Recreation Director, along with Ron Eytchison, Debra Blake, Phil Johnson, and Milou Young were present to give the recommendations from the Playground Committee. The first suggestion was that the Town would be wise to demolish the old pool (not the bathhouse) that had been in existence since the 1930’s. Mayor Althaus said the pool was constructed with WPA money. He asked Phil Noblett if this could be done since it was done with WPA money. Mr. Noblett indicated it could be done unless there was some deed restriction. He said he would research the question.
Scott said the Committee wanted to keep the bathhouse and upgrade it. Phil Johnson explained some of the recommendations. He said the old pavilion needed some updating. The small pavilion he noted was fairly new and in good condition. He said the barbeque pit was in bad condition and needed attention. The Committee also suggested a walkway be constructed in the park to be used to push strollers, etc. and the playground be divided into two areas for different age groups of children. These things could be done in-house.
The Committee recommended the parking area be extended to the present location of the basketball court adding about 15-20 angular parking spaces.
They noted tennis courts had been there a long time and had been resurfaced. Their suggestion was to retain those tennis courts. They explained the upper two courts were in worse condition than the lower two and could not be overlain. They recommend two new courts and new fencing and those could be multi-purpose. They noted the lower two could be overlain and they had good lighting and fencing.
The Mayor asked what would be put in place of the old pool. Ms. Blake said it would be a grassy slope. Councilmember Bryant suggested some type of waterfall that the children could run through.
There was a discussion from the citizens present regarding the use of the tennis courts, the possibility of the bathrooms being vandalized, etc. Councilmember White suggested an education program for the children in the community. Mayor Althaus suggested the ballfields be policed by the teams to clean up the garbage after the games. Hershel Dick reported that garbage would be picked up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Councilmember Bryant mentioned the signs coming up the mountain about having pride in our community. She suggested this could be stressed to our children in the schools.
Suggestions about the use of the playground were discussed. Some of the suggestions were batting cages, pitcher’s practice mound, and new bleachers. Mr. Johnson explained that they Committee left the tennis courts in to divide the play area from the ballfield. Mayor Althaus asked if the items were prioritized. Mr. Johnson said the first thing that needed to be repaired was the barbeque pit. These items were not in the budget for this year.
Mayor Althaus said the Country Club had approached the Town asking for part of the playground area or a joint venture, but he stated the Town had limited areas available and doesn’t need to get rid of any area. He also suggested that the bathhouse at the old pool be kept and used as restrooms for those playing on the old playground.
Councilmember White said he was amazed at how many people the Town had on committees and how much work they get done. He said Nolan School was supporting the gym at Thrasher School.
Vice-Mayor Leonard and Councilmember Bryant said they had received calls about there being a 1928 deed with restrictions on the Tabb property. Mr. Noblett said he would look into the situation.
Vice-Mayor Leonard reported that he had attended the MTAS Elected Officials School. He said it was an excellent educational experience. He said he was impressed with the Town as compared to struggles other towns were having.
Mayor Althaus said the Town should take great pride in what had happened in the Town within the last three years under the direction of Hershel Dick and Diana Campbell. He announced there will be a budget meeting on Saturday, May 17. Other Town business would be conducted. There would also be budget meetings on Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24, with the Council and Department Heads. The first reading of the budget ordinance would be on June 9 and the second reading on June 23.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned until May 17, 2003.