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published on 04/09/2001

April 2001 Signal Mountain Town Council Meeting

By staff writer

The April Meeting of the Town of Signal Mountain Council met on Monday, April 9th at 7:00 at the Town Hall. All members of the council were present as well as the town recorder, town manager, and town attorney.

Councilmember Steve Ruffin opened the meeting with prayer. After roll call, the minutes of the March 12 regular meeting and March 26 special meeting were approved.

Under Ordinances the second and final reading of the amendments to the Municipal Planning Commission were approved. These changes included providing the election of a vice-chairman to the Commission, making six members of the Commission a quorum, changing a typo in the T.C.A. Code Section, and removing the requirement that the Planning Commission report to the Town Council (which it was not required to do anyway.)

After a brief history of the “20/20 Growth Plan,” Mayor Althaus brought the residents up to date on the situation in the County saying that the ten municipalities plus the county must all agree on the growth plan and after 2 ˝ years of negotiating and planning each municipality has begun to approve the plan.

Approximately an hour before the town meeting, a letter was received from the Town of Walden saying that they had changed their minds again and were not going to approve the already agreed upon boundaries even though both town attorneys and mayors had agreed.

Attorney Phil Noblett was in attendance to present the Resolution to approve the “20/20 Growth Plan.” The Resolution contains three key issues:
1.The urban growth boundaries adopted on March 8 would be the final boundaries.
2.It authorizes the mayor of Signal Mountain to execute a master inter-local agreement on behalf of the Town of Signal Mountain with limited authorization to make some changes if necessary.
3.The Resolution, when approved, will be sent to Nashville to the proper authorities.

After discussion, members of the council agreed that they had in good faith bent over backwards to negotiate with the Town of Walden to settle any disagreements and were not in a position to discuss it in the future. The Resolution was approved. This means that if Walden does not agree and sign the Resolution by July 1st, (called the “drop-dead” deadline) Chattanooga and the other municipalities in the plan will have funds cut off. They are meeting April 10th to make their decision.

During that time when citizens have an opportunity to address the council, one resident asked three questions concerning previous issues at past town council meetings.
1.One concerned the rainwater problems residents on Oak, Kentucky, and Signal Mtn. Blvd resulting from new construction at the Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church. Hershel Dick, town manager said that there is no resolution but that it is being worked on and that the church is concerned and anxious to correct any problems.
2.The second question concerned the land being donated by Alan Derthick and John Witherspoon behind Marr Drive. According to Joe Wagner, town attorney, that did not happen by the first of the year as expected but is almost complete and the land should be the town’s in the near future.
3.The third question concerned the Recreation Board’s concern about maintaining the new park and the prospective meeting with Scott Cook, Signal Mountain Recreation Chairman. Rachel Bryant said that the entire council and recreation board met and came up with some positive suggestions to improve the maintenance and workings of the park. The mayor pointed out that there would be some changes and that things are still being worked out.

Another citizen, a resident of Timberlinks Drive, returned to this month’s meeting to repeat what she said at last month’s meeting that she is unhappy with the way things were handled when Timberlinks was worked on in front of her house.

Lou Oliphant, chairman of the Planning Commission invited members of the council to attend any of the commission meetings.

Dr. Bob Steel reminded everyone to support the town of Signal Mountain Welfare Council instead of the drop-off boxes from out of town like the one on Signal Mtn. Road by the Smoke Shop. He also pointed out that one of the Signal Mountain Police officers has been promoted to lieutenant and now all shifts have a lieutenant.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.

To contact the Town of Signal Mountain .

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