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published on 01/14/2004

Signal Mountain Town Council Meeting

By staff writer

Six Resolutions presented at the January 12th meeting of the Signal Mountain Town Council were the main focus of the meeting. Mayor Jim Althaus called the meeting to order. Present at the meeting were town manager Hershel Dick, town attorney Phil Noblett, and town recorder Diana Campbell. Also present were Vice-mayor and Councilmember Bill Leonard and Councilmembers Robert White and Steve Ruffin who offered prayer before the meeting began. Councilmember Rachel Bryant was absent.

The first three resolutions pertained to the appointments to boards and commissions. Resolution A reappointed Lamar Rankin and Wells Blake to three-year terms and Brendan Olin to a two-year term to the Planning Commission. Resolution B extended the term of members Bill Wilkerson and Warren Dropkin to the Design Review Commission from January 1, 2004 until completion of two pending projects that are currently before the Planning Commission. According to Mayor Althaus, both men agreed to stay on until the CVS property issue and the issues concerning the additions to Alexian Village are settled. Resolution C reappointed Don Close and Gene Ezell to the Recreation Advisory Board. When asked what the responsibility of this board is, Mr. Leonard gave an over-view of it’s responsibilities toward all recreation within the Town, including determining recreational objectives and needs and establishing goals and policies to fulfill the objectives and needs. Mayor Althaus added that it also is a valuable asset to the part-time Recreation Director by assisting him by making recommendations to the town manager and Town Council. All three of these resolutions passed unanimously.

As of July 1, 2003, no municipality is authorized to operate a Fire Department within the State of Tennessee unless it has been duly recognized to do so by the Department of Commerce and Insurance and State Fire Marshal’s Office. A Certificate of Recognition is required and must be filed and will remain valid for three years following the date of issuance. Because the Town of Signal Mountain had not done this, Chief Eddings requested the Town of Signal Mountain authorize him to begin the process of certification. Once certified, Chief Eddings will be designated by the Town of Signal Mountain as its Assistant to the Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance. The Town Council voted to pass Resolution D authorizing Chief Eddings to begin the process.

Resolution E authorizes the town manager to buy a new police car for the Town of Signal Mountain. Already budgeted, there was little discussion and it was approved. The final resolution, also approved, authorized the town manager to enter into a contract with Oliver Benton for 2.5 acres of land on Shackelford Ridge Road for the future sight of a Fire Sub-station. According to the town recorder, there is $400,000 in the current budget for the sub-station. The cost of the land is $45,000. Councilmembers discussed the time-line for building the station noting that the projected date of annexation for Fox Run and Windtree is not until 2006, but Vice-mayor Leonard noted that once residents in these areas know the sub-station is planned they may want service sooner and therefore request annexation earlier than 2006.

Secretary of the Planning Commission, Lou Oliphant presented the minutes of the last meeting, January 8th. In that report, she noted that all the current officers were re-elected. There was much discussion at this meeting about the zoning issues as pertained to annexation, development of Shackleford Ridge Road and if a high school is built, the Waste Water Treatment Authority will put in sewers. It was decided at the meeting that Mr. Noblett with the assistance of Mr. Olin and Mr. Shults the Zoning Ordinances will be reviewed and presented to the Planning Commission for their approval of any changes.

Under motions and reports, Mayor Althaus presented his views concerning the plans of the city of Chattanooga to build an animal shelter at Portland Park situated at the “bottom” of the mountain.

The town manager was asked what the status of the sidewalks on James Boulevard were and he said there was a hold-up with acquiring the easements and costs came in $30,000 higher than expected. Vice-mayor Leonard asked if the completion date in spring 2004 was still good and Mr. Dick said yes.

There were thirteen people in the audience. The members of the Town Council met after the meeting adjourned for a closed attorney/client meeting.
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