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published on 01/26/2004

Official Town Council Minutes - August 2003

Town Recorder

The Town Council of the Town of Signal Mountain held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, August 11, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. Those present were:

Mayor James H. Althaus
Vice-Mayor William O. Leonard
Councilmember Steve Ruffin
Councilmember Robert E. White, II

Also present were:

Town Manager Hershel Dick
Town Attorney Phil Noblett
See list of others attending attached to minutes

Mayor Althaus called the meeting to order and Councilmember Ruffin offered the prayer.

Councilmember Ruffin moved that the minutes of the July 11, 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 AUTHORIZING THE TOWN MANAGER TO RENEW A CONTRACT TO KANSAS CITY LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY FOR DENTAL INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN EMPLOYEES EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2003, THROUGH JUNE 30, 2004, BASED UPON THEIR LOW BID IN THE AMOUNT OF TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-NINE AND 64/100 DOLLARS ($2,369.64) PER MONTH". Councilmember Ruffin moved that the resolution be approved. The motion was seconded by Vice-Mayor Leonard and passed unanimously.

The second resolution to be considered by the Council was “A RESOLUTION APPOINTING JEFFREY DUNCAN TO THE PARKS BOARD FOR THE TOWN OF SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, TENNESSEE”. Vice-Mayor Leonard moved that the resolution be approved; the motion was seconded by Councilmember Ruffin and passed unanimously. Vice-Mayor Leonard suggested that the Council have a opportunity to interview nominees for the Boards, Commissions, and Committees.

Sam Powell publicly thanked Nancy Goss for her many years of service on the Parks Board. The Town will write her a letter of appreciation.

Jo Kellum was present to voice her concerns regarding the expansion of the Rainbow Lake parking area. Bill Sonnenburg gave an update on the meeting that was held with the property owners. They had agreed on 11 parking spaces, one to be for the handicapped, and the parking area to be 150 feet. The proposal was reviewed by the Planning Commission at their meeting on August 7, 2003, they approved the proposal subject to review by the Design Review Commission. The Town received a grant of $40,000 from the State to improve the wilderness areas of Green Gorge and Rainbow Lake. The Town has to match that with $10,000. The Planning Commission voted for the Town to move the $10,000 to the 5-Year Capital Outlay Budget.

Councilmember Bryant arrived at the meeting at this point

David Gardner expressed his concern about the additional parking spaces at Rainbow Lake attracting strangers into the neighborhood. He also had a concern regarding the use of the Sewer Fund and that no refund had been made to the customers. Mayor Althaus read the attached memorandum from Town Recorder Diana Campbell regarding the Sewer Fund. Messrs. Gardner and Shartle wanted to know how much money was in the Sewer Fund before the rates were raised Messrs. John Houstrup and Art Dickerson thanked the Town for the way it had handled the sewers. Councilmember White said it would be good for the Town to use the money for projects that would benefit the whole Town.

Lou Olipbant reported from the Planning Commission that it recommended that the Town place $10,000 in the 5-Year Capital Outlay Budget to match the $40,000 grant received from the State for improvement to the wilderness areas at Green Gorge and Rainbow Lake. The Planning Commission voted to approve the property owners’ plans for the parking area at Rainbow Lake to be 150 feet, subject to approval by the Design Review Commission. She also stated that the Planning Commission needed two more hours of training and would probably do the training in October and invite the members of the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Councilmember White and Leigh Ann Williamson gave an update on the Thrasher gym project. They have had $290,000 in pledges and had $230,000 cash in the bank. The gym is estimated to cost about $400,000. The County bad contributed $40,000 toward the gym. The Mayor thanked the committee for their work on the project. Ms. Williamson reported the County had received engineering bids and was ready to put out bids for contractors. The County would actually build the gym and the Thrasher PTA would pay the bills. The Town Attorney bad been asked by the County Attorney Rubin Taylor to draw up an interlocal agreement which would go before the Hamilton County Commission for a vote. She reported that the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club had planned a scramble golf tournament and all the proceeds would go to the Thrasher gym. The tournament would be an annual affair with the proceeds going to some Town organization that would benefit the most people on the mountain.

Town Attorney Noblett said he had been looking into ways the Town could contribute to the County’s building. He had sent drafts of proposals to Rubin Taylor. Councilmember White reported that the gym would be used by the Town for its basketball leagues. The County hoped to break ground in the fall. Councilmember White thanked the Town Attorney for his work on the project.

Councilmember White read a letter from John Glass thanking the Police Officers for their interaction with children. He also volunteered to head up a group of citizens to come up with a strategic plan for the Town to decide values and goals and how to achieve the goals, and to come back to the Council with a plan.

Councilmember Bryant asked if the Town was going to build sidewalks on Couther Way. Hershel Dick explained that there were plans to widen the road and work on the drainage. but not to build a sidewalk. There was a grant for building sidewalks on James Boulevard which the Mayor had signed and sent back to the State. The Town has been waiting on the State’s signature on the contract. Councilmember Bryant volunteered to work with Scott Cook and the Playground Committee to get a plan and start work. Jock Dunbar, Coughlin Cooper, and Brandi Buntain, members of the Playground Committee, were present to discuss ideas and steps to take in planning renovation work on the playground.

Councilmember Ruffin advised the citizens that the Town had no secrets and was not hiding anything. He encouraged citizens to attend Council meetings, and if they could. they could get the minutes at the Town Hall or on the website.

Mayor Althaus asked the Town Attorney to draft an amendment to the Towns ordinance regarding garage sales. yard sales, etc requiring citizens to come to the Town Hall to register to have a sale There would be no fee to register. According to the ordinances, citizens are allowed to have a garage sale four days in one year.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned

Minutes were taken by Jane Wilson on August 11. 2003, and approved as to form by the Town Recorder on September 2, 2003.
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