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published on 12/14/2004

New Speed Limits, New Stop Signs

By staff writer

The Town of Signal Mountain Town Council met twice since last reported; the first on the 13th of November at a special called meeting and second at its regularly scheduled meeting on December 13th.

According to the Minutes from the special called meeting, the Councilmembers met with the town attorney, Phil Noblett, the town manager, Hershel Dick and town recorder Diana Campbell for an in-depth study of the Town Charter. While at the special called meeting other items were discussed such as a new drawing of the Town Seal by Glenn Showalter and the speeding problems on Hampton Road and Taft Highway. Councilmember Linehart brought up several subjects including improving relations with the Town of Walden, the condition of the state highway up and down the front of the mountain, and the Adopt-a-Highway program. All these issues were discussed at length and will be addressed according to the minutes, which were approved as corrected. One item of formal business taken care of at the special meeting was the approval on the first reading of an ordinance to amend a 1987 ordinance known as the “The Signal Mountain Air Pollution Control Ordinance.” This ordinance modifies the open burning regulations and provides regulations of gasoline dispensing facilities within the Town of Signal Mountain.

Mayor Bill Leonard opened the regularly scheduled meeting on December 13 welcoming everyone in the audience, which included residents, guests, students from Red Bank High School, and Boy Scouts from Troop 60 who led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. In addition to the town manager, town attorney, and town recorder, all Councilmembers were present.

There were twelve resolutions passed at this meeting. The first one awards a contract with Traylor Group, Inc. to allow them to purchase recycled cardboard from the Town of Signal Mountain. Doing so will save the Town wear and tear on hauling the cardboard off the mountain. The next three resolutions authorized a change in signature at two local banks and the TN State Investment Pool, for the new Council.

The fourth resolution authorized the mayor to sign a landlord waiver and estoppel agreement as requested by the bank for the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club (SMGC). This must be signed annually and did not change in any way the lease which is up in 2026 between the Town and SMGC.

The last seven resolutions were appointments to various commissions and boards. The Planning Commission had three member’s terms expire this year and each of them were reappointed for three more years: Dan Saieed, Hale Hamilton, and Dick Dillender. The Design Review Commission renewed for three more years, Don Moon and John D. Curry, and for one more year, George Kangles. The Park Board reappointed Sam Powell for an additional five more years. The Library Board reappointed Art Dickerson for three more years and appointed newcomers to the Board Robin Gaylor and George Rea, both for three-year terms. The Mountain Arts Community Center Board appointed newcomers Norma Witherspoon, Tony St. Charles, and Eric Schubert (formally on the Friends of MACC) to three-year terms. The Board of Zoning appeals reappointed Steve Bullard to a three-year term. And finally the Recreation Advisory Board appointed two newcomers, Terry McElveen and Dell Francescon to three-year terms.

Two ordinances were presented for approval. The first was one relative to speed limits within the Town of Signal Mountain including reducing the speed limit on Taft Highway from Ault Road to Elberfield Road from 40 MPH to 30 MPH. All unmarked roads remain 25 MPH. James Boulevard, Timberlinks Drive, Shoal Creek Road, and Shackleford Ridge Road are still posted 30 MPH. All school zones remain 15 MPH during certain times. This ordinance passed on the first reading. A second reading of the “Signal Mountain Air Pollution” ordinance passed.

Mr. Ollie Benton, Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club rep to the Town Council, addressed the Town Council requesting approval of a variance in the site plan presented a couple of months ago to the Town Council as well as formal approval of the renovations including the swimming pool at the Club. The Club needs a few more feet to build the pool which crosses over to Town property and the town manager was willing to trade it for land near the ballpark. Town attorney Phil Noblett advised the Town Council to not make the agreement until a formal resolution including a survey (which the Club has offered to do at their expense) of the property and details of the agreement are in place. However, the Town Council did agree in principal to allow the Club to go forward in their plans pending approval of a formal resolution to come before the Council at a future date yet undetermined.

Mr. Boyd Levett addressed the Council with concerns over the road that was once a trail down to Rainbow Lake. His two concerns were why residents were not informed about the change and when something like this is going to happen, residents should have some input into the change. Mayor Leonard responded noting that there had been much discussion and in fact Sam Powell had been at the Town Council Meeting several months ago to respond to concerns and then took interested residents down the trail explaining that what we see now is a work in progress. He also noted that the Town does not have to go the Design and Review Board for approval when it makes changes. The Planning Commission approved the road. Mr. Levett’s concern was one addressed at the previous meeting that anytime the Town is going to do something like this not only should the word get out far in advance but also interested and concerned residents be a party to the decisions that are made. He said Mr. Powell should have presented what he was planning to do to the public before doing it. (This was also stated at the previous Town Council meeting by members of the Town Council, saying they would have liked to have seen the plans in advance.)

Boy Scout, Jonathon Moss, addressed the Council next with the same concerns as Mr. Levett asking why the trail was made into a road to which Mayor Leonard responded. He then wanted to know what was going to happen to the Signal Mountain Country Club in 2026 since his father is a member. Members of the council responded to Jonathon’s concerns.

The town manager reported on the Planning Commission which met December 2nd. Councilmember White reviewed the Mountain Vision noting that many of the strategies and tactics have been accomplished and some are a work in progress. Councilmember Linehart offered to follow-up on a five-year long-range plan for recreation and parks. According to Mr. White, each of the goals will remain a focus for the Town Council and be accomplished through the work of the Boards, Commissions, and Committees within the Town.

Councilmember White suggested the Town secure the help of Dan Saieed in acquiring grants to support the many projects in the Town. Mayor Leonard responded by apologizing to Mr. White in not telling him that not only had he asked Mr. Saieed to do this but also asked him to come before the Town Council with some plans to develop grants. Mr. White suggested a position be made or someone appointed to be the “keeper” of the grants. He also praised the employees of the Town of Signal Mountain and apologized for missing the upcoming Christmas party, as he and his family will be out of town. Councilmember Ruffin added that he too would be out of town with him family over the holidays and apologized for missing the Town Christmas party. Councilmember Paturlaski thanked Mayor Leonard for asking her serve with him on the Planning Commission and praised Stan Crewe and Glenn Showalter for the Santa Claus Train. She also thanked Dr. Richard Cassavant for his support to the Town of Signal Mountain as he serves as County Commissioner. Attorney Phil Noblett pointed out the new stop signs on Hampton Road at the entrance to Brow Estates.

The meeting ended around 8:30 PM after Mayor Leonard thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
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