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published on 04/12/2005

Keep Our Ball Parks Clean

By staff writer

You can be assured that the Town of Signal Mountain Councilmembers are committed and busy at doing the “work” of the Town. Mayor Bill Leonard opened the most recent meeting, April 11, 2005, by welcoming everyone and leading all in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and opening prayer. Also at this month’s meeting were Councilmembers Robert White and Lizetta Paturalski; Vice-mayor Steve Ruffin, town attorney Phil Noblett, town manager Hershel Dick, and town recorder Diana Campbell. Councilmember Bob Linehart was out of town.

After calling roll and approving minutes of the regular meeting, minutes of a called special meeting were approved. Residents of Green Gorge/Shoal Creek area near the “Wildflower Park” met with Sam Powell, chairman of the Parks Board, on March 28 to discuss the future of the proposed handicap park. All issues were resolved, according to Mayor Leonard, with the handicap park being placed somewhere else in the Town of Signal Mountain. Residents who live along the park are asked not to deposit their yard refuse in the park.

The Municipal Technical Advisory Service (M.T.A.S.) out of Nashville works closely with municipalities in the state of Tennessee. On their advice, the Town of Signal Mountain, along with other municipalities in Hamilton County, are signing agreements with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department for Police and Fire Department dispatch. At this meeting, Councilmembers voted to authorize this agreement on a temporary basis through this fiscal year with plans to vote in June to a yearlong agreement. Legal issues involving certification of Town employees who dispatch were key to the decision. Several members of the Town Council visited the 911 Center and agreed that it would benefit the Town to make this move. Mayor Leonard noted that such a decision would in no way comprise the residents or services that are being provided. It is just a matter of out-sourcing the dispatch service, as resident Mark Shartle noted.

Town manager Hershel Dick reported for Sam Powell, who was on the agenda but absent, on a meeting with Anne Marshall, from the Parks and Recreational Technical Advisory Service (PARTAS) of the State of Tennessee. According to Mr. Dick, there was concern with moving the handicap park and loosing the state grant to build it. According to Ms Marshall, there is no problem, and in fact she suggested that a trail being designed and built within the Town complex would be more appropriate. It was suggested that residents Jeffrey Hunter, programs director for the Southeast Trail, American Hiking Society and Suzanne Goodmote, vision specialist for Hamilton County Department of Education, be contacted to help in making some of the decisions concerning this handicap trail as both worked recently in conjunction with other organizations to build a handicap trail on the Cumberland Trail near Rock Creek.

In other business, attorney Phil Noblett reported that he had been contacted by Judge Bob Moon’s lawyer, and that after meeting with him, Mr. Noblett would be then update the Council on the status of the law suit to which Mayor Leonard said he hoped that this would be settled soon as he respected Judge Moon who is a resident of Signal Mountain and the issue had been dragging on too long. Lou Oliphant, secretary of the Planning Commission presented the minutes of that meeting on April 7, 2005.

Councilmember Paturalski suggested Hamilton County School Board Chairman, Chip Baker and Hamilton County Commissioner, Richard Cassavant be invited to the next Signal Mountain Town Council meeting, May 9th to give residents an update on school issues and answer questions from residents. Mayor Leonard offered to contact the mayor of Walden, Peter Hetzler and invited residents of the Town of Walden to that meeting so they too can hear and ask questions of the speakers.

Mayor Bill Leonard called upon all residents of the Town of Signal Mountain to be good stewards of the Town. One issue is the condition of the ball fields. Upon arriving at the games the fields are clear of debris. Town officials say that after the games, there is trash left in the stands, on the grounds, and in the parking lot. They are asking that the fields be left the way they are found and that each team stay afterwards to clean up before leaving.

Another way residents can show stewardship within the Town is to make use of the Recycle Center, according to Mayor Leonard. Not only is this good for the Transfer Station, which doesn’t have to collect and pay for a lot to haul off garbage, but the Town makes money on the items recycled. Mayor Leonard is looking for interested citizens who would like to volunteer to serve on a committee to get the word out on the importance of recycling.

Once again, the Town of Signal Mountain will be looking at their commitment to the Humane Society as the source for animal control within the Town. Mayor Leonard said that the Town is currently looking at other options as well and will report back to the Council at the end of the study. The Town is also in the process of landscaping Althaus Park, according to the Mayor. He praised the Public Works department of the Town and encouraged residents to report to the town manager any neglect that is sighted. On a final note, the Mayor praised the Signal Mountain Library, especially Connie Pierce, librarian and then he praised the Shoal Creek Stroll held the first Sunday of each month. Resident Lou Oliphant added that it was a most pleasant activity and encouraged all to try it. Mayor Leonard said that if the residents so wished he would agree to close the road every Sunday especially during the warm months of the year so more people can take advantage of the beautiful scenery as they stroll along the creek.

Town manger Hershel Dick reported that construction of the CVS at the light began as ground was broken on this day. The meeting ended at 7:55 PM.
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