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published on 08/09/2005

Cauthen Way Gets a Makeover

By staff writer

The regularly monthly meeting of the Signal Mountain Town Council was held Monday, August 8, 2005, at the Town Hall. Over 40 residents were in the audience. Mayor Bill Leonard called the meeting to order. Town recorder/interim town manager Diana Campbell called roll. After the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, opening prayer and approval of minutes, Mayor Leonard called upon resident Martha Nagle, out-going president of the Signal Mountain Swim Team, the Green Giants.

Martha introduced some of the team present and asked them to come forward to present to the Town the trophies which the team won this year at the City Meet. Mayor Leonard congratulated the players and their coaches and parents for representing the Town of Signal Mountain and for their successful year.

There were seven resolutions presented at this meeting. The first was to secure the professional services of Mr. James Cawthorne of Cawthorne Engineering Company, Inc. to oversee the Cauthen Way project. The Town Engineer left employment and in order to complete the project, the Town is required to have a certified engineer overseeing the work. The second resolution awarded the contract to do the actual work on Cauthen Way to Greenstar, LLC in the amount of $206,267.25. And the third resolution amended the second to make the total cost $229,646.50 so that a separate sidewalk could be added to the project. All three of these resolutions passed. Work on Cauthen Way is expected to begin by the first of September and last approximately two and a half months. Cauthen Way will be closed to the public during this time. (Only residents of Cauthen Way will have access to the road.)

The next resolution was to sign an agreement with the Humane Society for the next year. After a lengthy discussion this resolution was tabled until the September meeting in order for the Town Council to get with the Humane Society to settle some differences. According to Mayor Leonard the Animal Care and Adoption Center, not connected to the Humane Society, made a presentation to the Town asking for $60,000 seed money and an additional annual fee to which the Town is not in a position to make at this time. “When this new facility is built on Access Road by Dupont, there is hope, the Town can switch it services to them,” said the Mayor.

Sealed bids on the Scott-Rutledge dugout were received and accepted at a cost of $38,195 to be done by Improve America, Inc which includes raising the dugout and rebuilding the restrooms. Work should begin soon on this project. Chairman of the Recreation Board Mr. Don Close commented that it was long overdue and recommended the Town Council accept the bid.

Mr. Bill Wagner was appointed to the Board of the Hamilton County Waste Water Treatment Authority replacing Hershel Dick who retired in June as town manager. And Andrew Hausler was appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mayor Leonard asked the Town Council to consider looking into the current policies of all the boards and commissions recommending that in addition to having terms, make these terms have limits where one must go off for at least a year after serving the designated term before being asked to return on the board. Doing so would encourage new faces on the current boards and commissions. The general feeling by the Councilmembers was that this issue should be pursued.

Next there were four ordinances to consider. The first was a second reading on the purchasing ordinance, which was relative to the purchasing requirements by the Town of Signal Mountain. Fully discussed and approved on the first reading last month, this too passed on the second reading. The last three ordinances were first readings and will be read and voted upon at the next regularly scheduled meeting, Monday September 12th at the Town Hall. The second ordinance pertained to the approval of the FY 2005-06 Budget, which included adding the $50,000 budgeted last year to this year’s budget to be used in an interlocal agreement with Hamilton County for ball fields at Shackleford Ridge Park. The other part of the ordinance amended the rate of taxation on all taxable property in the Town of Signal Mountain. Because it has been designed to be “revenue neutral” the Town’s new rate ($1.425) will produce the same tax as the old rate ($1.65).

An ordinance to amend the building codes was approved and in doing so will replace out-dated codes. According to Phil Noblett, who recommended the Town pass this ordinance, there are many more codes within the Town that he will be bringing to the Council for approval in the future. And finally, a new board, Construction Board of Appeals was approved to replace the current Board of Adjustments and Appeals for Mechanical Codes which is currently non-functioning, according to Mr. Noblett.

The final hour of the meeting related to three subjects: a vacant house on James Boulevard, speeding on James Boulevard, and the new tackle football league. Resident Jackie Carson spoke on the condition of the vacant house; Leanne Dolan, Ann Evans, and Lane Ford, also residents of James Boulevard came before the Council with concerns of speeding and the safety of residents, students and the congestion at Thrasher Elementary during drop-off and pick-up times. Todd Faulk and Taylor Gill representing the tackle football league were asked by Councilmember Bob Linehart to address the council. A long discussion followed each of these subjects.

Councilmember White thanked the citizens for their concerns. Councilmember Paturalski thanked Commissioner Richard Cassavant for his support of Signal Mountain to which Mayor Leonard agreed. He then added that the Town of Signal Mountain is actively searching for a town manager and had advertised in the local paper as well as the Tennessee Municipal League’s newsletter.

The meeting ended at 10:00 PM.
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