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published on 10/10/2005

Half Cent Sales Tax Designated for High School

By staff writer

Roughly 16 people were in attendance at the October Signal Mountain Town Council meeting on Monday the 10th. Mayor Bill Leonard, Councilmembers Robert White, Lizetta Paturalski, and Bob Linehart were present as were the town recorder/interim town manager, Diana Campbell and town attorney Phil Noblett. Absent was Councilmember and Vice-mayor Steve Ruffin.

After the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Councilmember White offered a prayer. Roll call and approval of minutes to two meetings one a called meeting on September 18th and the other the regular meeting on September 12, 2005, followed.

The five ordinances approved on the first reading at last month’s meeting were all approved on the second reading at this meeting. These ordinances amended the electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas, and fire codes.

A resolution authorizing the Town to apply for a Risk Pool Safety Partner Grant with the Tennessee Municipal League (TML) was approved. As an incentive to encourage the establishment of a safe workplace grants are awarded to municipalities for expenditures of safety equipment. Such equipment has been budgeted and purchased, therefore passing this resolution will allow the Town to submit an application for the grant money. Doing so last year, the Town was awarded the grant and expects the same this year.

The second resolution authorized the town manager to purchase radios from Motorola to be used by the police department for the Town of Signal Mountain. Cost is under budget but according to Ms Campbell without the resolution the contract with Motorola is not valid.

The final resolution designated the ˝ cent sales tax for the High School. Since August 1999, the Town of Signal Mountain has collected ˝ cent sales tax, which was approved by a referendum vote and designated for the High School. In 2004, Hamilton County raised their taxes and one half of the ˝ cent tax went to Hamilton County and the rest remained in the Town of Signal Mountain, which amounted to $77,485.96. Because of legal action being taken by the Town of Walden concerning this issue it has been determined by our town attorney that the funds are legally no longer restricted and therefore must be designated. A discussion followed with Councilmembers White and Paturalski recommending the spirit of the referendum remain in tack and that the remaining portion of the ˝ cent tax be designated for the High School. This was done. Total funds in the Signal Mountain Budget designated for the High School currently are around $752,000.

Lou Oliphant was present to answer any questions concerning the Planning Commission report, which was included in the Council’s packet.

However, under citizens’ and other’s opportunity to address the Council Brendin Olin, a member of the Planning Commission addressed the Council addressing concerns he had about things that the he heard from members of the Council at the Planning Commission meeting. It was unclear why these concerns were not addressed at the meeting. Mayor Leonard responded that what Mr. Olin heard were only very, very early preliminary thoughts about the future of Signal Mountain; that any discussions about the future of undeveloped land in and around the Town of Signal Mountain are only in the planning stages where they are gathering information trying to make responsible decisions with the guidance and recommendation of the Planning Commission.

Next, Doug Dooley, a resident of Carriage Hill, addressed the Council as a follow-up to Mr. Olin’s concerns most especially speaking against any development or building of a road on or near Edward’s Point in Prentiss Cooper State Park. Councilmember Linehart responded noting the fine balance the Town must make when it looks at growth.

Councilmember White added that growing smartly is the key.

Mayor Leonard closed the meeting with further remarks reminding residents that any decision concerning the future of this mountain will include all residents with open meetings and hearings. He is proud of the Town and it’s employees and their diligence and stewardship and ability to work together with the community to meet the challenges that are faced each day.

The meeting ended at 8:30 PM. On a final note, Diana Campbell asked to print a list of “Lost and Found” items which can be claimed at the Town Hall during office hours. They include: a baseball cap, tennis shoes, two rain coats, three pairs of eye glasses, tote bag with toy camera, purse, Sign Mountain T-shirt (red), umbrella, spiral notebook, two gloves (one red, one black), fleece jacket, and two other jackets. These items may have been lost at the park, in the gym, at the ball fields, or any piece of town property.
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