Lookout Mountain, Tn., Town Consultant, Dwight Montague, at the monthly commission meeting Tuesday evening, told the commissioners that bank balances are up this month. This is mainly because a lot of people paid property taxes before the end of the year for tax purposes. December is traditionally, the month that most taxes are received, he said, with February coming next because of the Feb. 28 deadline.
The town also is holding a large amount of money that belongs to Cigna. Since the town changed companies that provide health coverage to employees; the town has yet to be billed.
“A big ship moves slowly”, said Mr. Montague referring to the large insurance company setting up an account for a new customer. Next month he expects to see a really large number for this expense.
The PTO has paid the second part of the first installment of its portion of the education budget, and $9,098 has come from the recreation fund, which is received annually from money paid during the summer season.
Expenses for the past month include $3,600 for police radio and training equipment. This will be reimbursed to the town from Homeland Security. The police department has also bought two microphones with imbedded cameras to record any confrontation involving a policeman, even traffic stops. These will provide a video record if there is ever a dispute, said Police Chief Randy Bowden. A new salt spreader and snow plow was also purchased at a cost of $9,940.
The commission room is being outfitted with a sound system. The town has purchased a Bose system with a “power speaker” which distributes the sounds evenly around the room through just one speaker. Eight wireless microphones and installation of the system will be done at a cost of $2,000. This is a savings of $10,000 from the amount that had been budgeted for the work, thanks to information provided by County Commissioner Joe Graham, who was present when the original proposal was being discussed.
Mr. Montague told the commissioners that paving will need to be done sometime in the near future. Chief Bowden added that the north end of the mountain has areas that need work, especially around Point Park and the water tower. Past commissioner of public works Dan Crates compiled a priority list that will help determine where to begin. As of now, the paving fund only holds $171,000, and needs to be built up to $400,000--$500,000 before paving is begun. The price per mile escalated a few years ago, according to Mr. Montague, and now the cost is likely to be greater than $50,000 per mile.
Commissioner of Fire and Police Ernie Minges read the monthly department statistics compiled by Chief Bowden. For the month of December 2012 there were 65 police calls, 24 false burglar alarms, seven assist citizen calls, and two 911calls. There was one theft of property where workers had been at a house and a ring was taken. The police patrolled 4,390 miles. There were 19 traffic stops and no auto accidents. Nine medical calls were received and nine fire alarms. Seven of those were false. There was one chimney fire and a wall heater fire on the Georgia side where the Tennessee department assisted. Chief Bowden explained that when there is a fire in Georgia, the call is dispatched by 911 from Walker County, Ga. The two departments do not hear each other’s calls, but they are in close communication and can go to each other’s radio frequency for responding rapidly to help. Commissioner Minges reminded everyone to be safe and the importance of pedestrians and cars being mindful of each other.
Don Stinnett, commissioner of schools, gave an overview of the activity that is planned at Lookout Elementary School. The LMS spelling bee is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 23. Mr. Stinnett asked for everyone’s support for the book fair that will be held Feb. 4-Feb.8. The next PTA meeting is Feb. 5. The fundraiser “Night out for Lookout” will be Friday, March 1, at the Fairyland Club. Grandparent’s day will be held at the school that morning. Junior Achievement is on March 15.
Replacement of the tennis courts and repairs to Navarre Pavilion is an ongoing project, said Commissioner of Parks and Playgrounds Joe Hailey. The first step of testing and coring has now been scheduled for the site. He also asked for the public works department to check on a missing street sign at Sunset Circle.
It’s business as usual for the public works department. Walker Jones, commissioner of public works, said that there are a few leaves left to be cleaned up. The biggest concern at this time of year is the possibility of snow. Mr. Jones also congratulated Corey Evans, head of the public works department, on being the new dad of a baby boy.
At the meeting, a technical revision was made to the building and electrical codes adopted by the town of Lookout Mountain, Tn. Town Attorney Brian Smith also told the board that he had been contacted by Eric Woods about opening a new restaurant where Hill City Pizza had been located. He is a trained chef and has previously worked at Northshore Grill and Hill City Pizza. He inquired about obtaining a beer license, which will require a meeting of the local beer board. It was agreed to publish notice of this hearing for the next 10 days and hold the beer board meeting on Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. Mr. Woods would like to open his business before Valentine’s day.
In her report, Mayor Carol Mutter told the commissioners that Lookout Mountain, Tn., is continuing to work with the Lookout Mountain, Ga., council for the creation of a website to promote both of the towns. She assured them that progress is being made.
Robert Stone with Allied Waste addressed the commissioners for their consideration of using his company for garbage or recycling services. He said the firm could provide curbside, single-stream recycling and would be able to structure the schedule to the needs of the town. Recyclables are ultimately taken to Rock-Tenn for processing. The same company currently isbeing used by the town for materials being taken to the bin at the maintenance building.
The next regular meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. commission will be Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m.