Fussell Joins Lookout Mountain, Ga.; Commission; City May Sell Town Center Site; Chapin Still Wants To Build His Plan

Friday, July 26, 2013 - by Gail Perry

The first order of business at a special meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Ga. City Council meeting Thursday afternoon was to fill the empty seat left when Bill Glascock resigned as mayor and Councilman Sandy Gothard moved into that position. David Fussell was appointed as the fifth councilman and was immediately sworn in.  

That move created a vacancy on the town’s Sewer Board. Cindy Whitaker was recommended and nominated to replace Mr. Fussell on that board. The committee is still waiting for the appointment of a representative from Covenant College and Krupski Loop.

In the monthly stormwater and sewer report, City Manager and Superintendent Brad Haven reported that several culverts and drains are known to have obstructions. Two that are causing problems are on Peter Pan Road and Mother Goose Trail where the culverts are eroding, causing the roads to collapse. The worst is on Fort Trace Road where the city has patched the problem areas with gravel and concrete, but the problems will re-occur, he said. An estimate to repair these blocked wastewater drains, is 20,000-$30,000. It is a budgeted expense coming under the public works department. Mr. Haven also said that a storm water management plan has been submitted to the state of Georgia, and the town is waiting to receive approval.

In order for Dr. Bill Moore Smith to build a new office, the council discussed the need to re-zone a portion of the parking lot at the Methodist Church. To do this, it will be necessary to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to add a part of the church’s land to the city and remove that area from the church property, City Attorney Bill Pickering told the council.

Discussion of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) began when the council was told of a county meeting Monday night in LaFayette to discuss the tax. The cities within Walker County all have to be in agreement with how the money will be divided, said Mr. Pickering. That means that it will be necessary for Lookout Mountain, Ga. to have a game plan for the projects that they hope to do with money it receives from the SPLOST funds.

Municipalities are not allowed to solicit votes to implement this tax, but they are allowed to educate the public about what it is and how the tax money would be used. The Georgia sales tax is currently four percent. Each county in the state has the option of adding up to an additional two percent to the tax, but the decision must be voted on. Once established, the tariff will be in effect five years. The money that counties receive from this levy is only allowed to fund capital projects and cannot be used toward operating expenses of the city.

Projects that are needed by the town and that qualify for SPLOST funding have been compiled. Mr. Haven told the council members that the list adds up to more than the town will get, so a decision will have to be made about which plans will be done. A committee of Mayor Sandy Gothard, Councilman Jim Sabourin, and City Manager Haven will meet this weekend to make the list that will be taken to the county-wide meeting Monday evening.

The wish list talked about Thursday included an updated telephone system, two new patrol vehicles, replacing the wooden street signs, re-paving several streets, and completing 800 feet of sidewalks along Scenic Highway. The laws have changed this year and a project started must be completed within the year. Because of that condition, it would likely become a problem to use SPLOST money for building the town center, said Mr. Pickering.

The sale of city-owned property for the development of the Town Center desired by the city officialswas taken up in an executive meeting. Before the public left the room, developer Jimmy Chapin asked for the status of the property. Bill Pickering explained that if the city offers the property for sale it will have to advertise it at a minimum of 30 to a maximum of 60 days. It then becomes a Request for Proposal. No decisions have yet been made since budget discussions will be needed first to actually determine what the city can do.

Mr. Chapin told the council that he and architect Garth Brown are still excited about the project that they submitted to the council earlier. He told them that two other partners are considering joining his development team, and he emphasized that he is concerned about his project being used by someone else. 



  


Lookout Mountain, Ga., Passes $2 Million Budget Without Tax Increase: Line Item Included For Long-Planned New Town Center

The Lookout Mountain, Georgia City Council, at a special called meeting Thursday night.  adopted on final reading the budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 that will go into effect on July 1. There will be no property tax increase in the roughly $2 million budget. However, there will be an increase in the garbage fees because the Walker County landfill has increased what it charges. ... (click for more)

Corker To Closely Analyze Senate Health Care Legislation

Senator Bob Corker on Thursday said he will closely analyze the discussion draft of the Senate health care legislation.   He said, “Under the current health care system, families in Tennessee and across our country face rising costs and have limited choices.   “Congress has a responsibility to resolve these issues and stabilize the individual insurance ... (click for more)

Tom Edd Wilson Was A Great Visionary

We want to add to the many heart-felt messages that have been expressed regarding the recent passing of Tom Edd Wilson, a truly great visionary.    While he made his mark on many local organizations, Tom Edd will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who worked closely with him at Erlanger.   We benefited greatly from his steady guidance, leadership ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Leaders Stand ‘Way Back’

Franklin McCallie, a former principal at Howard School and the maverick in one of Chattanooga’s finest families known for education, delivered an impassioned speech before the Hamilton County Commission on Wednesday. Sadly, his remarks came after the commissioners had passed the FY2018 budget that has no financial methodology for the Department of Education, much maligned in the ... (click for more)

Inclement Weather Forces Cancellation Of Thursday Night's Lookouts Game

Not only was Tropical Storm Cindy responsible for the cancellation of Tuesday's Southern League All-Star Game, but now the storm has also resulted in the cancellation of Thursday night's game at AT&T Field with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The First Half North Division Champion Lookouts announced that Thursday's (6/22) game has been postponed due ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)