Lookout Mountain Honors Tom Duff For Contributions, Reaching Century Mark; Commons Tennis Courts Getting Fixed

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - by Gail Perry
Tom Duff
Tom Duff
- photo by Gail Perry

Mayor Carol Mutter opened the Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commission by honoring Thomas O. Duff, Jr. in recognition of leading a life of public service and community benefit, and for reaching the age of 100 years. He has provided leadership and service to the business and civic communities of Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga, it was stated. A resolution of thanks and appreciation was presented to Mr. Duff jointly by Lookout Mountain, Tn. and Lookout Mountain, Ga.

On the mountain, he was instrumental in the incorporation of the city of Lookout Mountain, Ga., and served on the city’s planning committee for many years. He was a founder of Fairyland Pharmacy and was a member of the volunteer fire department where he raised funds for the purchase of fire engines and equipment. He was chairman of the board of deacons at Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church and president of the Fairyland Club. He also served as chairman of the board for many civic organizations in the Chattanooga area.

Mayor Mutter also recognized Ralston Wells, a longtime resident of the Lookout Mountain community who died Aug. 6. He had been involved in various official capacities in the city of Lookout Mountain, Ga. for many years, and was a well-known face at the Lookout Mountain, Tn. commission meetings.

The 2013-2014 school year began Thursday, Commissioner of Schools Don Stinnett announced. There are 179 students enrolled at Lookout Mountain Elementary, which is up six up from where the last year ended and another is expected to register in October. The PTA hosted a kick-off breakfast for the staff on Tuesday. The first PTA meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Three major fundraisers are planned for the school. The Boosterthon, which kicks of next week, will ask supporters to make pledges to a student based on the number of laps they complete. The other two events are the annual school carnival and “Night Out for Lookout.”

Commissioners were updated on the project to replace the tennis courts by commissioner of Parks and Playgrounds Joe Hailey. He introduced Greg Wilson with CTI, the engineering firm that is guiding the work. He gave a description of what needs to be done. There is severe cracking of the courts and retaining walls are beginning to fail. It has been determined the cause of the damage is mostly due to water that runs over bedrock which is close to the surface. The work will consist of removing the old courts and the area will be excavated 18 inches and filled with crushed stone to create a secure base. Perforated pipes will be put under the surface in order to move the water away. The playing surface will be asphalt covered with colored acrylic. Some retaining walls will also need to be replaced. New 10-foot fencing, lighting and upgraded electrical service is also planned. The courts will be made ADA compliant, which is a requirement of the grant that was given to the city for this project.

Walker Jones, commissioner of public works, relayed paving requests he has received for Hermitage Alley and Lincoln Lane. May and Billy Mitchell came to the meeting to represent their neighborhood and speak on behalf of replacing the alley, which is one lane wide but functions as a two-way road and has holes and an uneven surface. The only access to seven houses on the east side of the roadway is from this alley and so it directly affects their value.

David Doster has submitted a request to repave Lincoln Street. A motion to perform work at both of these areas was approved. Town Consultant Dwight Montague told the commission the State Street Aid budget is currently $37,500, which is planned for paving around Point Park and the Incline. That amount will need to be amended to reflect the additional paving. Another location that needs attention is the retaining wall at Watauga Lane near the corner stop sign where movement of the wall has been observed. Mr. Montague said all of these projects would require advertised bidding.

Commissioner of Fire and Police Ernie Minges read the monthly statistics from July, which listed 50 police calls, 4,651 miles patrolled and 11 burglar alarms, all false. There were eight assist citizen calls, 13 calls to “911”, no auto accidents 13 traffic stops, one burglary and no arrests. There were also 12 medical calls during the month and three fire alarms, all false.

Commissioner Minges noted that drivers are still speeding and walkers are not always as careful as they should be. He urged both to be vigilant and aware of one another. He also asked for citizens to obey the town’s leash laws and prevent their dogs from roaming. He said runaway animals distract police officers from their jobs by having to assist in finding owners. He urged people to be responsible for their pets.

The police department offers a service of making house checks when a resident is out of town, said Mayor Mutter. She said this is a way of preventing break-ins and would be beneficial to the citizens.

Commissioner Minges suggested that walkers carry cell phones with the police department number, 821-3151, programmed in for easy access in the event that suspicious behavior is observed. Calling “911” will also reach the department. It may be nothing, he said, but it is better to let the police check.

Police Officer David McGuffee made a suggestion for residents to remove the mountain stickers before selling a car.

The town’s portion of the Hall Income Tax was received during the month of July, said Mr. Montague in his financial report. Lookout Mountain, Tn. receives three/eights of the money paid on reported income from residents of the town. That is why it is important for a person’s Lookout Mountain address to be used when filing income tax forms, he said. The town received $660,636 from 2012 taxes.  

Money to purchase new air packs for the fire department was approved by the commission in May, but was actually paid in the new fiscal year, so that amount will be moved into the new budget. Another expense listed for the month was for the engineering company that is working on the tennis courts. 

In old business, the commissioners approved a state-mandated OSHA Employee Safety Program. Chief Randy Bowden has been listed as the supervisor and will be the spokesman for the Lookout Mountain, Tn. department.

Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham came to the meeting to present the very appreciative town with a check for $12,000 from his discretionary fund. This money will pay for the completion of sidewalk paving along Scenic Highway, which will join the walkway on the Georgia side of the mountain.

County Commissioner Graham, after hearing discussions of the need for paving projects, said Hamilton County’s maintenance department may be an option to perform the work with the town supplying materials.

The next meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commission will be Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. 

Joe Graham presents check
Joe Graham presents check
- Photo2 by Gail Perry

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