Lookout Mountain, Ga., Budget On Track; City Hall Getting Spiffed Up

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - by Matthew D. Smisson
The budget for Lookout Mountain, Ga., is on track halfway through the fiscal year, members of the City Council were told Thursday evening. 
Councilman David Fussell reported that annual taxes were coming in as scheduled.  He also reported that the use of LOST and SPLOST funds is on track with the current budget.  The city will also receive over the next 10 years an additional $703,000 in LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) funds in increments.  This comes with a recent redistribution settlement with Walker County and the four municipalities within Walker County
Councilwoman Taylor Watson reported that recent upgrades to the existing city hall building have had positive results.  New paint and replaced fascia board are visible on the exterior.  Some more repairs will be coming to the building to eliminate mold behind sheet rock and leaks in the roof.  Mrs. Watson also stated that some of the local garden clubs intend to do some gardening work in the spring on the front lawn of city hall. 
The planning commission has made a recommendation to the council to fill two vacant seats.  Recommended for the two seats are Cindy Whitaker and Jimmy Campbell.  The council has deferred approval of the two candidates until it receives some more information from the planning commission.  

Brad Haven, city manager, reported that with the cold weather last week his staff has had to thaw out several sewer tanks throughout the city.  None were permanently damaged.  

Mr. Haven has also completed all the stormwater reports the Environmental Protection Agency requires.  With the help of Katherine Fox, the city’s stormwater consultant, all of the mapping is complete and a new packet of development requirements has been completed.  This packet will provide guidance and outline state and city requirements for any new development. 

The council is also considering revising an ordinance that dictates the amount of money that the city has to advertise and bid out.  In the mid-1990s the council raised the amount to $3,000 from $500.  With the value of the dollar changing the council is considering raising it again to $7,500.  While this revision will not require a bid process, bidding can still be advertised to make sure the city is getting the best price.  In order to make this revision the city will have a public hearing in the future before making the revision to the ordinance. 

Mayor Sandy Gothard reported that a city market will take place the first Saturday and Sunday in February on the lawn in front of city hall. The market will continue the first weekend of every month as an annual event.    

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