One of the first decisions by the new Signal Mountain Town Council at the December meeting was voting for a professional water rate study for the town-owned water system. By unanimous approval, the motion passed, for Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) do a comprehensive study for a price not to exceed $3,000. There is a long list of information relating to the water system which needs to be provided to the consultants before a study can be done. Town Manager Boyd Veal said that in order to collect the needed information, the town will have to take a hard look at the system to determine what will be needed, such as staff levels and capital projects that will be required in the future in order to maintain the system.
By the time that MTAS is ready to start the study, said Mr. Veal, the town will have a clearer understanding of the system.
Vice Mayor Amy Speek resumed the discussion about traffic at Signal Mountain Middle High School that has been overshadowed by larger issues during the past year. She said it is for safety. Since there is only one road leading into and out of the school, it would be difficult for emergency vehicles to access the school during rush hours. She suggested creating a committee to do a study to find a solution. Since the problem was recognized, multiple ideas have come from multiple sources for improved access to the school. Town Manager Veal has been asked to pull all the ideas together and give the list to the new committee. A vote for a resolution to create this committee will take place at the next council agenda work session.
The mayor or his designee serves as Signal Mountain’s representative to the Hamilton County/North Georgia Transportation Planning Organization. Council member Bill Lusk was appointed to represent the town and Mr. Veal was appointed as proxy for the TPO designee, for times when Mr. Lusk cannot attend meetings. The representative to the TPO from each municipality has the opportunity to advocate for his community relating to transportation projects. Projects first go to the Regional Planning Agency to be put on a list. The TPO prioritizes the projects.
The council approved appointments of volunteers to fill vacancies on various boards, commissions and committees: David Cantrell to the Board of Zoning Appeals, Cheryl Graham, Charlie Poss and Mike Richards to the Municipal Planning Commission, Mike Richards to the Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals, Ed Garbee to the Design Review Commission, Ann Hagood to the Tree Board, Barbara Womack, Clyde Womack, Anne Hagood, Kyle Kelly, Robert Richie, Jr. and Joshua Rogers to the Hemlock Conservation Task Force, Mary Scott Norris, John Wynne, Elaine Preston, David Reed and Bonnie Hamilton to the Historical Committee, Judy Beaty and Annette Allen to the Library Board, Ryan Walker, Robert Inman and Seth Graham to the MACC Board, Josh Rogers, Caroline Woerner, Talmadge Mincey and Greg Houston to the Parks Board, Mike Bua to the Recreation Board, and Troy Kennedy to the Centennial Subcommittee.
A budget amendment for 2018-2019 was passed on first reading that makes sure that the budget aligns with projects that were done during the year, said the town manager.
Interviews for an attorney to replace current town attorney Phil Noblett will be held on Dec. 19. Mr. Veal will conduct the interviews and each council member will have the opportunity to talk individually to each applicant. These meetings are not open to the public.
Tyber Buchheit, a Boy Scout with Troop 35, is proposing to build a dog park for his Scout project. The potential location would be at the MACC near the old playground. He told the council that the cost estimate is $5,000 which will require some fundraising. Mr. Veal will meet with him to identify any issues with the plan before it will be presented to the council.
Signal officials were told that the town received a clean audit and finances were in good order.