Dwight Montague Stepping Down As Lookout Mountain, Tn., Town Consultant; Signs Posted Warning No Large Trucks Are Allowed On Ochs Highway

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - by Gail Perry
Dwight Montague
Dwight Montague

Lookout Mountain, Tn.'s Town Consultant Dwight Montague presented his last monthly financial report at the December commission meeting. At the end of the year, he is leaving the position which has taken the place of a city manager, to concentrate on his technology business. Mr. Montague has been in that position for eight and a half years. During that time, he has worked closely with Samantha VanAlstyne, who will now share the responsibilities of the job with Mayor Walker Jones. Each commissioner will also share in the duties by coming to city hall one day a week to sign checks. Mayor Jones thanked Mr. Montague for all he has done during his tenure and said that he has been invaluable.

He is the person who has actually run the town, said the mayor.  


Property taxes are continuing to come in above the rate from last year, said Mr. Montague in the financial report for November. The PTA makes two contributions each year totaling $200,000 to help support and supplement the school. The first contribution of $100,000 came in during the month. Income from the parking kiosks around the Incline have leveled off during the winter, but are still a good source of revenue for the town. Commissioner of Fire and Police Jim Bentley was given credit for the idea and for having them installed. The cost of equipping the police department’s new car with lights and police apparatus was also in the monthly report.


Commissioner Bentley gave the statistics from the fire and police departments from November that were compiled by Chief Chuck Wells. In November police answered 223 calls, patrolled 4,548 miles, responded to 13 burglar alarms that were all false, received 32 calls to 911 and assisted nine citizens. There were 104 traffic stops made, 15 parking citations written, five arrests made, and nine suspicious persons or vehicles were detained. Four auto accidents occurred in November with no injuries. There were eight medical calls in Tennessee and two in Georgia. Two fire alarms were answered, both false.


The city of Chattanooga has responded to concerns about Ochs Highway and incidents that have increased during the past year. Chattanooga, which is responsible for the road, has put signs at the bottom of Ochs Highway and the town of Lookout Mountain Tn. has put signs at the top of the road where it meets Fleetwood, warning that no large trucks are allowed. Mr. Bentley told the commissioners that Chattanooga has plans to completely redo the road by putting up new guardrails and adding reflectors.


Parking for large private parties requires valet service, said Commissioner Bentley. And, if a resident needs parking for more than just a few cars along the town’s narrow, winding streets, he asked that the police be contacted to help control where the cars park.


Don Stinnett, school commissioner, said that on Nov. 11 a dedication ceremony was held at the school for the newly refurbished playground. The new playground was paid for by the PTA. The Astre Foundation has made a generous donation to the Lookout Mountain School Garden Club to use on the pollinator garden.  


The school’s robotics team from fourth and fifth grades won the Core Value Trophy at the recent competition held at Ridgeland High School. Core Values, said Principal Ruth White, represent the team’s ability to work together on projects. Benchmark testing begins Dec. 11 and goes through Dec. 14, she said.   


The musical Christmas programs put on by the students were wonderful, said Ms. White. Christmas parties will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 19, after which classes will be dismissed for the holidays at 11:30.


The threat of black ice on roads for the last couple of days caused the public works department to start working on the streets around midnight each day to make sure they were safe, said Public Works Commissioner Frank Schriner. It was successful because there were no traffic problems. The piles of leaves are getting smaller, he said, and clearing the streets of leaf piles is expected to be finished by the end of the year. New reflectors have been put on the main roads through the town. Around 1,000 more reflectors remain to be installed on the secondary roads, but the temperature needs to be above 50 degrees to do it, said the commissioner.


Brooke Pippenger, commissioner of parks and playgrounds, said there had been the threat of another water problem at The Commons. It was discovered that the leak was coming from a spigot that had not been winterized under the bleachers in the ball field.  Basketball season will begin after Christmas.


Mayor Jones has been attempting to get the parking lot below the lower tennis court cleaned up from a drainage/runoff issue. The town has received two bids, is waiting for a third and plans to get a fourth bid to fix the problem, he said.


David Sharpe, the new Hamilton County commissioner representing Lookout Mountain, Tn., came to the meeting and introduced himself to the commissioners. He invited questions, concerns or comments.


The next meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commission will be Tuesday, January 8 at 5 p.m.




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