Volunteers Helping Spruce Up Lookout Mountain Towns; Resident Wants City To Give Up Top Section Of Ochs Highway

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - by Gail Perry

Mayor Walker Jones said that Lookout Mountain, Tn. appreciates all the volunteers who make the town a special place to live. In the last month, the Laurelwood Garden Club has been planting trees throughout the towns in both Tennessee and Georgia, he said. Lookout Elementary School Principal Ruth White, also acknowledged what Laurelwood Garden Club has done at the school. Magnolias have been planted along with other trees throughout the primary playground.

They have also spruced up the pollinator garden, she said.


Commissioner of Public Works Frank Schriner said that Lookout for Litter will take place on Saturday. Ann Caldwell from Tennessee and Wendy Robinson, who lives in Georgia, are organizing volunteers to clean up the towns, including Ochs Highway that ends at Fleetwood, and the Ochs Extension down the Georgia side of the mountain. Plans are to have Lookout for Litter days twice a year. “They do a great service” to the mountain community," said Commissioner Schriner.


Mayor Jones also thanked TDOT for the recent paving of Ochs Highway to make it a safer road. The upper portion of Ochs Highway that ends at Fleetwood was not included in the repaving because that portion of the road is owned by the city of Chattanooga. A citizen who is concerned with the condition of that section made a suggestion to restore ownership to Hamilton County. Better care had been taken of the road when the county had control, he said, and they could do a better job now.


The county's Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) continues to work in the town making sewer improvements, said Mayor Jones. He said the company doing the work on behalf of WWTA is responsive to requests, and that he will ask to be given more notice before they begin each large project so residents can be informed and prepared. Chief Chuck Wells said he has had some complaints from people who have been redirected due to WWTA work, but that at times it is safer for both the workers and drivers if the whole road is closed where work is being done because of visibility due to the topography.


 In her financial report, Samantha Van Alstyne, assistant treasurer, said that property taxes have started coming in. A group of residents made a $5,000 donation to the town designated for buying shotguns for the police department. Payment was made for a new Tahoe that will be used by the fire and police departments. The old one was sold on gov.deals.com for $25,000. She said $22,000 was spent for paving and grading this year. Paving was done on Dogwood, East Brow, Richardson and Morrison.


A new ordinance dealing with road excavation was passed on final reading at the commission meeting. It will ensure that road cuts are repaired properly. Detailed instructions for how the repairs are to be made are included. Utilities will be required to get permits before starting work so they can be held responsible. Several employees of the town will be trained to make inspections of the repairs.


Statistics from the police and fire departments during October show that police had 284 calls including four to assist citizens and 32 to “911”. Police patrolled 4,812 miles during the month, made 147 traffic stops, gave 19 parking citations, responded to three auto accidents without injuries, and to 12 burglar alarms, all false. Police made two arrests - one for a traffic violation and the second for an outstanding warrant for another agency. Neither arrest made was of a resident of either town. There were eight medical calls during October - six in Tennessee and two in Georgia. There was one false fire alarm and the other was a small brush fire.


Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Brooke Pippenger said that flag football is almost finished. Next comes basketball and sign-ups are taking place now. Next week evaluations will be made in order to set up fair teams. A new schedule for basketball will allow practice before Christmas. The Rec board wants to buy a top dresser machine to help keep the playing surfaces in good, healthy shape. Both towns will contribute to the cost.


The book fair is going on now at Lookout Mountain School, Principal White said. The new date for this event was aimed at Christmas shoppers. She said renovations at the auditorium are now finished, including new carpet, chairs and curtains, just in time for Veterans Day. She also thanked the police department for making the school area safe.


Leaves are staying on the trees longer this year, extending the public works leaf season. Leaves and brush piles continue to be a focus of the public works department.


The next meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commission has been scheduled for Dec. 10 at 5 p.m.




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