At the last meeting of 2019, the Signal Mountain Town Council ended the year with reports of project updates, board appointments and the yearly audit report. At the December council meeting Angie Landrum, president of the SME Preservation Fund, brought the board up to date on work that the group has completed. Three rooms have been renovated - conference room #1, the art room and the theater. Among other things, walls, ceilings and floors were repaired and painted, and electrical and lighting improvements were made.
Total cost of the restorations for the conference room was $13,895, for the art room the value of the work was $6,729 and $117,473 for the theater. All materials and labor used in the repairs was paid for with contributions and/or done by volunteers.
The group's continuing fundraising efforts have brought in $58,9000 toward the expected $60,000 cost of a new HVAC system in the theater. The group still needs to raise funds to add curtains and sound treatment to the room. They hope to complete this project in the spring.
Appointments were made to complete various boards, committees and commissions of the town. Robert Griesinger and Kerry Lansford were reappointed to the Signal Mountain Board of Zoning Appeals, Karen Rennich and James Exum were reappointed to the design review commission, and Barbara Womack and Joseph Horton as members of the tree board.
Barbara Womack, Clyde Womack, Anne Hagood, Kyle Kelly, Robert Richie, Jr. and Joshua Rogers were reappointed to the Hemlock Conservation Task Force, and Maggie Green, Sandy Partelow and Edward Bergin were reappointed to the library board. Resolutions passed that reappointed Angie Landrum and Seth Graham as members of the Mountain Arts Community Center board, Ethan Nelson and Jason Farmer to the municipal planning commission, Cheryl Carico to the parks board, Joseph Durek, Jr. to the personnel committee and Don Close and Tony Boals as members of the Signal Mountain Recreation Advisory Board.
Rob Pearse, board vice president of the Signal Mountain Country Club, came to the meeting to request permission to build a structure at the driving range. Council approval is needed because the club leases the property it is built on from the town. Mr. Pearse said the new building would essentially be a garage and would be used as a teaching facility. Pros would teach from the enclosed building and it would be used to hit balls in inclement weather. A septic system assessment has already been done.
The council will need to give preliminary approval and then the plans, including architectural drawings, will need to go before the design review commission for approval. If the design and renderings are ready prior to the next council meeting on Jan. 13, a vote can take place to allow the new building, said Town Manager Boyd Veal. Other items that are planned for that meeting are discussions about the new vicious dog ordinance and a building codes update.
The recycle center may be expanded. Recently bins have been at capacity several times causing people to leave with what they brought. City Manager Veal said he will get an estimate on installing electricity that could power an additional compactor. more containers have been requested as well as more personnel. When needed, employees from the public works department have been helping, he said. He said it must be determined if it is feasible and affordable. So much participation in recycling “is a good problem to have,” said Council member Cheryl Graham.
Fire Chief Eric Mitchell told the council that in the October issue of Firehouse Magazine, an industry publication, Signal Mountain’s new station 2 won a design award for a “satellite station.” Allen and Hoshell, architects for the station, submitted an application for the new Signal Mountain building that has been open just one year. Chief Mitchell said the magazine focused on uniqueness of the building and how it fit into the area with challenges such as rock to work around and for the efficiencies that were used.
Paul Johnson with Johnson, Murphey and Wright gave the yearly audit presentation. He told the council that Signal Mountain had spent a lot this year making improvements for residents, citing paving James Boulevard, money spent on the new fire station, building a bridge, renovations to the MACC building and the purchase of a new leaf machine. Property taxes paid for most all that was spent, and assets are much greater than liabilities. The town is in very good shape, he said. The audit showed “an unmodified opinion” which is what the state is looking for, he told the council.