Water issues dominated the Monday night Signal Mountain council meeting. Several buildings around Mississippi Avenue have been experiencing problems with runoff during periods of heavy rain. Finding a way to remedy the problem is crucial for Larry Taylor who lives on Mississippi Avenue, who said that enough water runs through his house that he has to sweep it out. And, he said that what does not go into the house goes into the garage causing items to float away and into his screened porch which is now covered in mud.
Floors are warping and the footings are deteriorating from water flowing under the house, he said. He first came to the city for help in September, but the water problems continue, he said.
Town Manager Boyd Veal said the problem is larger than that one home. In addition to Mr. Taylor’s house, he also is aware of runoff issues at a nearby duplex and a church on Mississippi Avenue. It is believed by the residents that problems may have started with an increase of impervious surfaces at the Presbyterian Church where a retention pond was built. The engineers need to address a broad area, said Mr. Veal, so fixing one thing will not make something else worse.
The water from Signal Mountain Boulevard, behind the church, then flows into a series of underground pipes, culverts and ditches. Many of the pipes run underneath private property and nobody knows who originally laid them. It is believed that one pipe has a 90 degree bend where there is a blockage that causes overflows. The city has tried but is unable to clear the debris. Another cause of overflows is that larger pipes flow into smaller ones that cannot handle the volume.
The council authorized an agreement with AD Engineering to do a hydrology study to find a solution. Cost of this study will be $10,500 plus $1,050 for any additional expenses. Mr. Veal said that problems with buried pipes which are under private property are the responsibility of the land owner. When the engineering study is done, he plans to send a letter to homeowners detailing what is found, so they can address the problems on their property.
There also are stormwater issues at a drainage crossing on Stratford Way. AD Engineering will do engineering and design for the replacement of this drainage system as well. The cost will be $6,500 with another $650 for additional expenses.
The council authorized the distribution of the town’s water fund for fiscal year 2018-2019 in the amount of $30,395. Signal Mountain owns and maintains the water system that serves the municipality. During the year, the town expends funds to support the system, said the town manager. This payment in lieu of ad valorem tax on the property and equipment used by the water system recoups the money that the town spends on the system.
Discussion took place about establishing guidelines for the various city boards, committees and council liaisons. Decisions will be made for matters such as if the council liaison should be a voting member or if members or officers on the committees need to be residents who live in the city limits.
Sparkle Day will be held on Saturday, March 23. It will begin at 9 a.m. The public works department will bring a dumpster to the park and trash that is picked up should be brought there at noon, where the Lions Club will help provide lunch for the volunteers. Citizens can also contribute without participating formally, said Council member Robert Spalding. People are encouraged to just spruce up their own neighborhood, he said.
An update on the town’s centennial celebration was outlined by City Manager Veal. A parade and picnic that had been planned in April will now be combined with the parade and picnic that are held each Fourth of July. The picnic will be coordinated with the Lions Club BBQ, with the town contributing additional treats and activities such as music. The fireworks display will also be augmented by the town so it will be larger than it normally is. The kick-off of the celebration will be on April 4 at Alexian Inn.
The council acting as the Signal Mountain Beer Board voted unanimously to approve an on-premise beer permit for Pizza Place located in the Signal Plaza Shopping Center at 1238 Taft Hwy.