The residents of Lookout Mountain, Tn. are in good hands with the police and fire department that is constantly working to update procedures and equipment, officials said Tuesday night. Over the last year, Chief Chuck Wells and Assistant Chief Dale Taylor have gotten policies from the association of police in the Chattanooga area and used the “best of the best” to create a new policy manual for the fire and police department. Town Attorney Brian Smith reviewed it to insure that it all complied with state and federal law and the commissioners voted to accept the policies at the April meeting.
New tasers have been bought for the officers and all of the radios used by fire, police and public works will be replaced. The radios now being used will be obsolete by fall since FAA rules now require that they be digital. Motorola will no longer make repairs to the old analogue radios. Chief Wells said he did not know it was going to occur and now there is no choice but to replace them. The cost to buy them will be $92,567. Research is underway to find grant money that could help with the expense. A grant funded by the Governor’s Safety Highway Program has been received that will pay for overtime and equipment for the police department to use for traffic enforcement to prevent distracted drivers.
Travis Hullender, a police officer, firefighter and paramedic who brought a resident back to life using a cardiac monitor to increase the heartbeat, was recognized and congratulated by the commissioners. Other activity in the department during March included answering 265 calls, patrolling 6066 miles, responding to 12 false burglar alarms, to 26 calls to 911 and three assist citizen calls. There were two auto accidents, 143 traffic stops and 20 parking citations given during the month. Four arrests were made and 15 suspicious persons / vehicles / activity were investigated. There were 11 medical calls, nine in Tn. and two in Ga. There was one false fire alarm and one chimney fire on W. Fleetwood. The town has joined with state mutual aid so eight crews responded to the fire said Commissioner of Fire and Police Jim Bentley.
Baseball is now underway, said Brooke Pippenger, commissioner of parks and playgrounds. Practice has started and games begin on April 15 and continue until May 25. The baseball parade will be Saturday April 20 starting at Fairyland School ending at The Commons. The commissioner reminds everyone that dogs are not allowed on any of the town’s sports fields. She thanked the public works department and the Lookout Mountain Garden Club for cleaning up the terraced areas at the park. Movie Night sponsored by Love Lookout will be Friday May 3, starting at 6:30 at The Commons. Commissioner Pippenger is asking for help from residents who grew up on the mountain, to learn the history of the large iron bell that is mounted by the pavilion and tennis courts.
On Saturday April 13, Lookout for Litter that is being organized by Ann Caldwell and Wendy Robinson, will take place on both sides of the mountain and down Ochs Highway and the Ochs Extension. Water bottles and trash bags will be provided and the volunteers who will gather at The Commons at 9 a.m. They are asked to wear neon shirts for safety. Trash that is collected will be bagged and left along the roads to be picked up by the garbage trucks on Monday, said Public Works Commissioner Frank Schriner. Brush season is full time now and the commissioner reminds residents to separate leaves and brush. Piles of debris should be no larger than 4x4x8 feet. Paving has now begun and the public works department is listing other streets that are in bad shape that might be included for repair in the next budget. Dumpster Days continue on the first Saturday of each month and two additional days, April 20 and May 18 have been added to help residents with spring cleaning.
The end of the school year is close, said School Commissioner Don Stinnett. Testing is coming up and Kindergarten registration is already taking place for next year. So far 25 children have signed up said Principal Ruth White. Online registration for returning students is May 6. The speaker for graduation this year is Commissioner Stinnett. “It’s a happy, wonderful place to be,” said Ms. White who invited all to come and walk around and experience the school.
Assistant Treasurer Samantha Van Alstyne gave the financial report for the month of March. Revenue from the parking kiosks is up now that Point Park and the Incline are both opened. Expenses during March included a new roof for town hall, an automatic door protector for the elevator, and Tasers bought for the police department.
Doug Chapin, director of operations for Clumpies, came to the meeting with a permit request for parking a box truck with windows to sell ice cream near Point Park. He said the seasonal shop that has been located at the Battles for Chattanooga Museum did not make business sense and would not return this summer. Plans were to bring the truck up the mountain and open one day each week so the residents would know, and other times for special events. Street parking in that location for the large vehicle concerned Chief Wells and the commissioners because of public safety. Construction will soon begin on a home across the street from the location. That will bring more vehicles and equipment which will add to the congestion of tourist and pedestrian traffic around the entrance of the park. Emergency vehicles may not be able to navigate through the area with the addition of the truck. Mr. Chapin was encouraged to find another, safer location, possibly in the empty lot beside the museum, and discuss it with Chief Wells before coming back to the commissioners.
A variance was approved for a home at 412 East Brow Road that will allow for an addition to the southeast corner. The neighbor has submitted a letter that would approve reducing the set back between the two houses from 15 to 10 feet.
Mayor Walker Jones said there are plans to re-do the fountain with new water lines and new plantings that will be done by the Lookout Mountain Garden Club. “Lookout Mountain gets prettier and prettier and it is all done with volunteers,” he said.
The next meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commission will be May 14 at 5 p.m.