The Signal Mountain Council voted Monday evening to enter into an agreement with the Signal Mountain Elementary Preservation Fund to “front” the money for installing an HVAC system in the auditorium / theater of the building. As the SMEPF raises money the town will be repaid. The job will be engineered and put out to bid. Once prices are known, the council will have the ability to back out of the agreement if they are too high.
The amount needed from the town is expected to be about $52,000-$56,000 said Mayor Dan Landrum, who disclosed his wife is president of the preservation fund. He said the reason for the request is to try and have the auditorium in working order by this fall.
Vice Mayor Amy Speek said it would be important to know what would happen if the funds were not raised, and if providing money would set a precedent for other organizations involved with the town. Town Manager Boyd Veal said the SMEPF is separate from the MACC. The Preservation Fund supports improvements to the buildings and grounds, not the programs. A consideration is that the money would be used to improve a town asset, said Mr. Veal.
Town Attorney Harry Cash said it is a risk. If it is not paid back the council will have to decide whether to force repayment or just to decide it is a benefit to the community and not force payment.
A vote to fund the project carried unanimously.
Signal Mountain did no paving in 2018 and budgeted to make it up this year. At the council meeting Monday night an amount not to exceed $575,949 was accepted from Wright Brothers Construction Company as the lowest and best bid for paving 4.25 miles of streets and .3 miles of trench repair. Much of the work will be to put a top coat of asphalt on the roads while repairs from sewer projects are still in good shape.
To do additional paving was a point of contention during the creation of the budget, and in the end, $150,000 was added so the town could “catch up" from not paving last year. While the equipment and workers are already mobilized, said the town manager, he expects that the same pricing will be extended to any additional paving. The council voted to make road repairs, in an amount not to exceed $150,000 for expanded paving.
The council is in the process of updating the town’s beer ordinance. They hope to make changes that will help small businesses locate to Signal Mountain by allowing them to sell beer, and to help organizations which hold fundraising events for public benefit by reducing some restrictions. One change would allow a business with seating capacity of 25 which serves prepared food, down from 50 in the existing ordinance.
Special events held on town owned properties has been expanded from just the MACC to the Amphitheatre at Rolling Way and James Boulevard and the Signal Mountain Library. Discussion also took place about the possibility of holding events with beer in open areas owned by the town, such as parks or parking lots. These events may need to have temporary fencing for security reasons.
With the changes for special event beer permits, applications will need to be turned in 30 days in advance. Attorney Cash and Mr. Veal will make changes to the beer ordinance, suggested by the council and present the revision at the next city council meeting.
Jeremy Rardin was appointed to be a member of the town’s Design Review Commission.
The council proclaimed Monday, Sept. 9, as Glenn R. Showalter day on Signal Mountain, to honor the man who has volunteered over 1,000 hours at the Signal Mountain Playhouse and who had created most of the artwork used for posters, programs and T-shirts during the hours he volunteered.