As a follow-up to the last Lookout Mountain, Tn. Council meeting regarding the proposal by Hamilton County to close Lookout Mountain Elementary, Commissioner of Schools Don Stinnett told the other commissioners that a task force is being developed. He said a lot of work has been going on to make sure that the school will remain. In the last month, LMS was designated as a level 5 school. This is an additional recognition for the already high achieving school, he said.
The Lookout Mountain Carnival has been held for the last 72 years and this year it will take place on Oct. 1 with a rain date of Oct. 3. Other upcoming school events are fall break at LMS from Oct. 7 through Oct. 14 and Parent/Teacher conferences Oct. 24. from 3-6 p.m.
The fire and police report showed statistics from the department during the month of August. Police answered 386 calls, patrolled 6,954 miles, checked 12 false burglar alarms, assisted five citizens and responded to 32 calls to 911. Police made 173 traffic stops, gave 32 parking citations and there were two auto accidents without injuries.
Eight arrests were made in August, none involved residents of the mountain, said Fire and Police Chief Chuck Wells. Five of the arrests were traffic related, one was a DUI, one for an outstanding warrant and one for domestic violence. Police checked 16 suspicious persons / vehicles or activity. Commissioner of Fire and Police Jim Bentley said that citizens who called in about seeing something suspicious alerted the police to unusual activity and he said they should continue to do so. During the last month there were eight medical calls, seven in Tennessee and one in Georgia, and two false fire alarms.
Commissioner Bentley said Ochs Highway has been closed several times recently and closed signs and barricades have been put up, yet he said cars drive around them. He would like to inform residents of the town that anyone driving on a closed road will be fined $500. TDOT has scheduled to repave Ochs Highway from the state line to St. Elmo in the near future and that road will be closed during the work.
The town has lost a much respected and appreciated member of the police department with the retirement of Captain Don Massengale after working in Lookout Mountain, Tn. for over 19 years as an officer and firefighter. Prior to that he served the mountain as a paramedic. He was promoted from officer to sergeant to lieutenant to captain. Town officials all wish him a happy retirement.
Commissioner of Parks and Playgrounds Brooke Pippenger said that the soccer season is going well and flag football for third through fifth grade girls and boys has become very popular since the game changed from tackle. She said most of the games will be played at the LMS field, but as the days get shorter some will be played at The Commons where there are lights.
A new fence has replaced a 75-year-old one at The Commons and a gate has been built at the pavilion to prevent cars from driving off of the parking lot. There is also new signage about general rules for the playground and Navarre Pavilion. The drinking fountain at Temple Park has been repaired.
The public works department will complete striping the streets with middle lines in September and will then replace missing street reflectors. While it is still warm, more potholes will be filled. Repaving Dogwood Drive is now finished.
Brush collection is starting to slow, said Public Works Commissioner Frank Schriner, and leaf season is almost upon us. He said both leaf machines are ready to go. A reminder was given for residents that it is important to separate brush from leaves.
Mayor Walker Jones said that WWTA will be working on the mountain until around March and should be finished making the sewer upgrades by June. He said after they are finished there will be from 100-120 road cuts. As the work is being done, quick fixes will be made to the roads by WWTA, but when the work is complete, they will go back and patch the cuts again with a hot mix then roll and pack them for a smooth and long-lasting repair. Town Attorney Brian Smith will create an ordinance that will establish standards for road patches that must be used.
EPB will also begin cutting trees that they have already marked with blue paint. These are on EPB’s right-of-way so the town can do nothing to stop them, said Commissioner Bentley. With all the work being done this fall by WWTA and EPB, Mayor Jones warns drivers to watch for big trucks and drive carefully.
People have been anxious for the Mountain Market to open in its new location and now it finally is open and everyone is glad to see it, said Mayor Jones.
The next meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commission will be Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 5 p.m.