The Signal Mountain Council on Monday night voted unanimously in favor of the revised beer ordinance that was needed to update language and remove some restrictions. The changes are intended to help small business in the town by allowing them to sell beer. The ordinance now includes a clause that the business must offer prepared food, which was intentionally kept vague so the interpretation can cover a wide range such as buying food from another restaurant and selling it in the bar, or can be selling packaged food such as sandwiches, or being prepared on site.
The idea is to help small bars and restaurants sell beer when previously they were not allowed to. This is also seen as a way to stimulate the town’s economy.
The sale of beer will be also be allowed in city-owned properties, such as at parks. This will allow fundraisers to take place at those locations owned by the city. An example given by Vice Mayor Amy Speek was about “Hodepodge” which will now be allowed to take place with beer sales. Mayor Dan Landrum was concerned that there would not be enough police officers to handle certain emergencies, however both Police Chief Mike Williams and Fire Chief Eric Mitchell said in their past they had both handled much tougher jobs in a larger city involving alcohol and each told the council they had no concerns. The council also will have to approve each special event held at city properties, and can establish requirements such as the number of security guards, that has to be in place for such events which gives the council more control.
During the recent water outage, the town of Signal Mountain acted immediately after the large main broke by the Tennessee American water treatment plant. The large users of the Signal Mountain system were asked to conserve, and those customers were phenomenal, said City Manager Boyd Veal. The water in the tank never ran out and, because it was isolated, it remained clean and no boiling was needed. Information was posted on social media to keep citizens informed. The city also learned from the incident of better ways to proceed during emergencies.
The council acting as the water board discussed what is needed next by the water system that the city recently voted to retain and manage. A study done for the town in 2011 has been used for maintaining and upgrading the water system. One recommendation from the study that was discussed is an interconnected program between the towns of Signal Mountain and Walden just a mile away. That recommendation is to interconnect the systems from both cities in case of an emergency. A 12-inch pipe would be run under Taft Highway at the intersection with Miles Road. That pipe would connect to the six-inch pipes already existing in both towns. The water source for Signal Mountain and Walden are different so if there was a water emergency in one town, the water supply could come from the other through this new main. The motion passed to direct the staff to move forward in creating an interconnected piping system at Miles and Taft Highway and Miles Road.
Fire Chief Mitchell told the council that Hamilton County is now under a burn ban due to the ongoing dry conditions. There have already been several “recreational” fires and a couple of dozen brush fires, said the chief. He asked for people to take care.
In regular business, the town manager received approval to pay for striping on the roads. This project will take care of about 44 miles for the cost of $15,290. In the budget, the money appropriated to build additional roads will include striping on whatever additional miles are built.