An addition of a reading room and a patio area underneath the new room is being made to the Signal Mountain Library. The council authorized contracting for architectural and engineering services with Tinker Ma for an amount not to exceed $42,000. This approval will allow the fundraising arm of the library to raise the money and donate the funds to the town, which will have the work done.
Signal Mountain has been working on obtaining a Local Park and Recreation Fund (LPRF) grant from the state of Tennessee for a couple of years, said Town Manager Boyd Veal.
The grant for making repairs and doing renovations to Marion and Driver Fields has now been received. Bids that were received to do the work far exceeded the amount planned for it. Both companies which submitted bids revised their estimates according to some revisions made by the town and came back with lower quotes. The town will have to match $440,000 it received from the grant for a total of $880,000. Baseline Sports Construction won the bid for the amount of $857,297 to complete the project. A contingency amount of $22,000 was approved in case it is needed.
The town’s personnel policy was amended relating to paid holidays. MLK Day has been added as a paid holiday for all employees. Also, any full-time employee who has served in the military in the past or present and has been honorably discharged will also be given Veterans Day as a paid holiday. These additional days were planned for in the new budget.
The council received three applications for a position on the Mountain Arts Community Center board of directors. Because of her involvement in the arts and being considered to be highly qualified, Susan F. Robinson was appointed.
There were more applicants for a spot on the town’s personnel committee than were open. That board has been largely unfilled for the past two years. Feeling that the input from more qualified volunteers would be helpful, the council voted to amend the ordinance and add two members. The Personnel Committee has now expanded to seven members versus the previous five.
Discussion took place about the Board of Zoning Appeals and its structure and power. This board is where an applicant goes if an applicant disagrees with what the building inspector tells them. They also issue special permits and variance requests. Mayor Dan Landrum, who currently is the BZAs liaison with the town council, suggested that the council should have at least one member on the board with voting rights. Other options will be looked at by Town Manager Veal, such as having the planning commission and BZA being the same.
The town’s transfer station was also a topic of discussion at the Monday afternoon meeting. Town Manager Veal said that the volume of materials brought there for disposal increased dramatically with the Covid pandemic and has stayed that way. The town has grown and grown and grown, he said, yet the transfer station continues to be run the same way it was years ago. He said the cost to the town is too much and the size of the facility is too small to handle as much as is brought there. A schedule of costs has been developed to make the process simpler. The attendant can use the chart of charges by volume as a reference when determining the amount people must pay to unload containers of debris. The town will not accept construction materials from contractors. They should rent their own dumpsters, he said. Mr. Veal said that use of the transfer station is being optimized for the greatest amount of town residents to use.
Mr. Veal announced that the National Park Service is opening Signal Point on Tuesday.