Lookout Mountain, Ga., Turning To Tag Readers For Increased Security; Paving Set On Ochs Extension, Then On Fairyland Extension

Friday, October 15, 2021 - by Ferris Robinson

Lookout Mountain, Ga., Fire and Police Commissioner Taylor Watson asked the commission to approve a subscription service for tag readers to prevent theft and increase security in the city. Three cameras would cost $7,500 per year, and they would analyze every vehicle in the jurisdiction of Lookout Mountain, Ga. If there are warrants for them, the city dispatcher would be notified immediately. The town of Lookout Mountain, Tn., also plans to subscribe to this service, which she said is highly recommended. Chief Todd Gann said that 1 billion vehicles were captured in one month nationwide. Commissioner Watson also asked residents to lock their vehicles.

City Manager Kenny Lee told of steps being taken to try to deal with serious road issues on both the Ochs Extension and the Fairyland Extension. He said, "We are in contact with both GDOT and CDOT to coordinate the repaving of the Ochs Cut in light of needed repair to the Fairyland Extension’s eastern bank. CDOT has the Ochs Cut on the schedule for repaving for the Spring of 2022.  If the temporary GDOT repair of the section of the Fairyland Extension will hold until later next year, CDOT can pave the Ochs Cut before we have to close the Fairyland Extension for repair.  This situation is fluid and we will keep everyone posted if anything changes."

The commissioners approved the second reading of the 2021 millage rate. Commissioner Arch Willingham reported that the office furnishings for the new town center had been researched and his findings would be addressed in an executive session. He said the cost should be between $35,000-$40,000. Commissioner Willingham also said work was being done on the parking lot across the street from the new town hall.Fairyland Elementary School plans to go to five days a week for students after cutting back to four days due to COVID-19. The annual pumpkin sale was a success, thanks to community support.

Public Works Commissioner Kevin Leckenby said that road striping is delayed due to the availability of paint, and that GDOT will pave Scenic Highway south of Covenant College to the state line. The Georgia Department of Transportation will also fill cracks along Ochs Extension near the recent landslide. The drainage issue in the 1300 block of Peter Pan Road is being addressed, and interior joints will be sealed when the weather is dry enough. Stolen street signs at Fort Trace, Scenic Highway and Whitt Road will be replaced, as well as a sign at Rock City Trail and Peter Pan Road.

The city is still researching ways to dispose of fallen leaves. Town Manager Kenny Lee asks that residents do not pile them up on the road because they will clog up the drains, causing issues. Mayor David Bennett warned not to mix leaf piles with brush piles or they will not be picked up. He said he had a few patches of dead grass on his lawn from his mixed pile not being picked up.

Community volunteer Jimmy Campbell said that the new Fairy Trail Garden off of Whitt Road is complete and ready to be turned over to the city for routine maintenance such as mowing. He said there is still some money left over from the installation of the garden that could be used to purchase more plants in the future. He said his committee was planning an event to officially welcome the entire mountain community to this lovely park.

Wes Hasden, sewer board commissioner, requested $35,000 to cover expenses that include detection equipment, a data logger, float meters and air release valves. He said that American Rescue Plan Act funding should be able to be used for these expenses.

Mayor Bennett said that the city would celebrate Halloween on Sunday, Oct. 31.


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