Officials in the town of Signal Mountain want to find a solution to the parking problems caused by people going to Rainbow Lake before it gets as bad as last summer. At the previous council meeting Town Manager Boyd Veal and Public Works Director Loretta Hopper were asked to bring ideas for controlling parking on James Boulevard to the council meeting on March 8. They made the suggestion of putting up permanent signs along James Boulevard that would prohibit parking on the new part of the street from Alexian to Riverpoint Road, from 7 a.m.
until 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays only.
The council members decided that would only cause cars to move over to other streets in Olde Town. Land that is adjacent to the current parking lot could be turned into paid parking, however Councilman Dan Landrum said capacity of the park should be known before building a new lot and Mayor Charles Poss said that meters there would also cause people to find free street parking. After discussions, the council decided to organize public meetings to get ideas from the residents and to let them be involved in finding a solution before implementing any plan, since they would be affected.
Water Utility Director Adam Chrnalogar gave the council an update of the department, saying that a tremendous amount of work is being done to get antiquated equipment back up and running. Some old pumps that are out of service are being replaced with ones that are more reliable, and a booster should help the pressure situation, he said.
The water company has a few significant delinquent accounts, he told the council. Since the COVID pandemic started, the town suspended cutoffs of water service due to payment issues. Finance Director Carol White said the town has a generous payment policy and will help a customer work out a payment plan for the amount owed. Councilman Andrew Gardner suggested setting an actual time when regular operations will resume. The council decided to initiate late fees on May 1 and, if payments have not been arranged before June 1, water service will be cut off. The water company is also looking for software upgrades that would make bills easier to read and give the town more payment options.
The town of Signal Mountain will collect $34,060 from the water company for the year 2020-2021 in lieu of collecting ad valorem tax on the water system’s property. The city manager said that state law allows the town to collect what would be equivalent to taxes from the utility as if it was privately run.
Composition of the Signal Mountain recreation board was discussed at length at the February 22 council meeting when it was decided to dedicate one seat on the board with a representative chosen by all the various sports leagues. At the Monday night meeting, the council reconsidered the make-up of that board. It was decided that those who are involved with the individual leagues would also be the best representatives for the town’s rec board. The council decided to go back to the drawing board. The new conclusion was that the board will consist of representatives from the organized leagues plus three people who are not affiliated with a league. Those three who would not have an affiliation with any particular sport would help balance decisions. A vote after the ordinance is rewritten will be taken at the March 22 council meeting.
Amendments to the 2020-2021 budget were authorized to account for additional revenue and expenses during the year. One of the largest changes was moving $75,000 from the general fund into the stormwater fund to pay for some major projects. There are quite a few places where drainage tiles under roads were washed out, said Mr. Veal. This causes roads to settle which creates safety issues. The town hopes to make repairs before the areas become major safety problems. The $500,000 donation given to construct a reading room at the library was also accounted for and designated for the construction.
Two members were reappointed to the town’s library board - Britt Reynolds and Juliana Ratliff. Both will serve on the board for three-year terms.
The council approved the variance for new exterior signs at the CVS pharmacy. The logo is being changed by adding a heart in front of the letters CVS, causing the size to increase from the previous total size of 72 square feet for both signs currently on two sides of the building , to just over 75 square feet for the new signs.