Lookout Mountain, Ga., Firefighters Dealing With Multiple Calls To The Fairyland Club

  • Saturday, April 13, 2024
  • Gail Perry

The month of April was a relatively quiet month for the Lookout Mountain, Ga., Fire and Police Department, said Taylor Watson, commissioner of the department. But a big problem that is being dealt with is false fire alarms coming from the Fairyland Club, said Chief Dewayne Steele. There have been so many that now a patrol car is being sent before the trucks to see the source of the alarm and if it is a legitimate call. Since the first of January, the volunteer firefighters’ pagers have gone off 39 times, and one third of the calls have been false alarms from the club, said Councilman Kevin Leckenby, who is a volunteer firefighter.

When the firefighters arrive, they have found the cause has been from construction that sets off the alarms. There needs to be a plan for how those calls are handled, but there is not one, said the chief. All it would take is for the construction workers to make a phone call when it happens, said Chief Steele, but instead, when the firefighters and all the necessary equipment arrive, they have to find the contractor in charge to ask where the problem is. And, said Councilman Leckenby, the false alarms call the volunteers from their jobs and anything else they may be doing.

City Manager Kenny Lee will talk to those in charge and give them a warning. One option being considered, is to charge a fee for false alarms after a set number of calls.

Other activity in the department during April includes the officers patrolling 3,000 miles, making 13 traffic stops resulting in 11 warnings and two citations and responding to two wrecks. Assistance was given to seven citizens and five motorists during the month. Two suspicious persons and vehicles were checked and there were no burglaries or thefts.

Due to the weather, the Fairyland Festival has been moved to Thursday, April 25, from 3-7 p.m., said Caroline Williams, council liaison with the school. Some changes will be taking place at Fairyland Elementary School this coming year. Next Thursday, there will be an opportunity for people with an interest in the school to meet with school officials including the superintendent, the principal, the school board and the mayor, to avoid misinformation and to leave with a clear understanding of the future direction of the school. The meeting will be at the Town Center hall beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The status of projects in the public works department includes progress for replacement of the gas line along Scenic Highway that will not be complete when expected in mid-April. And the work continues to be slow due to rock along Wood Nymph. The new completion date is now anticipated to be the end of 2024 after which service will be installed. New gas lines around Rock City are expected to be installed in 2025. Two culverts in the city will be repaired but there must be the right combination of dry but not hot weather to do the work. One culvert runs underneath Lula Lake Road between Turnberry Lane and McCallie Lane and the second runs underneath the south end of Peter Pan Road.

Materials are on hand for the sidewalk expansion joint repair that was begun in Spring 2023, but this work is also dependent on the right weather.

Anyone who needs to dispose of old tires will be able to do so at the Walker County Tire Amnesty Day on April 20. That day, the County Transfer Station on Marble Top Road will take up to 10 passenger vehicle tires. The councilman warns to be prepared to wait in line.

The Lookout Mountain Rec Leagues are continuing to grow, with 450 youths now signed up just for soccer this year, said City Manager Kenny Lee. Because of the increased participation, playing fields need to be expanded. Mayor David Bennett would like to enlist help from citizens in the city who may have skills in grant writing to help acquire land for additional fields and for lighting them. The initial searches will be to find out what grants might be available to apply for. At the same time, a search will begin for available locations.

Mr. Lee is putting together a meeting about making improvements to the fields. The towns of Lookout Mountain, Georgia and Tennessee along with Rec Director Scott Shell and the rec board, are to coordinate joint financing and management of the fields. Funding has been received for a new baseball score board, it was stated.

Work to clear brush and trees will soon be taking place at the intersection of Red Riding Hood Trail and Cinderella Road in preparation for new green space. The first step after clearing the land will be planting grass. The town’s beautification committee will ultimately landscape the area.

Problems with the new paving on Lula Lake Road are already evident, said the mayor. The asphalt is too thin in some places and potholes are already forming. The company who did the work will come back and make corrections at no cost to the city, he said. He is also getting a quote for striping the city’s roads where it is needed.

The council approved the purchase of a used generator for use at the sewer pump station on Patten Road until the new pump station is built. The cost is $60,000. The original plan was to move it to city hall for power outages once the new pump station is complete, but Vice Mayor Arch Willingham said there has been no documentation to know if it would be powerful enough for that use. Once it is no longer needed at the pump station, it can be sold, said Mr. Lee.

A zero-turn mower to use in the city parks is also needed, said Mr. Lee. It is expected to cost around $15,000. The city manager will research prices before the next council meeting.

The council has approved allowing the City Hall building to be used for a candidates’ forum for those running for Walker County offices. After much discussion, it was decided to allow the forum to encourage and educate people about voting and to increase voter turnout. City Attorney Bill Pickering said the city will come up with some guidelines to ensure it is non-partisan, that all candidates are invited and treated equally and all have the same opportunity to speak. The request for using the Great Hall for the forum came from Bill Chapin and he will be responsible for implementation.

Car decals are now on sale at City Hall for 2024-2025. The cost is $5.

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