Residents Urged To Use Caution As Heavy Rains Bring Flash Flood Warning

Police Issue 34 Citations In Crack Down At Sunset Rock; Lookout's Carol Mutter Presides At Final Commission Meeting

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - by Gail Perry
Mayor Carol Mutter
Mayor Carol Mutter
- photo by Gail Perry

Carol Mutter presided over her last commission meeting Tuesday night as mayor of Lookout Mountain, Tn. She chose not to run for another term in the latest election. She has served the city for the past 12 years on the commission, including two terms as the town’s first female mayor. A plaque complete with a gavel was presented to her by the other commissioners who will be returning. Mayor Mutter said that it has been an honor and privilege to have been on the commission.


Last weekend, officers with the Lookout Mountain Police Department, rangers from the National Park Service and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office joined to conduct a saturation operation at Sunset Rock. This was in response to numerous complaints concerning narcotic use, vandalism, trash being left at the rock overlook and on the trails and vehicles parking along West Brow Road blocking traffic and parking on private property. The illegal parking blocks emergency vehicles and creates a hazard for walkers and on-coming traffic going around the curves. On the two days of the crackdown, 34 citations were issued for various offenses. More saturation operations are planned in the future.


The monthly statistics for the Fire and Police departments for July show that 227 calls were made to the police and they patrolled 6,895 miles. Nine false burglar alarms were answered and there were 15 assist citizen calls and 30 calls to 911. There were five auto accidents without injuries during the month, 120 traffic stops and 14 parking citations issued. Five arrests were made, all traffic related such as driving on a suspended or revoked license. Response was made to 19 medical calls in Tennessee and nine assists in Georgia. During the month there were four false fire alarms. A vehicle stolen from a garage was recovered in Chattanooga by Assistant Chief Carey Taylor.


Since school started, police have been running radar on Watauga Avenue hoping to slow down cars. People should be aware of where to park around the commons that is legal. The shortage of parking spaces has gotten a little worse with the closure of the parking lot below the tennis courts. It has been roped off until problems due to drainage are repaired.


Commissioner of Fire and Police Jim Bentley said that issues have occurred because not all mailboxes are marked with addresses and he asks for all residents to make sure their addresses are clearly visible. Two vehicles from the police and fire department were declared as surplus and will be sold on the website


A new position was established for a full time firefighter/property manager. Lang Montague will leave his job as a dispatcher and assume the new title of administrative assistant for the Fire Department. He will be in charge of maintaining the fleet of vehicles and buildings. Other responsibilities of this job will be traffic duty and monitoring parking meters .There will be a six-month probation period to see if it is benefiting the town. Adding the new position will require a budget amendment which passed on first reading. The final reading of the budget amendment will take place in September.


“School is off to a grand start,” said Commissioner of Schools Don Stinnett. There are four new teachers this year and others that have changed classes. The PTA has raised funds to replace old playground equipment, improve drainage and mulch for the primary playground. Enrollment is 157 this year.


Soccer practice has started and the first game will be Aug. 18. Flag football has also begun. All information about the recreation programs, including scheduling and sign-ups, can be found on the website:\LMRV. Commissioner of Parks and Playgrounds Brooke Pippenger said the town is trying to fill in areas of dirt with grass and she asks for cooperation from the children to stay off the fields when they are wet and muddy.


While the drain pipe problem on Bartram Road was being corrected a wet weather stream was discovered. The repairs to fix drainage problems have now been completed, said Commissioner of Public Works Walker Jones. He also gave a reminder that if contract labor is used to clear brush at a residence, they are also responsible for removing it. The town will pick up debris and brush that is put on the street by residents themselves. If contractors pile brush on the street for the public works department to remove, the homeowner will be charged, said Mr. Jones. The department is now getting bids for making road repairs. Work should begin in the next six weeks, he said. This work is considered maintenance in order to keep the existing roads intact.


Town Consultant Dwight Montague gave the financial report that shows good news on the revenue side. The town’s operating account is tied to a money market account. Interest for that account has increased from .75 percent to 1.25 percent, which will add about $13,000 in revenue for the year. The parking meters around Point Park have brought in about $38,500 in the last month, which is an all-time high, he said. Tickets for delinquent parking have also been a benefit for the town. All expenditures are on track, he told the commissioners.


The owners of two properties have requested variances in order to move property lines. Virginia Anne and Jim Manson own three lots that were combined into one in 1997 when the lot lines between them were abandoned. The owners now want the property to revert back to its original form. The problem is when they are separated; two of the lots do not meet the current requirements for lot size. The neighbors have already given approval. The Regional Planning Agency (RPA) needs approval from the town to move forward.


The Tom Moore property on West Brow Road is shown as two separate lots on the tax maps. It was found that the large lot has never been formally subdivided. Now Chris and Ellen Moore want to divide it, but the RPA wants assurances from the town that it approves .There is no road frontage on either lot and access is through the driveway easements. The commission voted for approval of both requested variances.


Frank Schriner will be joining the five-member Lookout Mountain, TN Commission once the election is certified by the Hamilton County Election Commission. Members of the commission will be sworn in at the Sept. 11 meeting, said Mayor Mutter. The commissioners then will vote among themselves to elect the mayor.


Mayor Mutter thanked Hamilton County Commissioner Joe Graham for the help and support that he provided for the town during his terms in office. She said he will be missed at the commission meetings which he attended every month.


The annual “Treasure YOUR Park” event will take place on Sept. 6 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person or $135 per couple. There will be a silent auction, food and music.


The next meeting of the Lookout Mountain, Tn. Commission will be Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.





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