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Mountain City Council continues discussion of opening skating rink as extension of community center

By Bonnie Davis Guy

The April Mountain City Council meeting came to order with Mayor Kevin Parsons, Vice Mayor Jerry Jordan, and all aldermen in attendance. First up on the agenda was a demonstration and a question and answer session with the Johnson County Middle School (JCMS) VEX Robotics team.
JCMS is the only public school in Tennessee advancing to the world championship. The team coaches, Susan Quave and Terry Henson, were also in attendance. The team participated in qualifying matches and the state tournament where they received an excellence award. The man hours put in by these students include Monday, Tuesday and Thursday meetings for a total of six hours a week. The council members asked questions about the batteries, control boards and how the team knew what was expected of them in the competition. “You guys should be very proud of yourselves,” Alderman Crosswhite said at the end of the presentation.  All agreed this team has worked hard and has much to be proud of.
April 15, 2017 will be opening day for the Little League of Johnson County. Opening day will kick off with a parade beginning at 9:00 am followed by games throughout the day.
Al Gryder from the Johnson County Humane Society was next to address the council. The Humane Society wanted to honor Mountain City Animal Control Officer Mandy Neyland for performing a superior job. Officer Neyland was given a plaque and gift certificate. “This young lady has done wonders for the animal control program in Johnson County,” said Gryder. He went on to say that Neyland went above and beyond finding no kill shelters, which has drastically reduced kill rates.
Next was the approval of the consent calendar including the second and final reading of the following budget amendment ordinances numbers 1539-1540 with a unanimous roll call vote. Alderman Bob Morrison took the opportunity to thank the city employees for jobs well done. Vice Mayor Jerry Jordan commented that the new LED globes installed looked great. Mayor Parsons was up next and commented on his trip to Nashville and said it was a great conference. He had a dinner meeting with Representative Timothy Hill where they discussed obtaining financial help for Mountain City.  The city has been providing 911 services to North East Correctional Complex without any state funding since the prison opened.
City Recorder, Sheila Shaw, responded to Alderman Jordan’s question from last month about the multi modal project. Shaw informed the council that the project has been extended through 2019. Shaw also informed the council that there would be an additional budget amendment forthcoming in regard to the Pedro Shoun water and sewer line relocation project.
Police Chief Denver Church asked for the go ahead to use drug seizure money to purchase the city a new police cruiser. The purchase was approved with a unanimous roll call.
The community center reports lots of activities going on at the center. They sponsored a citywide Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 8th. They have a new education director, Eve Dishman, who will be seeking grants and implementing student programs. As for the city pool, opening day will be May 29th. The council approved the pool to remain open through the end of August this year due to increased interest in the water aerobics program as well as requests from the community.
New business began with the continued tabling of the possibility of locating the farmers market in Ralph Stout Park. Alderman Crosswhite had met with members of the farmer’s market board and is working with them on the proposal.  Next up was the continued discussion of the city opening a roller-skating rink facility as an extension of the community center. Although many aspects of the business venture are still in the due diligence phase, a four to five vote did grant the city permission to go forward with leasing the building for $1 a year, accepting the donation of skate equipment and obtaining cost estimates for the project. Vice Mayor Jordan voted no across the board. All other council members are willing to consider the business plan as soon as the cost information and final plan details are obtained. Alderman Crosswhite commented that his main concern is that with this type venture the city “could run into a situation that could cost us more money than we have.” Mayor Parsons was adamant that his purpose in this plan is to provide a for profit opportunity for the youth in our community much like the swimming pool has been. “This project will show the citizens just how much we all care for our cities youth,” said Mayor Parsons.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.