By Tate Davis
During the December 7 meeting of the city council, Joey Norris was appointed to become Chief of Police for Mountain City on January 1, 2022. Chief Denver Church’s last day will be December 31. City Recorder Shelia Shaw and Public Works Superintendent Kenneth Dickens were reappointed to two-year terms. The council tabled discussion of the Community Church of Mountain City’s request for a variance to the town’s alcoholic beverages. The board approved requests by Hometown Service Coalition to hold a fundraising roadblock on December 17-18 and an event at Ralph Stout Park on June 4, 2022. The council approved holding the Barlow/Sutton Car and Bike
Show on Main Street on August 5, 2022.
As usual, water system discussions dominated much of the meeting. The council authorized Mayor Jerry Jordan to contract with the Tennessee Department of Correction on water and sewer service for the Northeast Correctional Complex once negotiations on pricing for the services have been completed. Water Collection and Distribution Superintendent Chris Hook reported ongoing staffing challenges. Vice-Mayor Jerry Horne reported rough street conditions on Hillside Drive. Horne noted the town has previously identified a need for waterline relocation in the same area and expressed support for expediting paving in the spring as soon as water work is finished. Subject to change order, the council approved a bid from Iron Mountain Construction for work on water system improvements recommended by Brian Frederick, Town Engineer.
Investigation of a citizen complaint about the town burning tree debris led to a site visit by officials from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC). TDEC informed the town it could no longer burn leaves.
After discussing alternatives for disposal of tree debris, the council unanimously voted to amend the budget and purchase a chipper at an estimated cost of $55,000. The council also adopted an amendment to purchase a four-wheel-drive truck that was previously cut from the city’s budget.
The town approved contributing towards paving needed at the Kellogg building to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provisions. The building currently houses medical offices for High Country Imaging and Northeast Tennessee Health and Home Care. It is jointly owned by Mountain City and Johnson County. Each will share in the paving work. Attorney Wright noted the tenants have made substantial investments in the property. Rounding out new spending requests, the council approved funding tree trimming recommended by an arborist after examining the ancient white oak next to the community pool.
Town offices will be closed from Thursday, December 23 through Monday, December 27. The Thursday closure was adopted to create uniformity with the county’s holiday schedule.