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City council grants limited and conditional access for ATVs on some Mtn. City streets

By Bonnie Guy
The November Mountain City Council meeting came to order with Mayor Lawrence Keeble, Vice Mayor Bud Crosswhite, and all aldermen in attendance. The agenda had no public hearings or presentations so the council moved forward with approval of the consent calendar including last month’s minutes and four budget amendment ordinances.
Each council member was given the opportunity to express concerns or comments. Alderman Bob Morrison informed everyone that the new director of the Welcome Center, Kelly Turner, is having a meet and greet reception at the Welcome Center from 12-3 pm on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Morrison also wanted to express his gratitude to the police for keeping Halloween safe and orderly this year. Vice Mayor Crosswhite agreed that the city police had done a great job on Halloween as did Aldermen Jordan and Icenhour.
Mayor Keeble then addressed the council concerning several issues. Larry Mullins of Mullins Realty provided the city with an appraisal on the empty lot on Main Street where the Ramsey store stood that underwent demolition this summer. Mayor Keeble proposed that in addition to putting the property on the market, the sale be contingent on the buyer being willing to sign a contract with a penalty clause. An escrow account would be set up holding up to 25% of the property cost. A time frame would be agreed upon and included in the contact. If no building had been erected on the lot when the time frame expires, the buyer would forfeit the escrow account money to the city. Mayor Keeble expressed that he did not want the property to be bought and held in hopes the value would increase.  He would like to see a viable business in place. The council as a whole agreed they did not want to sell the property unless it came with a building and business plan.
The city pool leak was once again discussed. The leak is such that it would require a complete remodel of the water system to fix it.  Such a remodel would cost a minimum of $15,000. Ultimately the leak is not damaging anything, not disrupting the pool operations, or worsening. The only cost involved with living with the leak for another season is the base cost of extra water. The council voted on and decided that they would table any expensive renovations for at least the 2016 season.
Mayor Keeble then revisited the idea of allowing ATV’s on the streets in Mountain City to accommodate users at Doe Mountain. He told the council he had abandoned his initial plan to have ATV traffic on certain streets in the town’s business district but would still like to see the riders have access to both the shopping plaza where Hardees and Fred’s are located and the ability to cross the road to go to McDonald’s and the Quick Shop. For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.