By Rebecca Herman
Mountain City Council members met on Tuesday, August 1 for their regular monthly meeting; all members were present.
Vice Mayor Jerry Jordan asked for an explanation of markings seen across town; he has had several citizens ask about these markings. Chris Hook, Collection-Distribution Superintendent, and Gary Phillips, Public Works Director, explained that the markings where to show locations of water, sewer, Skyline, and power lines. No construction is being planned; they just want to verify locations of these lines. Vice Mayor Jordan also said that there have not been any complaints about fishing in Ralph Stout Park and everyone seems to be cleaning up after themselves.
Mountain City Mayor Kevin Parsons gave an update on the carnival and car show that took place July 27-30; an extra afternoon was added due to inclement weather. He said that the turnout was decent, considering they only advertised for two weeks. Mayor Parsons also said there were no incidents with the crew and that the equipment looks clean and safe and that overall it was a “good night.” Parsons would like to have the carnival come back in the fall, when the weather is milder and there is time to properly advertise.
Appalachian Miles for Smiles will also be in the city in August; there were over 400 inquiries, but only 100 slots open to receive free dental services. There are plans to bring Appalachian Miles for Smiles back next year.
Mayor Parsons also asked Phillips if they could “dip into the tile” behind the Mountain Empire Hotel because settlement is building up from runoff, which is coming from the roads behind the hotel. The council made a motion and the motion carried.
The next item discussed was the Scarecrows On Main; the position that leads this event up was cut for the city’s budget, but the council members still want the event to take place because it brings people from all over East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and Southwest Virginia, which brings revenue to the city. The council voted to proceed with the Scarecrows on Main and charge $25 a pole.
Earl Gambill, with Mountain City Pool, told the council that there are still some pool parties planned in August and that he would wait until August 6 to decide whether to keep the pool open to the public during the day. If attendance is low, he will close the pool to the public.
Hook spoke again about the need for a generator for the pump houses. He explained that in an emergency situation where there could be a long-term outage, there would be no water to certain areas in the city. Hook has spoken to county commissioners and said that he is “in talks and getting stuff hammered out,” with the cost of a generator. He also told the council that there is an option to purchase a surplus military generator, but the issue will be getting the money for it. Gary Phillips also asked for permission to speak with the county commission about putting the generator back in at the community center in order to use it as an emergency shelter.
Flo Bellamy, Park and Recreation Director, told the council that they are ready to begin with after-school programs and that the Community has received a grant to help with the costs of the programs.
Chief of Police Denver Church, told the council that a new police cruiser has been purchased and the decals have been ordered.
The Mountain City Council appointed a new city attorney, George Wright. Wright has worked with the city council in the past and has over 40 years of experience practicing law.
Andy Garland, Water Plant Manager, gave an update on replacing a water tank in Dry Run. He said that he has been in discussions with the engineer and with the owner of the property from whom the city would have to purchase land from. Mayor Parsons made a motion for Garland to proceed with talking with the property owner and having the engineer put out the necessary bids.
The council also approved the following items of new business:
Accepted bid from Freeman Gas for .894 cents per gallon for a twelve-month period, starting July 1, 2017, to be used by the Town of Mountain City.
Approved a five-year standard engineering agreement between Sizemore- Fredrick, Inc. and the Town of Mountain City.
Accepted the sale of the Main Street property for $42,000.
The next city council meeting will be September 5 at 6:30pm.