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City hopes to improve animal shelter

Future growth and improvements at the Mountain City Animal Shelter will now become a possibility following the purchase of two additional acres of land adjoining the facility. The city council approved the expenditure unanimously following an official request by city animal control officer Gary Phillips. The issue had been brought to the council’s attention at previous meetings where Phillips detailed the benefits of acquiring the land. Addressing increasing demands on the shelter, Phillips hopes to eventually acquire an incinerator and increase kennel space.
The land was purchased from an adjoining land owner and most of the individual members of the council had already met with Phillips to view and go over the proposed acquisition. The animal shelter is located on Tobacco Road and handles not only animals brought in from the city but also many of the animals seized by the county, which does not have its own animal control.
Johnson County E-911 director Eugene Campbell addressed the council concerning potential changes in several city street names and addresses in an effort to bring the city into compliance with state guidelines. Mountain City has several streets such as Robin Hill and Georgia Street where the name changes without any distinguishable break in the two roads. Further problems also include addresses with incorrect numbering depending upon which side of the street the residence is located on.
Campbell presented the council with a list of these requested changes, which require city approval. Mayor Lawrence Keeble stated that he felt the issue should be left to those with expertise in the field and made a successful motion to approve Campbell’s requests. Address changes will affect approximately 200-300 residents, and Campbell assured the council that each one would receive a notification by mail.
At the suggestion of the city’s insurance provider, TML, the council discussed the possibility of implementing a footwear policy for city employees. Mayor Keeble introduced the subject by first saying that if the city did determine to follow the insurance company’s request there would several options to decide, beginning with whether the city would cover the entire cost or partially defer it to the employees, if the council chooses to implement the policy at all. Further, even if the city does begin a footwear policy there are decisions to be made concerning what type of footwear is appropriate for certain jobs but not for others. Eventually a decision was made to have a committee of council members meet to address the issue in more depth.

There was also a lengthy discussion held concerning the city’s policy on loaning town equipment. Following an approval to loan one of the city’s air compressors to the Johnson County Trail Association at last month’s meeting, mayor Keeble informed the council that although the city had been operating as if a no loan policy was in place, a review of the minutes revealed that the policy was never actually approved. Keeble made the concession that there were times when the city might need to make exceptions about loaning equipment for other government organizations such as the Trail Association or the Johnson County Highway Department when work is being done that benefits the city, but also cautioned that the council is, “charged with the protection and proper use of city equipment.” With this in mind, a decision was made to have city attorney Steve McEwen draw up a proposed policy on loaning equipment while taking into consideration any possible exceptions.

City recorder Sheila Shaw announced that the dedication for the Willis Walker memorial garden in Ralph Stout Park will be held on Veterans Day, November, 11 at 9:30 am. The memorial will honor the late alderman who passed away last year. Shaw also informed the council that the girl’s high school softball booster club made a request to hold a road block in town on November 19th. The request was approved unanimously.

With no further business a motion was made to adjourn.