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City projects should get underway soon

By Jonathan Pleasant
If the discussion at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting is any indicator, several ongoing city projects may soon get underway. Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble indicated that the council has received permission from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to finally proceed on a roadscapes grant that the town applied for several years ago. With construction hopefully beginning in the spring, residents and visitors may soon see the raised landscape features in the downtown area.
Warmer weather should also mark the beginning of construction on the Goose Creek multiuse trail, which will begin at Ralph Stout Park, eventually paralleling Highway 421 to its terminus at the Johnson County/Mountain City Visitors Center. The project still has a few issues with easements, but major planning work has been completed and everything appears to be in order to begin construction.
The council did hit a snag in their efforts to remove the dilapidated Ramsey building downtown. Following a detailed inspection, City Recorder Sheila Shaw informed the board that asbestos had been found in the rear portion of the building, and that the city could be looking at an additional $8000 to $10,000 to have a licensed contractor remove the hazardous material.  Committed to seeing the building finally taken care of, the council agreed unanimously to proceed with identifying an appropriate company to handle the task.
Asbestos proved to be another problem as the board discussed a potential emergency situation with a damaged asbestos water line running from the Rambo Water Plant all the way to near Circle Drive. Forced to replace the entire line and move it out of a creek bed adjacent to the highway, the council followed the advice of the town’s engineer and approved the necessary funds to hire Iron Mountain Construction to tackle the sizeable job.
Collection-Distribution Superintendent Jerry Horne also gave the council an update on another necessary expense when he explained that a new trailer the city will need to haul its equipment would cost approximately $26,500. The new trailer must be able to handle the city’s new larger track hoe and would have a 40,000-pound weight limit. Horn did indicate that the older lighter trailer is still in very good shape and could help reduce the overall cost.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.