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Light agenda for city council meeting

By Jonathan Pleasant
With Mayor Lawrence Keeble out of town, the regular monthly meeting of the Mountain City town council was postponed by a week but was back in action Tuesday night. There was much holiday well wishing from across the board, but overall it was a relatively light agenda. There was only one presentation from the audience as Bill McGuire with Iron Mountain Rders came up to ask support for the group’s most recent project.
Hoping to set up two times a year on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, the riders already received permission from the county commission to utilize the courthouse lawn to display flags and crosses bearing the names of all the Killed in Action and Missing in Action veterans from Johnson County. Similar projects have been met with success in nearby Marion, Virginia, and the group has received more than 120 names for veterans in Johnson County.
McGuire explained that Iron Mountain Riders expects the project to cost around $5,000, mainly to purchase flags and materials. The group will be accepting donations and will also sell sponsorships for $50. While not asking anything specific from the city council, the board did express their unanimous support for the group’s efforts, with a special voice of appreciation coming from Mayor Keeble.
The other lengthy discussion of the night came from Attorney George Wright, who explained to the council the results of the city’s recent lawsuit with the Glenn property on Ivy Street. A situation that has been ongoing for years now, the Chancery Court essentially ruled against the city regarding setback regulations and other portions of the city ordinance, which Wright explained could be potentially considered vague and contradictory.
Wright went on to explain that the city does have the right to appeal certain parts of the decision, which is being considered by the council. Regardless, the mobile home will have to meet several standards identified by the state fire marshall’s office, and Wright does intend to push this issue, including problems with the home’s installation. However, a stop work order that had been put into place will now be lifted and the property owners do have the right to begin working on the repairs.
Collection/Distribution Superintendent Jerry Horne gave an update concerning a new track hoe the city must purchase to meet OSHA safety standards. The weight of the machine will exceed the standards on the city’s current trailer, meaning a new heavier duty version must be purchased to haul it. While Horne didn’t have any exact figures, the estimate to buy the new trailer could be as much as $20,000, although the city could retrieve some of that cost by selling the old trailer.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.