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New rules implemented in city parks

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen for Mountain City took the first steps toward making the city’s parks safer and more user friendly at Tuesday night’s monthly council meeting. Voting to adopt and post a new set of rules for use at Ralph Stout and Cunningham Parks, the board was hopeful that such action will help stem the tide of growing complaints from the community. Five sets of the list of 14 rules will be posted with three at Ralph Stout and two at Cunningham. The rules include everything from restrictions on time, with lights being turned off at 11 p.m., to limiting children to play in designated areas only.
According to city attorney Steve McEwen, violators of the rules can be removed from the parks, and those who refuse to comply could be further charged with trespassing. This reaffirmation of the city’s policies comes as the result of increased problems with vandalism and illegal activities on the city’s property. Creating and posting the signs is only one of the options that city officials have discussed, with further action still a possibility down the road.
City Recorder Sheila Shaw informed the board that Dexter Lunceford, a retired state trooper from Carter County, would be working with the City Judge to establish Mountain City’s first driving school for traffic violations. Utilized by many of the towns and counties of the surrounding area, the school will not only allow violators to keep points off their licenses but should also help improve safety. Typically an option for moving violations, the judge will also have the authority to require attendance for the school. According to Shaw the first classes should be offered later this month.
Mayor Lawrence Keeble made a special presentation this month to Howard Elvidge, a longtime member of the Mountain City Planning Commission. Having resigned from the board because of health issues, Elvidge was commended on his many years of service and long list of accomplishments. Several former and current members of the planning commission, including Gene Hackney, were in attendance to see the presentation.
During his comments to the council, Alderman Kenny Icenhour made a request to purchase the city employees new uniform pants. Although the original effort to provide the employees uniforms was originally intended as a one-time purchase, Icenhour felt that representatives of the city should continue to keep a professional appearance. After requesting information on how much it would cost to provide three pairs of pants for each employee, city recorder Shaw informed the council that there would need to be a $2,100 budget amendment. Icenhour made a motion to purchase the pants, which passed unanimously.
Further discussion was also held concerning the replacement of one of the city’s water tanks. With the possibility of refurbishing and utilizing one of the system’s old tanks at a new location, officials are looking at several options concerning the project. New information was brought up from a company that specializes in such restoration projects, and as a result the board will look into getting cost estimates before making a decision on whether or not to buy an entirely new tank. There were also questions about the proposed location for the tank, with suggestions of placing it near Rambo Springs. Discussing the subject, Mayor Keeble announced that the city’s engineer will look into the issue and the topic will come back up at a later meeting.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.