​SUD Reviews Water Tank Lease

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Discussion at the Sept. 25 meeting of the Sewanee Utility District Board of Commissioners brought attention to insurance concerns, delaying approval of the lease agreement that would allow Franklin County to install three communication antennae and a microwave dish on the SUD farm tank. These would help to facilitate county-wide communication for law enforcement and emergency responders. In other business, the board received an update on the waterline replacement project and issued a call for candidates to run for SUD commissioner in the January election.
SUD Board President Charlie Smith questioned whether the lease agreement should name SUD as additional insured on the required insurance policies held by the county and independent contractors hired by the county.
“If I was personally entering into this contract, I would want to be named as additional insured so I would know if the policy was cancelled,” Smith said. “As additional insured, SUD would receive notice from the carrier.”
SUD manager Ben Beavers will consult with SUD’s attorney about adding an “additional insured” requirement to the lease.
SUD Commissioner Paul Evans took issue with the county’s lease document being poorly written and SUD needing to “spend time and money to improve it.”
“We need to make sure we have our interests covered,” Smith said.
Updating the board on progress in replacing old cast-iron waterlines in central Sewanee, Beavers said the Florida Avenue section was completed and the contractors were “headed up South Carolina Avenue.” He estimated the project was one-fourth to one-third finished, giving January as the projected completion date.
Plans call for sanitizing and testing each section as it’s completed, according to Beavers. Residences will then be connected to the new line, but water will continue to flow in both systems until the entire project is finished. Beavers expressed concern that shutting off sections of the old line could cause problems in the remaining line due to “changes in the pressure profile,” since the new line is larger diameter pipe.
Evans asked if SUD faced possible liability issues from leaving the old line in the ground.
“There’s so much cast-iron pipe with lead joints in the country it would be very expensive to dig it all up,” Beavers said, and “if it was dug up, it would be reburied.”
Beavers predicted in the future lead service connections would not be allowed. “The important thing for us is to totally disconnect the lines.”
Two commissioner seats will come open for election in January, an at-large seat now held by Randall Henley and the single Marion County seat now held by Ronnie Hoosier. Individuals interested in seeking election should contact Beavers at (931) 598-5611. Regulations require three candidates for each seat. Both Henley and Hoosier will seek reelection.
The board approved the revised South Cumberland Regional Drought Plan drafted by Beavers on behalf of the four Plateau water utilities. The plan provides for cooperation among the utilities in the event of a drought.
Reporting on inspection of commercial accounts to determine if the customer needs to install a backflow prevention device, Beavers said the inspection was almost one-third complete. So far two customers were determined to need backflow prevention devices. Beavers recommended looking next at residential accounts “for small things that are potentially a bigger backflow hazard.” He cited rainwater collection, irrigation, and hydronic heat exchange systems where foreign fluids and contaminants could enter the drinking water supply.
Turning to the need to select an auditor by Dec. 31, Beavers pointed out the firm SUD used last year changed hands. “They haven’t done any outreach to us,” Beavers said. On Smith’s recommendation, Beavers will invite a representative from the firm to the next meeting scheduled for Oct. 23.

​Monteagle to Demolish Condemned Church

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the Sept. 24 meeting, the Monteagle City Council voted to demolish a condemned Layne Avenue church and put a lien on the property to recover the cost. In March, Codes Enforcement Officer Earl Geary advised the council the city could pursue this course of action. Geary placed a condemned sign on the structure over a year ago.
The county had previously sought bids on demolition of the church, but only received one response. Three bids are required. The possibility the structure contained asbestos made potential contractors reluctant to bid on the project.
“They don’t want to spend the money investigating the cost of demolition and not get the bid,” said Mayor David Sampley.
Alderman Kenneth Gipson made a motion the city “contact the environmental people to determine if there’s asbestos and if not to have the city tear it down and put a lien on the property to recover costs.”
The council unanimously approved the motion.
The council also approved paving Chickory Lane located in the vicinity of the water plant. Sampley said the city would only be charged for materials, cost $13,009, since Marion County would do the work. The city’s budget allocates funds to pay for the project.
Revisiting the need to replace the roof on the Monteagle Community Center, which houses May Justus Memorial Library, the council decided to rebid the project.
Asked about internal damage, library Director Karen Tittle said the sheetrock was buckled in places and there were several long cracks in the wall.
The previous call for bids to replace the roof only received two responses. The rebid request will include addressing internal damage in addition to replacing the 25-year-old roof.
Reporting on citations issued since the August council meeting, Police Chief Virgil McNeese said the department made two arrests for criminal activity.
“An individual wearing a ski mask, a long-sleeve shirt and camouflage pants entered the liquor store and demanded money from the clerk,” McNeese said. The suspect fled the scene on foot. An investigation coupled with a video recording of the theft resulted in leads and a warrant for the suspect’s arrest. The suspect is in custody. McNeese said, “It’s possible others are involved.” The investigation is still open.
Commenting on the second criminal arrest, McNeese said it resulted from a routine traffic stop. “The officer requested consent to search and located drugs in the vehicle and $3,000 cash.”

​Community Chest Receives $160,300 in Funding Requests

It has been said that happiness has no price tag, but the Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) continues to put a dollar amount on their goal of improving the quality of life for all residents of the Cumberland Plateau. The Sewanee Community Chest supports local organizations that have requested basic needs funding for quality of life, community aid, children’s programs, and those beyond Sewanee that serve the entire community. With the entire community’s support, Community Chest funding will continue to provide aid where it matters most: elder care, food, books, housing, scholarships, spay/neuter programs for animals, recreational spaces and funding for the local elementary school.

“The amount of money requested this year, $160,300, shows that the need to support local organizations and initiatives is great,” said SCA president Theresa Shackelford.
Since 1943, the SCA has organized the Sewanee Community Chest, which raised needed funds the town could not raise in taxes because it was unincorporated, in order to make municipal improvements. In the last decade, the Community Chest has provided more than $1 million to organizations in Franklin, Marion and Grundy counties. Past recipients of Sewanee Community Chest funds include the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance, the Sewanee Elementary School Parent Organization, Sewanee’s Fourth of July Celebration, and South Cumberland Farmers’ Market, among many others.
The 29 nonprofits seeking funding this year include many Plateau mainstays, as well as several newer organizations. The Reach Out and Read program at Sewanee Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, launched in 2016, provides infants, toddlers and preschoolers with new books and early literacy guidance during well-child visits. The program has requested a Sewanee Community Chest grant in 2018-19 to cover their book costs for the year ahead.
Blue Monarch, a residential recovery program located in Monteagle, has benefited from Sewanee Community Chest grants for multiple years. Blue Monarch staff member Deanna Barnes shared that last year’s grant enabled the nonprofit to conduct key outreach, including their Parenting Sober Program and GED tutoring.

The Sewanee Community Chest encourages all of you who benefit from life in the community to give generously. The Sewanee Community Chest is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations can be made by payroll deductions, credit, debit, or PayPal, either one-time or recurring. Checks may be mailed to Sewanee Community Chest, P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375. For more information, go to www.sewaneecivic.org.

​Rotaract Club Relay for Life

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
The American Cancer Society estimates that roughly one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer. About four years ago, Will Murphy’s sister was that one. She was only 28 at the time. She went through treatment and is now healthy again, but Murphy described it as an eye-opening experience.
Murphy, who is involved with the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotaract Club, is part of the student-led team at the University that has planned Sewanee’s first Relay for Life for Oct. 6. A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, the Relay for Life is an event honoring those who have passed from or are battling cancer, cancer survivors and their caregivers.
“The experience with my sister really brought fighting against cancer to the forefront of my philanthropic activities… and when we voted last December on our largest service project for this year, we realized that most people in the club had been affected by cancer. We knew we wanted to do something big to bring the university and the community as a whole together to fight back against cancer, so since January, we’ve been mobilizing and meeting in committees and putting things together,” he said.
Money raised from the Relay for Life will go directly toward cancer research. To date, the relay has raised over $5 billion to support the work of the American Cancer Society. And for Murphy, after almost a year of planning, he is excited to see the event come to fruition.
“We’ve raised almost $14,000 so far in pledges, and we have an additional $600 through the University. We’ve sold T-shirts to make more money, and we have around $1,200 from that. Our final goal is $20,000,” Murphy said. “During the event, people will be selling food and doing raffles as well, so we’re very confident that we’re going to reach our goal and be able to donate $20,000 to a really good cause.”
Bill Davis, who has been involved with the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary for the last 10 years, has been overseeing the Rotaract’s planning of the Relay for Life. With 36 teams and almost 150 registered participants, he said they expect more than 500 people to attend the event.
“The walk itself is an opportunity for people to come out and be a part of recognizing the survivors and the caregivers, and the Luminaria event following will be an opportunity to remember those that have been lost to cancer,” he said. “One of these days, we’re going to find a way to cure cancer, and right now, the more money we throw at it, the more likely we’ll find opportunities to care for people going through it now and in the future.”
The event will be on Oct. 6, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Hardee McGee track and field at The University of the South. For more information about the event or to donate, visit relayforlife.org/sewaneetn.

​Sewanee Deer Hunt 2018-2019

The 2018 hunting season in Sewanee begins Sept. 22 and runs discontinuously until Jan. 11, 2019. This year marks the 16th year of organized hunting on the Domain after a resolution passed by the University trustees in 2001 requested that the deer herd be controlled.

Since that beginning, the program has continually evolved in response to herd populations, community input, and ever-expanding datasets on the impacts of the herd on the ecological and human community.
The current hunt is organized around the 2016 White tailed deer management plan, http://www.sewanee.edu/media/offices/domain-manage.... This document outlines both the population and habitat goals, and the steps involved to reach those goals. In general, our goal is to bring the population down to what the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency feels is a sustainable population (approximately 25-30 deer per square mile) in a way that maximizes safety, minimizes impacts to the non-hunting members of our community, and maximizes student-led monitoring of the ecological and social impacts.
This year the largest change to the hunt is map-related. In previous years, there have been two maps; one for hunting while students are on campus, and another map for when students leave. While the rules for the two time periods remain largely unchanged, we have combined the two different maps to minimize confusion for the general public.
There are minor changes to the hunting hours. During the week, hunters must be out of the woods by 10 a.m., the same as on weekends. We have allowed limited hunting during both Homecoming and Family Weekends in zones away from heavy recreational activity. There will be no hunting on Breakfield Road during either weekend to ensure ample hiking opportunities for guests. As always, all trails and firelanes remain open to recreational use during the season and hunters maintain a 100-yard safety zone around all recreational trails.

As in previous years, there may be a surplus of animals available for local families. If you are interested in picking up a field-dressed deer for processing, please email domain@sewanee.edu. For more information on the University hunting program and specific rules and times, please visit http://sustain.sewanee.edu/domain/ecosystem-manage...


​Object Idea Exchange Coming to Sewanee

The Isle of Printing will lead Sewanee in a community project centered around The Communication Station - Automated Exchange Interface, an experimental process for people to share and receive objects and ideas. Participants can interact, examine and share with their community in an efficient modern manner that explores our collective ability to communicate with one another as neighbors and citizens of the world.

The event begins on Friday, Sept. 28, and everyone is welcome. From noon to 1:30 p.m., the Isle of Printing will be in McClurg Dining Hall to begin the conversation, and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., they will join the festivities at AngelFest in downtown Sewanee.
Consider bringing a gift, an object smaller than a shoebox. Participants can bring something they associate with the community of Sewanee or an object they would like the community of Sewanee to have.
Through the shared experience of these objects, the project aims to find pathways towards positive connections and a higher level of interpersonal communication between seemingly disparate groups.
Gifts and stories will shape the exhibition “Communication Station: Automated Exchange” in the University Art Gallery, opening Oct. 25.

​Grundy County Food Bank: Need without Shame

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Weekly, the Grundy County Food Bank (GCFB) provides free food to 60 families, averaging three to four family members. To qualify to receive food, a family must fall below a certain income level.
“SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and food stamp recipients are a shoo in,” said Director of Operations Tim Glover.
But some people who qualify for food stamps, officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), don’t apply for benefits and come to the food bank for help instead. These prospective clients undergo a thorough income vetting process just like at a government office. Why would people in need decline food stamps and seek help from the food bank?
“There’s a stigma associated with food stamps,” said Board President Jennifer Thompson. “Everyone knows your business. You need to show your SNAP/EBT card at the grocery. Here, clients see the same friendly familiar faces each visit. The food stamp program is government run. The food bank is people oriented.”
The Grundy County Food Bank distribution mechanism goes a step further to bolster clients’ independence and self-esteem by offering them a choice. Most food distribution and food bank operations provide clients with a pre-selected box of food. At the GCFB clients proceed from station to station, produce, meat, canned goods, bread, etc., choosing what they want within limits dictated by family size.
“When clients get to choose foods they like, they’ll use them instead of throwing them away,” Thompson pointed out.
“Some weeks there’s no meat, though,” said Glover, “or no bread.”
“People want more fresh vegetables and canned goods,” Thompson stressed. “The first 20 or so clients might get nice vegetables, but for the last 20 or 30 people, the good quality produce is gone.”
The food bank relies on three primary sources for food: USDA free food picked up at the Chattanooga Food Bank hub; food purchased from the Chattanooga Food Bank; and free food from the Kimball WalMart in conjunction with the Feed America program.
The USDA allotment is need based. “We didn’t get enough from the USDA this year,” Glover said. The GCFB makes up the difference by using its meager $50,000 annual budget to buy food.
While the food bank welcomes all donations, cash donations are preferred. A dollar spent at the Chattanooga Food Bank goes six times as far as a dollar spent at a local grocery by a well-meaning donor.
“We want to spend our money on food,” Thompson said, but there are many other needs and expenses.
Most of the food received from WalMart is near expiration and perishable. The food bank’s “old broken down” refrigerated truck travels 1,000 miles per month picking up food. Transporting food in a cooler in personal vehicle isn’t allowed, according to Thompson.
Housed in a former grocery store at 861 Main St., in Tracy City, the GCFB has two walk-in freezers, eight free-standing freezers, and a walk-in cooler. The building, however, isn’t sound. The roof leaks and the floor is rotting in places. The food bank has used the building rent-free for several years, “but the owner wants us to move on,” Glover said.
Soon homeless, the nonprofit is investigating grant and funding options. “There are no grants for food,” Thompson said.
Clients are exceedingly grateful, she insisted. “They ask how they can help. They wash windows or make a small cash donation of two or three dollars.” Many clients are elderly and caring for grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
Locality limits donations from corporate sponsors, Thompson said. “There are no big groceries and big factories within a 50 mile radius. Corporations want to give-back to the local area first.”
It takes 200-volunteer hours per month to keep the food bank in operation. “People fill in as necessary,” said volunteer bookkeeper Greg Magavero, whether mopping the floor, overseeing the selection stations, or supervising computer check-in of clients.
Given the limited resources, clients can only visit once a month with a family of four receiving 80-100 pounds of food—not nearly enough. Folks wanting to help can mail cash donations to 861 Main St., Tracy City, TN 37387 or contribute online via the GCFB Facebook page or website <grundyfoodbank.wordpress.com>. The AmazonSmile program, another donation venue, contributes a percentage of each purchase to the food bank. The food bank also welcomes donations of fresh produce from local farmers. To volunteer, phone (931) 592-3631 or stop by for a visit during distribution hours, 8 a.m.-10 a.m. every Tuesday.
The food bank has several fundraisers coming up: a haunted house at the Tracy City location, every Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5–Nov. 3, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; a concert with headliner Confederate Railroad at the Stage in Monteagle, 6 p.m., Oct. 5; and a hike for hunger later in the fall.
The food bank is the rare entity that would welcome being obsolete. Five years down the road, Thompson’s wish list is for “food stocked floor to ceiling and fewer people lined up at the door because the need has decreased.”

​University to Celebrate Foundation Day Sept. 21 and Founders’ Day Oct. 12

The University of the South will revive an old tradition and celebrate Foundation Day this month to observe the 150th anniversary of the matriculation of its first nine students, which occurred on Sept. 18, 1868. The celebration will coincide with Family Weekend and will include both a Convocation on Friday, Sept. 21, and the dedication of an EQB monument.

During the Foundation Day Convocation, Vice-Chancellor John McCardell will give remarks observing the significant occasion, and students will be inducted into the Order of the Gown. Only students receiving (or giving) gowns and families of new OG members will have tickets for admission to the Chapel. All others are invited to watch this special Convocation in Guerry Auditorium.
The more familiar Founders’ Day celebration next month will include a Convocation at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Ning Tang, C’98, will give the Founders’ Day address. Tang is the founder and CEO of CreditEase, a global financial technology leader specializing in inclusive finance and wealth management.
In conjunction with Founders’ Day, Christy Coleman and Waite Rawls from the American Civil War Museum (Richmond, Va.) will offer a public conversation at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11, in Guerry Auditorium. The American Civil War Museum is the nation’s first museum to explore the story of the Civil War from three perspectives—Union, Confederate, and African American. Coleman and Waite will have a conversation about understanding the Civil War from these multiple perspectives.
More information about Founders’ Day honorary degree recipients will be available as the date draws closer.

​Speaker Series Serves Laid-Back Knowledge

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer
Expert speakers, stimulating topics and a relaxed atmosphere is the recipe for a new monthly talk series at the Blue Chair Café.
Thirst for Knowledge debuted on Sept. 12 with Katie McGhee, a Sewanee biology professor, expounding on carnal fish with “What Disney Didn’t Tell You About Nemo: The Amazing Sex Lives of Fish.”
People drank beer and soda and were able to ask questions and get answers in layman’s terms; the idea being to reduce the social barriers of more formal lectures, organizers said.
“The goal is to engage and let your brain go somewhere it wouldn’t go on its own but at the same time not polarize the crowd, but engage the crowd in a way that’s unique,” said Becca Loose, who along with Diane Fielding and Stephen Burnett make up the brain trust behind Thirst.
“There are so many in this community doing fascinating things and that’s really what we wanted to highlight with this,” Fielding said. “There’s no shortage of lecture series in this town, so it wasn’t that we needed another lecture series. I just thought what I wanted was something informal and not tied to the University, necessarily.”
Fielding said the idea was inspired by similar talks she saw in cities such as Raleigh and Denver, events akin to Café Scientifica, an international effort that features talks by scientists in comfortable settings like pubs and restaurants.
A different moderator will lead each Thirst for Knowledge gathering, but that moderator will not be from the same field as the speaker. For instance, Lauryl Tucker, an English professor, moderated McGhee’s sex lives of fish presentation.
“We don’t want the moderator to be an expert at all on the topic. We want them to be somebody who knows the speaker on a personal level, but we don’t want two experts in the same field,” Loose said. “We’re hoping that the dynamic between the speaker and the moderator is engaging in and of itself.”
Other alterations compared to some traditional lectures are increased dialogue with the audience and the speaker lacking a common tool, Fielding noted.
“I think what is different about this series is there’s not a PowerPoint, which sounds like a small thing, but I think it can be a hurdle for speakers,” Fielding said. “They’re very reliant on that sometimes, I think unnecessarily, so we feel like we need to kind of groom the speakers to feel comfortable to be able to talk to someone as if you would if you ran into them at a party.”
Organizers plan to host speakers in a variety of fields, not only academia.
Loose’s husband Remington, a computer network architect, will talk about the “perils of social media” on Nov. 7.
“I’ve been involved with network engineering and computer networks for the last 20 years,” he said. “I feel my experience gives me a strong understanding of the ‘under the hood’ situation facing average people in using the internet and social media.”
His expertise is in designing and implementing computer networks for a variety of customers, including hospitals, financial institutions and other industries. Remington said he’s both humbled and excited to share his knowledge.
“I’m privately, but very passionately, concerned about online security and I think most people would like to do more and know more but are unsure how to do so,” he said. “I hope the community enjoys the entire series and learns something too!”
Mark Hopwood, an assistant professor of philosophy at Sewanee, is slated to speak on microaggressions on Dec. 5.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a microaggression as “a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group.”
Hopwood gave an example of a microaggression being a professor asking an Asian American student, “No, where are you really from?” after they say they are from Nashville.
“In the presentation, we’ll talk about what microaggressions are and how they connect to philosophical questions about moral responsibility,” he said.
Hopwood added that he is grateful for the organizers’ work in creating the speaker series.
“I love the idea of Thirst for Knowledge,” he said. “Socrates didn’t write a single academic book or paper—he just went out into the streets and started up conversations with people. Talking about big ideas in a casual environment is what philosophy used to be all about, and I think it’s probably still what it ought to be about.
“Having said that, Socrates eventually annoyed the Athenians so much that he got arrested and executed for corrupting the youth, so bringing philosophy out into the public square didn’t end that well for him. I’m just hoping Sewanee will be kinder...” he joked.
The event is sponsored by the Sewanee Civic Association and the University of the South’s Office of Civic Engagement. To nominate a speaker or moderator, or for more information, email <ThirstySewanee@gmail.com>.

​School Pickup Traffic Endangers Children

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“We’ve got a problem with the schools being inundated with vehicles at 1:30 p.m.,” insisted board member Chris Guess at the Sept. 9 meeting of the Franklin County School Board. “A fire truck or ambulance wouldn’t be able to get to the school if there was an emergency.”
“Franklin County High School keeps a lane open,” Guess said, “but the elementary schools don’t. At Clark Memorial pickup cars start arriving at 1:15 p.m. when the kids don’t get out until 3 p.m.”
“It’s also a security issue,” said school system safety specialist Mark Montoye. “We don’t know who’s in all those cars. We can’t ID them.”
Montoye suggested signage reading: “No one allowed in pickup line until 2:30 p.m.”
School board member Sara Liechty asked if it was possible to have multiple locations where students could be picked up. “We need to make pickup as efficient as possible,” Liechty said.
The board will attempt to address the problem by controlling when cars begin arriving.
Turning to new policies and policy changes recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association, the board approved four policies and deferred a decision on one.
The overhaul of the School District Planning policy brought the district’s strategic planning practices in line with state reporting requirements.
The new District Water Testing policy, likewise a response to state regulations, requires testing drinking water for lead at all schools built after 1998. “All the schools except Franklin County High School will need to be tested every two years,” noted Assistant Superintendent Linda Foster. Anticipating the policy and state mandate, a project by Cowan Elementary and South Middle School students won regional honors last year for a prototype lead-detection alarm for school water fountains.
The revised Attendance policy removed college visits from the list of excused absences. Instead, under the new Attendance During Post Secondary Visits policy, juniors and seniors making college visits will be counted “present” for a period of up to three days. However, the new policy stipulates the students “will not be counted present during travel days.”
Responding to board members concern that college-visit travel days would count as unexcused absences, Foster pointed out school principals could excuse students in circumstances “over which the student has no control.”
Board Vice Chair Lance Williams recommended “letting the principals work it out.”
“We’ll need to depend on principals using discretion,” agreed Board Chair Cleijo Walker.
The major change in the TSBA recommended Homebound Instruction policy added language to provide specifically for students with “chronic medical conditions,” where absence from the classroom might be staggered as opposed to over a period of consecutive days.
Liechty questioned removing the requirement a homebound teacher hold an endorsement in the field for which they were providing instruction.
Foster speculated circumstance might dictate the need for a homebound teacher to provide instruction in more than one area, including areas where they lacked endorsement. The board will revisit the policy after Foster researches the issue.
The board also approved purchase of a basketball shooting machine for use by the FCHS boys’ basketball program. “There’s a lot that doesn’t work on the machine they have now,” Walker said. Trading in the old machine will reduce the cost by $750, bringing the total to $5,745. The Booster Club will make a donation to help offset the expense.
The board reelected Walker chair and Williams as vice chair for the 2018–19 school year.
The board meets next Oct. 8.

​Hunger Walk Sets Fundraising Record

by Kevin Cummings, Messenger Staff Writer
The fourth annual Hunger Walk was the most successful yet, bringing in more than $25,000.
The event, sponsored by the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club, benefits the Community Action Committee (CAC) in Sewanee and the Morton Memorial UMC Food Ministry in Monteagle. After expenses, the net proceeds from the walk will mean about $10,000 for each food pantry, said John Noffsinger, chair of the Hunger Walk Committee.
“I was very impressed with the generosity of the community and their willingness to help raise money for the two food pantries and for those less fortunate,” Noffsinger said. “We also had a lot of University of the South support with many students making the walk, including the women’s softball team and fraternities Delta Tau Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.”
A total of 62 businesses and 21 families donated to the Hunger Walk as partners, Noffsinger said. Lodge Manufacturing was the title sponsor for a second year and Day Spring Farm also made a significant donation after the event, he added.
An estimated 215 people entered the five-mile walk, which raised an additional $4,000.
Noffsinger praised the efforts of the organizers of the event. The Hunger Walk team included Rotarians Rich Wyckoff, John Goodson, Lee Harmon, John Solomon and Mike Roark; food pantry leaders Betty Carpenter and Amy Wilson; VISTA coordinator Sarah Hess; Big A Marketing’s Aaron Welch; and Rotarian and University representative Dixon Myers.

​SACA Arts & Crafts Fair

The Sewanee Arts and Crafts (SACA) Fair will be Saturday, Sept. 22, in Shoup Park, across the street from the University Book and Supply Store. The fair, which will happen rain or shine, will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by SACA. There will be art and crafts for sale including clay, glass, paintings, wood and much more.

​Village Planning Update: Bookstore and Grocery News

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
News about the bookstore and specialty food market led the discussion at the September Village Planning update meeting hosted by Frank Gladu, Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor. Tasked with overseeing the plan, Gladu has identified five priority projects, with the new bookstore and mixed-use grocery-apartment building currently topping the list. The bookstore is expected to be open by the beginning of the next academic year and the mixed-use food market and apartment building has taken a leap forward with a developer interested in the project.
The contractor bid process is open on the bookstore, Gladu said. Describing the design, he explained the two sections of the bookstore would be joined in the rear. One side will sell trade books and the other side will sell “Sewanee spirit” items and gifts. A basement area will be devoted to student textbooks and course materials. The building will also offer outdoor and indoor seating courts.
The current bookstore site will become the home of a new Wellness Center for students and faculty. The center will include student health, counseling, and exercise components, as well as providing a home base for the Sewanee Outing Program, according to Gladu. The Fowler Center will continue to be the sports and fitness facility for public use.
The University hopes to break ground on the Wellness Center this fall, Gladu said. Plans are underway to move the current bookstore to a temporary location pending completion of the new bookstore. The Bishop’s Common, the former location of the bookstore, is being considered as the bookstore’s temporary home.
The mixed-use grocery and apartment building is slated for location on the lot currently occupied by the Hair Depot. The recently completed conceptual design shows the market front door facing the intersection. The 10,000 square foot ground floor might house other retail businesses in addition to a grocery, Gladu said. By comparison, the Sewanee Market convenience store is only 1,800 square feet. The mixed-use building will have apartments on the top two stories. The third floor apartments will feature balconies to give the building a more aesthetically compelling appearance. Parking will be in the rear.
“The potential developer is really on board with what we had in mind,” Gladu said, “and the architect got from the beginning what we were trying to do.”
From the outset, housing has been a key component of the Sewanee Village Plan.
To address the employee housing shortage, the University intends to make additional sites available where employees can build, Gladu said. The University may also offer financial assistance to employees who want to build, especially first time-home owners. With the exception of Parson’s Green, only employees can build on the Domain.
The Village Plan calls for as many as 100 housing units in the 45-acre business district, both apartments and developer-built single family homes. The types of single-family homes proposed include three or four home clusters, cottage court groupings of small homes facing one another, and attached homes like duplexes, triplexes, and townhouses.
“Variety is crucial to changing the housing inventory in Sewanee,” Gladu said. For Village housing, employees will have buyer’s priority throughout the sale negotiation process. In the event the price decreases in negotiation with a non-employee buyer, employees will have the option to override the non-employee’s bid.
Providing an update on other priority projects, Gladu said TDOT continued to grapple with the proposal to narrow Highway 41A to calm traffic. Design work on the Village Green was expected to begin in the near future given impetus by a donor gift earmarked for that purpose.
“There’s much perched on the horizon,” Gladu stressed. “What happens in the next year will be telling.”

​Historic Vote on Mountain Goat Trail Crossing: Monteagle to Apply for $1M Grant

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At a special called meeting Sept. 4, the Monteagle City Council voted to authorize the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance (MGTA) to write a grant on the town’s behalf, requesting up to $1 million to get the trail across the interstate. Following the route the railroad once used to transport coal from the Plateau, the walking and biking trail will extend from Cowan to Palmer when complete.
“For 10 years we’ve been trying to figure out how to bridge the interstate,” said MGTA President Nate Wilson.
If Monteagle receives the funds requested in the Southeast Development District (SDD) Multimodal Grant, the town will be required to pay 5 percent of the construction costs, up to $25,000 per year over a two year period. On the first vote, Vice Mayor Jessica Blalock and Mayor David Sampley voted against the resolution authorizing the grant application, with alderman Kenneth Gipson and Ron Terrill voting yes.
“As a candidate for mayor, I promised not to spend money putting the town in debt,” Sampley said.
“We don’t have the money to do this,” stressed County Recorder Debbie Taylor. “Our budget is pretty tight.”
“What if we cover the $50,000?” Wilson asked. “The MGTA can commit to do that, as well as to paying any loan costs associated with the project.”
The council recessed to discuss Wilson’s offer.
Upon returning, the council voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. Alderperson Suzie Zeman was absent.
“The second largest industry in the state is tourism,” Wilson said, commenting on the potential benefits of the trail. An economic impact study conducted by the Babson Center projected the trail would generate $1.2 million annual revenue for Grundy County. The largest portion of that would go to Monteagle since it has motels and levies an occupancy tax. Wilson noted—“Research indicates if there is 25 miles or more of trail, bike users spend the night.”
“The trail will pay for itself with revenue,” Wilson insisted.
The council discussed borrowing the $50,000 from the $486,000 capital outlay budget earmarked for a new fire hall, but expressed concern about the money being replaced. Monteagle does not levy an income tax. The town’s revenue is limited to proceeds from the occupancy tax, gasoline tax, and sales tax revenue from retail businesses and restaurants.
The grant funding, if received, will complete the trail from Dollar General to Tower Community Bank. Conversation is underway with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) about using the old railroad bridge to span the interstate, Wilson said. In support of the project, TDOT will conduct a free structural assessment of the bridge.
Also in the project’s favor is money earmarked for sidewalks in the area of the interstate exits, Wilson pointed out. Portions of the sidewalks could be used for the trail.
Wilson expects the grant application to score high because of the connectivity the trail affords and because it fits in well with the state’s infrastructure plan. Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady had intended to apply for funding for a similar project. Brady’s project had lower connectivity impact, and Brady has agreed to put his energy behind the MGT interstate crossing proposal.
Wilson said the multi-modal grant was a historic opportunity since in the past SDD money for rural projects typically went to roads.
The SDD Rural Project Organization will score the grant applicants on Sept. 19. City and county mayors in the district are voting members.

​Tickets Available for the Goldenrod Gala

The second annual Goldenrod Gala — a “night out for nature” and an important fundraiser for the Friends of South Cumberland State Park — will be going underground on Saturday, Oct. 6, at The Caverns, about 10 minutes north of Monteagle. This year’s Gala will feature the music and stagecraft of the Grammy-nominated WannaBeatles, with the artisan-style buffet dinner crafted by Ivy Wild Catering. This year’s Gala takes place in the dramatic new performance hall at The Caverns, which is also the new home of the popular PBS television series “Bluegrass Underground.” This year’s Gala will also feature a silent version of the very popular Adventure Auction, offering unique, off trail nature expeditions led by expert guides.

Ivy Wild Catering, based in Sewanee, has been selected to provide an artisan-style buffet dinner for the Goldenrod Gala. Although Ivy Wild’s restaurant operation has recently changed direction, the catering service continues its eight-year tradition of providing unique and delectable dishes, with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients.
The WannaBeatles have created an amazing musical tribute experience that combines great Beatles classics with hilarious on stage antics, audience involvement and award winning entertainment. The WannaBeatles use their multi-instrumental skills to recreate all eras of the Beatles song catalogue. They have appeared with such renowned artists as Wynonna Judd, Phil Keaggy, and Jonny Lang. Their upbeat performances at The Tennessee Performing Arts Center, The Music City Bowl, and Georgia’s New Year‘s Eve Peach Drop earned them enthusiastic reviews and standing ovations.
Proceeds from the Goldenrod Gala support a wide range of Friends’ initiatives on behalf of South Cumberland State Park. A limited number of tables and individual seats are still available, and may be reserved online at www.GoldenrodGala.org. Reservations are required by Sept. 20. The Friends are also seeking business sponsors and donors to sign-on in support of the Goldenrod Gala and its mission for the Park. Contact the Friends for more information at friendsofsouthcumberland@gmail.com.

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