​Monteagle: Police Save Life, Jobs, Pit Bulls

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

“I have no doubt in my mind the officers saved the woman’s life,” said Monteagle Police Chief Virgil McNeese recognizing officers Zach Fults and David Strieby at the April 29 Monteagle City Council meeting. On March 30, an unidentified motorist dropped off an unresponsive woman at the Monteagle 911 Center. Called to the scene, Fults and Strieby assessed the situation and administered nasal Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The woman’s breathing and heart rate immediately returned to normal.

“Law enforcement is a lot more than writing tickets and working wrecks,” said McNeese in commending the officers. “A lot of times you have two seconds to make a decision that will change someone’s life forever.”

During the business portion of the meeting, the council issued a business permit to Dollar Tree, reviewed a request from a resident who had no access to his property, considered banning pit bull dogs in the city limits, and passed a resolution that will accommodate extending a section of the Mountain Goat Trail.

Dollar Tree will be located at the site currently occupied by Family Dollar, which will close on May 5. Dollar Tree plans to hire 30 part-time employees. The grand opening is scheduled for May 30.

Mitchell Lawson who owns land on the back side of Laurel Lake with no road access asked the council to construct an access road in keeping with the provisions of the 1975 agreement, which deeded the city property to construct the lake. Lawson’s father sold Monteagle the land for one dollar. The agreement proposed an access road be constructed on the spillway.

“Federal law says you can’t land lock a piece of land,” Lawson insisted. Developers are interested in purchasing the property. Other access options include an easement for a road through the Black property or Clifftops development.

“The Black property sounds like the best bet,” said Vice Mayor Tony Gilliam. The council will consult with city attorney Harvey Cameron.

Reporting on Codes Enforcement, John Knost said North Bluff drive residents have complained about pit bull dogs chasing neighborhood cats and the UPS driver. Knost suggested the council consider an ordinance similar to that adopted by South Pittsburg to ban pit bull dogs in the city limits. In South Pittsburg those already owning the dogs were required to confine them behind a six foot fence.

“It could be any dog,” said alderwoman Jessica Blalock. “We don’t need to worry about pit bulls. We need to enforce the leash law.”

The leash law hasn’t been enforced, Gilliam conceded. “If we enforce the leash law, violators will go before the judge, and it’s out of our hands.”

Mountain Goat Trail Alliance board president Nate Wilson provided an overview of a plan to extend the trail from Clifftops to the interstate. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has federal grant money for a pedestrian walkway, Wilson said. Wilson and Tennessee Senator Janice Bowling persuaded TDOT to upgrade the proposed walkway from a five foot sidewalk to a ten foot to twelve foot pedestrian facility to be used as part of the trail. The MGTA will pay for reengineering the project. There would be no cost to Monteagle. Monteagle’s only commitment would be to facilitate tie-ins to existing infrastructure. Wilson doesn’t anticipate any tie-ins being needed.

The council approved a resolution allowing Mayor David Sampley to sign the paperwork needed for the project to move forward.

The council meets next on May 20, rather than on the regular meeting date of the last Monday of the month.