​Monteagle Firehall Complete; Approves Hazard Mitigation Plan


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Jan. 28 Monteagle City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Tony Gilliam announced completion of the new firehall, an issue the council grappled with since April 2017. Still grappling with last winter’s flooding disaster, the council approved joining Marion County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan to expedite FEMA assistance.

Gilliam said in spite of change orders, including resizing doors to accommodate fire trucks, the firehall final cost came in just $289 over the $400,000 budget. Fire chief Mike Holmes thanked the council. “We’re moved in, and we love it.” The public is invited to an open house Saturday, April 18, at noon.

In related business, the council approved applying for a $450,000 Community Block Grant to purchase two new fire trucks. If awarded the grant, the city’s share will be 13 percent. The council also approved purchase of masks for use with the 14 air packs acquired with a $99,000 FEMA grant. The remainder of the FEMA grant will be used to purchase the masks. By the grant stipulations, the city’s 5 percent match for the masks will be $257.

Gilliam and city recorder Debbie Taylor met with Marion County officials to arrange for Monteagle signing on to Marion County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan which is currently under review by the state. Since part of Monteagle is in Marion County, Monteagle will receive a share of any FEMA funding Marion County receives, Gilliam explained. “We still haven’t received assistance from FEMA for the flooding disaster last winter.”

“The Laurel Lake Road area affected lies in Marion County and includes more than 100 families,” Gilliam said. A Laurel Lake Road resident complained about the potholes and said the road was reduced to one lane in places.

Gilliam agreed more was needed than repairing the potholes, but stressed, “We can’t do anything until we have the money to cut ditch lines to deter the water from running over the road during heavy rainfall. We hope the Marion County Hazard Mitigation Plan will help address this.”

The council opened sealed bids for replacing the community center roof and insulating the maintenance shop. The council awarded the jobs to the low bidders, Caps Roofing in South Pittsburg, bid $23,700, and 31W Insulation, with offices in Chattanooga and Murfreesboro, bid $16,124.

Mid Tennessee Natural Gas will install heating at the maintenance shop. “We didn’t have to bid that since it cost less than $10,000,” Gilliam said following the meeting.

During Citizen Comment time, a resident asked about cleanup of a burned down house. Gilliam said the owners received a court order to clean up the property. The police department will pursue enforcement. Codes Enforcement officer John Knost recently resigned due to health and other personal issues, Gilliam noted. Going forward, the police department will take on code enforcement responsibilities.

Parks and Recreation manager Jessica Blalock announced baseball sign-ups were underway. The last opportunity to sign up is Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m.–noon, at City Hall.

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