Monteagle: Water Plant AC, Infrastructure Capacity, Playgrounds
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the June 27 meeting the Monteagle Council approved the operations-critical purchase of an air conditioning unit for the water plant. City engineer Travis Wilson reported on grant funding to increase water and sewer capacity. On the fun and recreation side, the council announced July 4 plans and a grant to purchase playground equipment for Hannah Pickett Park.
Utilities manager John Condra said temperatures at the water plant rose to 88 degrees last week when the air conditioner failed. “We’ve got to keep it cool on account of the chemicals and equipment,” Condra stressed. Cooling the facility with fans from the fire department did not help. The recommended operating temperature is 72-75. The council approved purchase of a new air conditioning unit from budgeted funds, cost not to exceed $12,000.
Reporting on water levels at Laurel Lake, the city’s drinking water source, Condra said the lake was down 8 inches, from the 11 foot 8 inches high water mark. There is no drought concern currently. Mayor Marilyn Campbell Rodman said the city was investigating the possibility of constructing a lake or impoundment, but state regulations “might not allow” the project.
Wilson said the city had received two grants to correct inflow and infiltration (I&I) of storm water into the sanitary sewer. The rehab will increase sewer capacity. On the water supply side, the city has applied for a grant for additional storage tanks. A study is underway to address questions about water and sewer capacity. “We’re proceeding as quickly as we can,” Wilson said. Plans call for video inspecting the sewer, but the inspection needs to be done in wet weather so I&I defects can be detected.
Alderwoman Jessica Favaloro announced Monteagle’s July 4 plans. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Parade participants should line up at the VFW at 9 a.m. Local military veterans will serve as grand marshals. Veterans wanting to ride on the float should meet at townhall at 9 a.m. The fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. at the ball field.
Reporting on parks, Favaloro thanked the South Cumberland Community Fund for a $7,000 grant for playground equipment for Hannah Pickett Park. The city has an addition $3,000 available from community donations. Rodman said proceeds from a fundraiser planned for this summer would also go to the playground. Favaloro said adult equipment was being considered.
Alderwoman Dorraine Parmley called attention to the disrepair of the gazebo at Harton Park. Parmley and Condra will investigate possible solutions. “I don’t want to take it down,” Parmley insisted. The mayor said someone might want to donate money for restoration.
The council approved on first reading an ordinance to allow campgrounds in R-3 (medium density residential) zoning as a “special exception.” Rodman noted “special exception” meant the request for a campground would need to go before the board of zoning appeals.
Monteagle resident and businessman Dean Lay raised two zoning ordinance questions. Lay wants to store shipping containers on a fenced lot and asked if a site plan was needed since there would be no buildings. Lay also brought to the council’s attention a possible contradiction in the ordinance governing distilleries and breweries. Rodman recommended Lay attend the July 5 Planning Commission meeting.