Monteagle: Water Bill, Convenience Center, Speeding Issues

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

In his opening remarks at the April 29 Monteagle Council meeting, Mayor Greg Maloof offered advice to residents about late water bill payment and use of the Convenience Center. In a discussion with Police Chief William Raline, the council weighed options for how to curtail speeding. In regular business, the council approved the first reading of three ordinances.

Maloof urged residents to “pay your water bill as promptly as you can.” The time it took payments to reach the office varied depending on the method of payment, credit card payment versus payments sent by mail, for example. “We have to follow our system and treat everyone the same,” Maloof said. Allowances could not be made for payments late due to the method of transmittal used.

The Convenience Center has recently had problems with commercial contractors dumping roofing, building materials, and brush. “No commercial dumping is allowed,” Maloof stressed. “The waste and recycling industry is under pressure everywhere.” The town is investigating using window stickers to identify who is allowed to bring trash to the Monteagle site.

Chief Raline reported the department worked 12 non-injury crashes in April. He expected the number to increase due to increased traffic in warmer weather. Monteagle has more serious speeding and traffic problems than neighboring small towns due to its proximity to the interstate, according to Raline. Alderman Nate Wilson said the town planners who visited last week suggested narrowing Main Street in some areas to slow traffic. “Speeders are going to speed,” Raline said. “That just gives them more opportunity to hit someone.” He suggested solar-power speed signs that told motorists how fast they were going or increasing the fine for speeding in congested areas. The police plan to increase patrol to monitor speeding in the areas of Summerfield, Laurel Lake, and traffic coming from Sewanee.

The Fire Recovery ordinance approved by the council authorizes a third-party organization to collect insurance claims on the fire department’s behalf. The Parking ordinance, to curtail parking on shoulders and side streets, allows for ticketing offenders with a possible $50 fine plus court costs. The police requested the ordinance, Maloof said. He expected offenders to receive a warning and only to be ticketed if they did not move their vehicle. The Fire Grant ordinance authorized moving forward with the grant received for purchase of a Cascade System to fill firefighters air tanks.

The mayor and council thanked Wilson for his leadership in facilitating the visit by the Community by Design planners. The Community by Design group charges no fee to communities who qualify for their assistance in drawing up a town plan. Wilson estimated the town’s only expense, transportation costs, would be less than $2,000. He expressed gratitude for the “tremendous outpouring of support” from the steering committee who helped coordinate details and from the businesses and individuals who donated food and lodgings.

Wilson said the planners’ final report will rank suggested projects on a short-term versus long-term scale and by cost. He expects the town will receive the report in six to eight weeks. In the interim, Wilson will convene the steering committee to adapt the vision statement suggested by the planners “to make it our own.” A standing room only crowd attended the April 27 presentation by the Community by Design team. Wilson emphasized the importance of “keeping the momentum going.” Marci Dusseault who served on the steering committee will head up community-led projects. To get involved contact Marci at <>.

Monteagle will host Sparkle Week May 6-10. Residents can put unwanted household items at curbside for pickup and disposal.

The council meets next on Monday, May 20, a week earlier than usual to avoid conflicting with Memorial Day.

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