​Monteagle Council Approves Rezoning, Updating Building Codes

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Feb. 26 meeting, the Monteagle Town Council approved, on first reading, a request to rezone a tract of land on Highway 41 from R-3 High-Density Residential to C-2 Highway Commercial. Planning Commission chair Ron Terrill said the owner, Roy Walsingham, wanted to erect a building and sell mulch by the bag and truckload. Traveling south on Hwy. 41, the property is located on the left just past Laurel Trails Road.
The council also approved, on first reading, an ordinance updating the Building Codes regulations to the 2012 standard used by the state. Both the rezoning and building codes ordinances will be presented for a second reading granting final approval at the council meeting in March.
Utility Systems Supervisor John Condra reported the Utility Department received a near perfect score of 98 in the recent inspection. “We lost points for our fire hydrant flushing program not being active enough,” Condra said.
“We have all the equipment we need,” Condra noted, and said Utility Department personnel were being trained on the hydrant flushing task.
Condra requested permission to sell two sludge boxes purchased seven years ago before the new sewer plant was constructed. The Utility Department outsources sludge disposal now. Condra has received calls from individuals wanting to purchase the sludge boxes, which cost $30,000 each when new.
“I wouldn’t advise selling the boxes for less than $15,000 each,” Condra said.
The council voted to declare the sludge boxes surplus so they could be sold.
Community resident Carole Manganaro asked if proceeds from sale of the boxes could be used to fund the fire department’s equipment and gear needs.
“You can’t mix funds between departments,” Mayor David Sampley said.
The fire department has applied for two FEMA grants, one for a new engine and the other for protective gear. Grant awards are made on a rolling basis, said Fire Chief Mike Holmes. “We won’t know the result of our application until May or later.”
Alderman Kenneth Gipson asked if city hall hours could be extended to 5 p.m. Sampley said his experience had been that when the office stayed open later than 4 p.m., no one came.
Vice Mayor Jessica Blalock reported erecting the playground equipment purchased for Harton Park would require hiring an independent contractor specializing in playset installations. Blalock has received a bid of $7,000 and is researching pricing from other installers. The cost of erecting the playground equipment has delayed the project. The council meets next on March 26.