​Monteagle Town Council Update

The Monteagle Town Council met on June 25 for its regular monthly meeting.

Police Chief Virgil McNeese said the schedule had been worked out to help monitor the annual Monteagle Fourth of July parade. Special attention will be given to the areas by the interstate. Line-up begins at 9 a.m., and the parade starts at 10 a.m.
Alderman Kenneth Gipson asked for a clarification on how much money a department could spend without additional council approval. The police department recently spent $9,000 for new tasers. This expense was budgeted.
Mayor David Sampley consulted the Monteagle Town Charter. “Items more than $10,000 must go before the council for approval, even if it is in the budget,” he said. Department heads still have to fill out the appropriate paperwork for any purchase.
Fire Chief Mike Holmes reported they have received trucks from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The trucks have decals, and the department is waiting on radios to be installed.
Holmes reported the fire department had an issue with the dump tank, which is used to refill the tanker with water. The dump tank had rusted in two and is broken. He received quotes to replace the dump tank, with a $3,500 to $5,000 estimate. The council approved the purchase to come out of the 2017-18 budget.
Codes Enforcement Officer Earle Geary reported five building permits have been issued this month, including three new houses in Cooley’s Rift.
Monteagle resident Dorraine Parmley asked Geary about a church on Layne Avenue that is in disrepair. Geary said he’d had difficulty determining who owned the property. A certified letter was sent to an owner 15 years ago but was never picked up or signed for. Geary said the city could tear the building down and put a lien on the property for the demolition cost, but they could encounter difficulty recapturing the expense.
“The legal notification process has happened and the council can take action,” said Geary. The council moved to take bids from contractors to tear down the building after asking the city attorney for advice.
In Parks and Recreation business, the council voted to have the Fourth of July fireworks on July 4, not July 3 as originally stated. Vice Mayor Jessica Blalock also updated the council on upcoming events in July. There will be a car show and movie at the park, July 13. There will be a community-wide yard sale during the 59th annual Monteagle Mountain Market for Arts and Crafts, at the end of July. The cost is $10 to join the yard sale. Participants can go to the May Justus Library to sign up.
The second reading on ordinance 18-05, holidays for employees was tabled as a new ordinance had to be written. The 2018-19 fiscal year budget was passed.
In the citizens comment portion of the meeting, Parmley asked the council for clarification on a new fire department building, after a lengthy discussion that occurred on social media. Holmes had stated at a previous meeting that a new fire hall would be expensive, such as the one built in Winchester for $800,000.
Gipson said nothing was set in stone, and that the planning and discussions were still underway. The actual cost for a new fire hall is unknown at this time.
“It is not cheap to build a fire hall, and we have got to get a plan together and a blueprint first,” he said. Gipson said the council will get a grant written to pay for the new fire hall.
–reported by Kiki Beavers, Messenger Editor