​Monteagle Steps Up Town Beautification


by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
In keeping with appointing a codes enforcement officer to address property maintenance violations, Monteagle will erect a fence at the city maintenance facility on South Central Avenue.
“If we’re going to make everyone clean up their place, the city needs to clean up, too” said Alderman Ken Gipson at the Dec. 19 special called meeting of the city council. The fence will screen the lot from view.
“It’s an eyesore for the community,” said Alderman Tony Gilliam.
Safety consideration also played into the decision. “A lot of kids live in that area,” said Alderwoman Jessica Blalock.
“It’s a wonder someone hasn’t been hurt already,” Gilliam said.
The city will pursue getting bids for the project. An amendment to the maintenance budget, which falls under Water and Sewer, will be needed to account for the expense.
Newly appointed codes enforcement officer John Knost will begin on Jan. 2.
“Monteagle has a good set of rules. They’re not unreasonable,” Knost said. “We just need to enforce them and get folks used to complying.”
A notice on water bills informed residents of Knost’s appointment and the city’s intention to enforce property maintenance regulations.
At the January meeting, the council will address securing a vehicle for Knost. At an earlier meeting, Police Chief Virgil McNeese proposed the Police Department’s no longer in use Crown Victory would make a good car for Knost. The Crown Victory has relatively low mileage, McNeese said. The department has two additional backup vehicles.
Revisiting the November discussion about repairs needed at the Community Center, which houses the May Justus Memorial Library, Gilliam recommended retaining a single contractor for the project. Gilliam identified three areas needing to be addressed: replacing roof shingles that had blown off, repairing duct work condensation leaks and repairing condensation leak damage to the ceiling.
The budget allocated $15,000 for the project, said city recorder Debbie Taylor.
“We should be able to do it for half of that,” Gilliam said.
Plans initially called for replacing the entire roof. Inspection by Gilliam revealed condensation, not roof leaks, caused the water stains on the ceiling.
The city will seek bids for the project specifying a single contractor perform all the tasks.
The Monteagle City Council meets next Jan. 28.