Commissioner of Fire and Police Jim Bentley said that signs have been installed that forbid large trucks and trailers on narrow, curving Ochs Highway. He also said that the new fire engine, which was due to be delivered in February, should be here soon.
The school year began with an armed security officer at Lookout Mountain School, provided by the Hamilton County School Board. Chiefs Schermerhorn and Dale Taylor met with the teachers, many who are new, to reassure them that the Lookout Mountain, Tenn., police can be at the school almost immediately. The police are impressed with the security officer chosen for LMS; she has been in law enforcement for 20 years in Metro Nashville. The town’s police department will always have radio contact with her for instant communication.
Commissioner of Schools Brooke Pippenger said that enrollment is up this year with 225-230 children. The increase is attributed to many new families on the mountain, as well as from the “choice enrollment program.” She asks for drivers to watch out for an increase of children who walk to and from school and in the designated school zones. During the summer break, the pond area in front of LMS was extended with a new stone patio and picnic tables. The area can be used for outdoor classes, thanks to the PTA.
Parks and Playgrounds Commissioner David Paschall reiterated that Commons Camp was a huge success this summer. Many days this year there were 25-30 kids at camp, he said. He gave a shout-out to all those who helped, especially to Gwin Tugman, who he said puts in more hours at the camp than anyone else.
Three new scoreboards, one for baseball, one for football and another for basketball, will be installed before the September start of flag football, said the commissioner.
A record number, 450 kids, signed up for soccer this year. Every age group is pretty much maxed out, said Commissioner Paschall. He said that flag football registration is in the early stages now, but judging from the number registering, it looks like there will be another record number playing that sport, too.
The public works department is pretty much caught up with trimming and picking up brush, said Public Works Commissioner Frank Schriner, although the bucket truck is still in the shop for repairs. The department will begin working on road improvements, starting with filling potholes. A second bid has been received for paving that is planned for North Bragg Avenue. Now an updated price is needed from the company that submitted the first bid, after which a decision will be made on the company to do the work. The dumpster is on the mountain the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. A sign will be posted informing residents of the times.
Mayor Walker Jones acknowledged that soon a lot of changes will be taking place in the town. Former Commissioner of Schools Brooke Pippenger accepted the new position of town manager. She said that she had been impressed with the town’s employees from the perspective of a resident and a commissioner. Now, after seeing them as a co-worker, she said she is even more impressed with how hard people work and how much they care about the town and taking care of the people who live here.
There will be two new commissioners after the next meeting: Karen Leavengood will replace Ms. Pippenger; and William Valdez will take the place of Frank Schriner, who chose not to run. David Paschall may be leaving the commission because of additional responsibilities, both work-related and personal. He told the commissioners that he would make a final decision by the next meeting. “It’s frustrating because you’re great at it - a perfect fit, and it won’t be easy to find someone to replace you,” said Mayor Jones, adding that he understood. In the next six weeks, there will be a search for a potential replacement.
Other upcoming changes include two new members on the Lookout Mountain school board, Julie Fisher and James Williams, who will join Karen Welborn. The town’s judge will also change, with Stevie Phillips Persinger taking the place of Flossie Weill.
The next Lookout Mountain Tenn., commission meeting will be held on the third Tuesday of the month, September 20, at 5 p.m.