Lookout Mountain, Ga., Mayor David Bennett Says City Can Afford To Move Forward With Town Center Project

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - by Matthew Smisson
Lookout Mountain, Ga., Mayor David Bennett said Thursday he has been closely examining the city’s budget to look at all avenues of affording the long-planned town center project.  He announced that the city can afford the development and said it is vital that the council proceed with their portion of the project to get a new city hall built.  He stated that partnering with other developers is not necessary for the city to begin building a new city hall. 
Councilwoman Taylor Watson echoed Mr.
Bennett by saying, "We must get this done for our residents and our city."


Mayor Bennett said he is assembling a team of advisors that will meet with architects and the municipal planning department of the University of Georgia that is doing a presentation for a town center development in May. He encouraged the council members to continue their diligent research on town center development.  

Councilwoman Watson, who is over fire and police, said a crackdown on speeding has begun working even in the first few weeks of the initiative. She described the city’s zero tolerance policy on speeding and stop sign violations. The police department made 33 stops during the last several weeks for speeders and word is getting out, Mrs. Watson said.  She also stated that the police department will be enforcing the usage of low-speed or “golf cart” like vehicles.  Police have seen an increase of unlicensed drivers using them illegally and dangerously, it was stated. Ms. Watson encourages all owners to follow the correct protocols for operating those vehicles.
She said there have been no burglaries over the past month. 
Residents of Pied Piper Trail were present to request the installation of speed bumps.  Heather Droke, Michelle Paty, Laura Hartman and Wes Hasden presented to the council their concerns about excessive speeding on the one-block street.  City manager Brad Haven said the cost for installation is minimal and recommended it.  The council approved the installation of the speed bumps.   
Jimmy Campbell said a donor has made a gift of a sculpture to the city to be placed near city hall for beautification. Council members said they were grateful for the generous gift. 
Mr. Campbell informed the council that the planning commission is working on permit requirements for building projects.  He also displayed the rendering of the city’s new website that will include all the permit requirement and city ordinances.  Councilwoman Caroline Williams made the suggestion that the website include more on living on the mountain and recreational opportunities. 
Mrs. Williams said Fairyland School is in its final four weeks.  Presently students are undergoing standardized testing.  She said the Fairyland Festival takes place Thursday, April 27.  She also requested that police remain at Fairyland School carpool in the mornings a few minutes longer to help with students coming in late.  Councilwoman Watson said that she would inform the police chief. 

Mayor Bennett said that due to recent storm damage the city will not haul away large tree debris.  For more information about the size in which to prepare tree debris please see city hall for details.  He requests that all residents with tree debris remove it from city right of ways, such as streets.  Failure to do so will result in citations and fines. 

The next regular meeting of the city council will be Thursday, May 18, at 5:30 p.m.. 

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