Whitwell Council approves speed bumps for residential area safety

Whitwell, Tennessee. – The April meeting of the Whitwell Legislative Council addressed a variety of issues. Persistent traffic impediments for residents in the northern part of the county have come to the attention of the county mayor’s office. The Senior Center has seen its administrative structure evolve. The goal of a new heritage center for the town also continues.

The unofficial crossing into Chattanooga for residents, Suck Creek Road, has been plagued with delays due to emergencies and Mother Nature. The two-lane road is quite unforgiving for traffic stop incidents, which have been known to leave drivers stuck in a backlog of other cars behind an accident or a downed tree. County Mayor David Jackson attended the meeting and recalled the county’s emergency notification system. Jackson said, “Over the past few months we have had several calls from people in this area about wreckage, trees and house fires on … Suck Creek Road where they cannot get to Chattanooga. So we worked with Steve Lamb and wanted to remind people that anyone in Marion County can sign up for this Hyper-Reach system and dispatch will start sending them emergency notices on Suck Creek or any the count. Hyper-Reach is available for all citizens of Marion County to register on the website hyper-reach.com/tnmarionsignup.html

Vice Mayor Sandra Crabtree, who also sits on the steering committee for the proposed heritage center, updated council on the current situation. The Heritage Foundation is a Whitwell community organization seeking to raise funds for the Heritage Center, which is expected to house the Children’s Holocaust Museum (currently at Whitwell Middle School), the Miner’s Museum and the Whitwell Senior Center (both currently located at 900 S Main Street), the Orena Humphreys Public Library (currently located at 1130 N Main Street), as well as a facility for veterans. Crabtree went on to say that the volunteer committee leading the initiative is in the process of organizing a formal 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporate structure that should open up the effort to more people. financing options. One of the foundation’s initiatives is the resurrection of the Butterfly Festival, which returns after a pandemic hiatus. Crabtree said: “We have changed our butterfly festival from a one day event when the doors open at 4pm and from 5pm so it will only be the concert part but you can still purchase early tickets for twenty dollars or the tickets at the door will cost twenty-five {dollars}. The Butterfly Festival grew out of the Butterfly’s affiliation with the Children’s Holocaust Museum through the poem “The Butterfly,” written by 15-year-old Holocaust victim Pavel Friedmann. The concert, scheduled for May 14, will feature Davey Smith and Pearl Snap Preachers, Ed Brown, On the Rock with Eric Dempsey, Cade Patterson and Micah Atterton. The committee’s next action is to obtain renderings of the proposed center with the architect and to pursue various fundraising avenues to complete the formal architectural drawings.

City manager Lonnie Cleek has asked council to reassess a staffing decision he recently made. “I’m going to take huge responsibility for how we put it together,” Cleek began, “I thought it was going to be a perfect situation, but now I can see some of the struggles we had were down to the co-director of the Senior Center and we fired one of our employees because of it. Cleek went on to say, “After looking at the way we had it set up, there really was no way for two different ideas {to have} a deciding vote for lack of a better term. So I want to recommend to the board that we do a director, who is a full-time person who will take care of everything, everything as (former director) BJ {Johnston} did with an assistant Cleek recommended that one of the previous co-directors, Sandy Seiber-Tennille, be appointed director and that a list of vacancies be published for a thirty-hour assistant position. The council agreed with the plan which all members present approved without dissent.

From left, Commissioners Josh Michael, Mike Dillon, Vice Mayor Sandra Crabtree and Mayor Jimmy Nunley gathered for the April meeting.

The council continued the conversation from previous meetings regarding speeding in certain sections of the residential parts of the city. Sandra Crabtree said: ‘We have a petition regarding South Elm and East Maryland going up to the water tower where all the people up there who own homes have signed {a petition} and we are asking for two backs to be installed. ‘donkey. . One far enough that you won’t disturb anyone in the driveway, but we’ll probably have to have another one up there around my house to stop the {drivers} from crossing this one first and then speeding through it. After many cross talks, Cleek reinforcing Crabtree’s concerns saying, “Elm is a very narrow street. It is basically a one lane road. The board appeared to agree as it approved the recommendation 4-0.

The Whitwell Saddle Club continues, in cooperation with the city, to administer improvements to the equestrian arena at Whitwell Park. More recently, Cleek accepted an additional lighting donation from the City of Jasper following the installation of LED lights at Jasper Park. The city and the Saddle Club continue to find ways to avoid the seventy-five thousand dollar estimate for lighting and other improvements.

Whitwell Park has a similar problem that other municipalities struggle with, namely the drainage of its ball diamonds. Commissioner Mike Dillon again raised citizen concerns about the state of toilets and drainage. Cleek conceded that unless there is a costly overhaul of the fields, the problem will persist. He was less convinced on the question of the bathroom. “We’ve made a lot of changes to these {bathrooms}, they’re in great condition. I don’t see any problem with those,” Cleek then added humorously, “You know I wish I had the money to put Fulton County Stadium up there, but we don’t and when it rains three or four times a week, we’re going to have water.

The next regular monthly meeting will be May 12 at 6 p.m. at City Hall located at 13671 Highway 28.