MOUNT CARMEL — Volunteers are needed to help Mount Carmel obtain a $525,000 Community Development Block Grant that would go toward making improvements at the sewer treatment plant.
On Tuesday, the Mount Carmel Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to apply for the $525,000 CDBG.
Mayor Chris Jones also asked the public for volunteers to help get 322 public surveys filled out that are a required part of the grant application due by the end of November.
"As with last time we applied for this last year, we have survey notices that we're going to have to do again," Jones told the board Tuesday. "A lot of people were uncomfortable with our police department going out and doing these (surveys) last time. We all heard about that, and we all decided the police department wouldn't do it. We are looking for volunteers who would like to go door to door and help do some of these surveys.
Jones added, "They tell us who we have to survey,and we have a particular list we have to go by. I believe it's going to be more accurate because it's spread out across the city. It will benefit the town. This grant will go toward improving our wastewater treatment plant. By making these improvements our plant will stand up and last a whole lot longer."
Anyone interested can either stop by City Hall during business hours or call city hall at (423) 357-7311.
Another grant application approved by the BMA on Tuesday would help the police department pay for surveillance cameras to be installed on public buildings.
The Tennessee Municipal League is offering a Property Conservation Matching Grant that will pay 50 percent of what they spend, with a maximum refund of $1,500.
Public Safety Director Jeff Jackson noted that video surveillance is a valuable security tool, and just by being installed along with awareness signs, they will assist in the reduction of property damage.
The data that is secured on these systems can aid in the prosecution of the offenders and will lower the chance of repeat offenders.
In other business Tuesday, the BMA:
* Approved the first reading of an ordinance that provides for handheld speed enforcement and establishes fines and penalties; as well as the second an final reading of an ordinance providing for traffic control (red light) photo enforcement and sets the fines and penalties for those violations. In both cases, the fine is $50, half of which goes to the city and half goes to the camera system provider.
* Following a lengthy discussion, agreed to authorize Public Works to clean out a ditch on public right of way that joins the property of Bill and Janice Dean on Hemlock Street. There was a question of whether that ditch was on private or public property, but it was determined to be in the public right of way.
The city also agreed that if the sewer department and city manager determine it is in the interest of the public to place a tile in that ditch to create access to a sewer line on the property, it can do so.
The Deans had been arguing that the city dug the ditch and made it inaccessible from the road and therefore should install a tile. City Attorney John Pevy recommended against adding a tile unless it can be proven that it is in the interest of the public.
* Agreed to name the new stage going up on Main Street "The Bandstand." The stage is being constructed as a venue for concerts and other public events on Main Street.
* Agreed to change the December BMA meeting to Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m. due to the regular time occurring during the week of Christmas.