A four-way stop will be installed in downtown Courtland at the intersection of Academy Street and Jackson Street, also known as County Road 150, after the Courtland Council approved the placement of a new stop sign during a regular meeting Monday night.
Place 5 Council member Farrell Hutto said a new stop sign will be placed on Jackson Street, but street visibility should be improved for drivers. Council members agreed to include a streetlamp, if one does not already exist at the intersection, and to clear overgrowth from the roadway during installation.
“I do think something needs to be done besides the speed bump there, especially if it will deter people from going around it,” Assistant Fire Chief Lee Hitt said. Hitt will replace Place 2 Council member Shennell Hughes on the council next month.
Hutto said an existing speed bump along Jackson Street will remain in place after the stop sign is installed but will be removed at a later date after residents become aware of the four-way stop.
The plan was approved 3-0, with Mayor Clarence Logston abstaining. Place 1 Council member Billy Mason and Place 2 Council member Jeff Coffey were not present.
Council members also learned a police vehicle purchased in June will be paid off by the end of October after the town saw an increase in revenue thanks to an online driving school program offered since January.
Town Clerk Vickie Jackson said the town collects some court cost revenue from traffic violations but missed out on revenue when those with citations opted for driving school administered by Town Creek.
“In January we began offering online driving school, so now we get all that revenue,” Jackson explained. She said revenues generated from the program vary from month to month. Last month, she said the town brought in $8,200, and so far for October, she said $3,750 has been generated for Courtland from the online school.
She said about $10,000 in-lieu-of-tax funds from Tennessee Valley Authority also helped to pay off the $32,000 Tahoe purchased for Courtland Police Department five months ago. Council members discussed options for a second vehicle purchase for the department in the future as long as revenues remain stable.
Jackson said the town may also expect an estimated $58,482 CARES ACT reimbursement in COVID-19 relief. She said the town has submitted expenses paid related to the pandemic and awaits approval from the state before refunds are received.
The meeting was the last for Logston, Shennell Hughes and Coffey, unless a special meeting is called before the next administration begins a new term in November.
Logston, who did not seek re-election in the August municipal election, said he’s honored to have served the historic Town of Courtland during his tenure as mayor and hopes to see the town continue to find strong financial footing following the loss of International Paper, which closed its 2,200 acre-site in Courtland in 2014.
“It’s been a blessing to work with this council. I’ve enjoyed it,” he told current and future council members Monday. “I hope the good Lord blesses y’all in whatever decisions you make, even though sometimes that might be tough. I hope he blesses you.”
“This administration has steered this town through probably the worst crisis period I remember in my lifetime,” Courtland Attorney Richard Thompson added. “Here we are, ready to start a new term, and I just think you guys have got a heck of a legacy you left behind. There are going to be some heavy, large shoes to fill.”
Courtland’s first female mayor, Linda Peebles will be sworn in with Hitt and Tim Watts, who will replace Coffey, at Town Hall on Nov. 2.