Plans for a new wireless tower in Bell Buckle have been announced, meaning bad or nonexistent cell phone reception in the Bell Buckle area may soon be a thing of the past.
Representatives of Verizon Wireless recently sought locations to place a cell tower to boost reception. Many Bell Buckle residents have complained on social media about the lack of good cellular communication coverage.
Board member Jenny Hunt explained that the company wanted to go with a location on the Webb School campus due to the higher elevation, and that the school's board of trustees voted recently to place the tower there. No date has been given as to when the tower would be built.
"We're finally going to be able to talk to people in Bell Buckle," Hunt said.
Two water projects were recently completed -- one from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that replaced 250 meters at various locations around town.
The other project was the state revolving fund program that replaced the water line between Wartrace and Bell Buckle, where there was a $400,000 loan principal forgiveness, meaning the town put in the line for $284,000, Hunt explained.
The water line was installed to clear up some of the water quality problems that have been frequently reported in that part of the county.
Another long-awaited Bell Buckle project has also been completed. Repairs to the sidewalk on Webb Road/State Highway 82 have been finished -- an effort first proposed in 2006.
Hunt praised Tennessee Department of Transportation personnel, saying "what they did was amazing." TDOT also picked up all utility costs on the project, moving water and sewer lines, and "wiped out" any local match that Bell Buckle would have to pay on the project.
Board members made sure that certain trees would not be removed without the town's approval, and an arborist was consulted on the project.
Bell Buckle received a governor's highway safety grant this year totaling $5,000, which will help police chief Tommy Wiley with traffic enforcement.
Two volunteer fire fighters just completed their "live burn" classes and will soon be taking their certification testing, with the department raising some $6,000 in a recent fundraiser.
The town is conducting negotiations to hire a new judge to handle traffic court, and are speaking to two individuals about the position.
A public hearing for a sign ordinance will take place at Bell Buckle's next town meeting, set for Dec. 11 at 5:45 p.m., which would bar signs on building roofs, with certain possible exceptions.
Hunt explained it was mostly a safety issue, saying signs could be placed on either business awnings or buildings.