Soddy Daisy City Manager Hardie Stulce told commissioners Thursday night that the city's police department is making inroads into crime. He said he recently received a very good report showing the statistics of the police activity so far this year.
Assaults and burglaries are down 50 percent as compared to this time last year, and vehicle thefts are down 48 percent. Mr. Stulce noted that the economy has not changed significantly so his conclusion is that the lower crime rate is due to aggressive police work with the officers being very visible.
He also told the commissioners that Soddy Daisy has a 68-percent average rate of crimes solved, which he attributed to good police follow-up. This is one of the highest “clearance rates” in the state.
Also, the board of commissioners was given an update on municipal projects at the session. City Manager Stulce reported on several issues that have been pending.
The intersection of Sequoyah Road and Dayton Pike near Highway 27 has been slated to get a traffic light. The proposal has been waiting for approval from the state of Tennessee, which the city has now received. The project will now move into the study and engineering phase. The cost to install the traffic signal will be a split of 80 percent from the state with a 20 percent match from the city.
Mr. Stulce told the commissioners that there have been many citizen requests to remove a four-way stop at Springfield Road at East Walden. Data was gathered from the junction, which shows use by around 2,000 cars during one week’s time. A speed monitoring sign was used throughout the study which determined that the average speed was 31 mph. Mayor Jim Adams has asked the police department to remove the signs and then measure the speed again to see what influence on traffic that the stop signs have. This will help to determine if they are needed.
Officials with the city have received numerous complaints recently from people calling to say that the public works department doesn’t have enough to do because employees are just sitting in a truck where Harrison Lane crosses Dayton Pike. What they cannot see, said Mr. Stulce, is that they have counters in their hands. He told the commissioners that there is no monitoring device that is able to count the number of cars turning right or left or continuing straight ahead. In order to collect data needed to restructure the intersection, it must be done manually. The city had the choice of paying to have the work done or to do it with city employees, which is the option that is being used.
The long-anticipated approval and clearance have been given to move forward on the Durham Street sewer project. The city will advertise this weekend for a contractor. Noting that it is a long process working with the federal government, this venture was funded over a year ago, said Mr. Stulce. The workload of the bid winner will partially determine when the job will be finished. It most likely will not be completed by the first of the year, he said.
One citizen brought her concern before the board, saying that according to Roberts Rules of Order, it is her understanding that citizens should be able to comment on minutes from the previous meeting before they are passed. City Attorney Sam Elliott told her that the way the commissioners are currently approving minutes is the same way that it has been done for the last 20 years. He told her that it would probably be good practice for the city to put a copy of the minutes out for people to read, but that he might dispute having discussion by the citizens because it is a meeting of the commission and not the residents. He did say that he would look into the matter and report back at the next meeting as to what the rule actually is.
Another citizen announced that a “Pumpkin Fest” was being given by the Vietnam veterans of Soddy Daisy, and residents are urged to come and support it. The event will be Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.