The East Ridge City Council, with much more discussion and two close votes, opted Thursday night to continue with avoiding a property tax increase and having the county trustee send out a yearly garbage bill.
The council also passed a total ban on tobacco use at all city property, including inside all buildings and vehicles and on the grounds of property such as City Hall and Camp Jordan Park.
The ban goes into effect on Oct. 1.
There is a fine up to $50 for a violation.
City Manager Tim Gobble and Trustee Bill Hullander again argued that it would be simpler to raise the property tax by 44 cents and do away with the garbage fee. It was pointed out that property taxes are collected in arrears and thus the garbage fee collection would be in arrears.
Trustee Hullander said if someone does not pay the property tax, then he can sell their house. But he said he has no hammer against those who decline to pay the garbage charge.
However, the decision was made to keep the property tax at $1.42 per $100 of assessed valuation.
The yearly garbage fee will be $180 for residential and $240 for commercial. It is $60 for each additional garbage can.
Voting in favor were Mayor Brent Lambert and council members Jim Bethune and Denny Manning. Opposed were Vice Mayor Larry Sewell and Councilman Darwin Branum.