East Ridge Approves Employee Bonuses Though Council Told $100,000 Cost Could Throw City Into Deficit

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The East Ridge City Council on Thursday night approved employee bonuses effective in March, though the council was told the $100,000 cost could throw the city into a deficit.

The city last year had a $917,000 surplus, but City Manager Tim Gobble said there have been a number of budget hits this fiscal year. He said he still is hopeful for a surplus of $200,000 to $300,000 by the end of June, though he said there are several uncertainties.

The main one is how the city will fare on a garbage charge that is tacked onto the property tax bill rather than the water bill as before.

Officials said the city is at a $1.8 million deficit at this point, but most of the tax money is yet to come in. There was a $173,000 surplus last month.

Costs are up $250,000 due to insurance and other factors and $150,000 in expected income was lost due to exempting owners of unoccupied lots from paying the garbage fee.

Mr. Gobble said it appears in some cases that mortgage companies are not remitting the garbage fee - just paying the property taxes to the city. 

The motion by Councilman Denny Manning gives $600 bonuses to 117 fulltime employees, $500 bonuses to 25 parttime employees and also includes 14 unpaid reserve officers.

Voting to approve were Council members Manning and Marc Gravitt along with Vice Mayor Jim Bethune. Mayor Brent Lambert and Councilman Larry Sewell were opposed, saying it would have been better to have given any raises at the start of the next fiscal year after it is know about the garbage fee collections.

Councilman Manning said, "We were told that last year." The last city employee raise was in 2011.

City officials said employees were seeing drops in their take-home pay effective this month due to higher individual Social Security amounts and new withholding changes. If the $600 had been stretched over several months as was discussed, the employees might not have noticed the difference, it was stated.

The council held off on any action regarding setting of the agenda. Councilman Gravitt said his intention had been to allow any member of the council to add an item to the agenda - not just the mayor. And he said he wanted to insure that the agenda is posted as early as possible on the city website. 

 

   


Man Shot On S. Kelly Street Tuesday Evening

A man was shot on S. Kelly Street Tuesday evening. At approximately  7:37  p.m., Chattanooga Police Officers responded to the area of 400 S. Kelly to investigate shots fired.  Officers searched the area but were unable to locate a victim of a shooting. Sho rtly after the initial call, police were advised of a gunshot victim that arrived at a local hospital ... (click for more)

School Board Votes To Pay Over $4 Million For Math Textbooks

The County School Board on Tuesday night voted to pay over $4 million for a new edition of math textbooks for K-12. Several board members who supported the move said they had spoken to principals and math teachers, and they were in favor of the new textbooks from Curriculum Associates. Greg Martin was opposed, saying the board should have used all fund balance instead of sources ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Is It Ever Worth It?

There is a better-than-average chance General John Kelly could soon be named as the new Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. He’s one of four men who have been mentioned in prudent fashion to follow General Joseph Dunford (remember that name for a few minutes) as head of the Corps. General Dunford, who held the job less than a year, has just been chosen by President Obama ... (click for more)

Tull Named SoCon Athlete Of The Year

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull has been named the 2015 Southern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the league announced today (May 26). Tull will be honored as part of the league’s annual Honors Dinner on Wednesday night in Hilton Head Island, S.C.   Tull becomes the first Moc to win the Male Athlete of the Year Award. As a senior, he ... (click for more)

Soccer Abounds For Chattanooga FC

The Chattanooga FC soccer team continues it's busy schedule this week with games on Wednesday and Friday in two separate national tournaments.    Chattanooga hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday in the third round of the US Open Cup. The Silverbacks are a professional team that plays in the NASL.   The Silverbacks ended Chattanooga's run in the last year's ... (click for more)