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. 

 

   


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANGLE, NIKIA MARIE 3125 BENNETT RD EAST RIDGE, 37421 23 Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY ASHLEY, LAURA ANN 480 CEDAR STREET APT 11 DUNLAP, 37327 36 Red Bank POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BROGDON, KEVIN LEON 1504 JOHN ROSS ROAD EAST RIDGE, 37412 24 East Ridge FILING FALSE ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Oct. 17-23

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Oct. 17-23: Jorge Zambrano Gonzalez, 37, of 1216 Helena Drive #8, Hixson was arrested October 16 on charges of driving while unlicensed and crossing median. Pedro Sepulveda, 42, of 854 Davis Street, Apt. E3, Gainsville, GA was arrested October 16 on charges of driving while license suspended and crossing median. Jonathan ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)

Freeman-Led Owls Whip Cleveland, 30-14, To Win 5-AAA Title

Junior Rashun Freeman's stunning versatility stole the show Friday night. Freeman caught a touchdown pass, returned a punt for a second score and had one of three Ooltewah interceptions as the fourth-ranked Owls whipped Cleveland, 30-14, to win the District 5-AAA championship in front of a near-capacity crowd at James N. Monroe Stadium. “I practice hard and that shows ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Father Ryan For D-II State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Friday was a magical day for the Baylor Lady Red Raider volleyball team. Facing arch-rival Father Ryan for the fourth time this season, Baylor evened the score at 2-2, but the last time at Siegel High School was the sweetest as it came in the championship match of the D-II Class AA state tournament. Father Ryan had a huge group of students in its ... (click for more)