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 for Hamilton County: ASHLEY, WILLIAM TRACY     8281 COOK LANE HIXSON, 37343     25     Hamilton County          VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DOMESTIC ASSAULT) BAILEY, AVEUS     306 S LOVELL AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411     21    ... (click for more)

Crime Stoppers: Armed Robbery At Highway 58 Family Dollar

Crime Stoppers and the Chattanooga Police Department are seeking information and the identity of the suspects of an armed robbery at the Family Dollar at 4749 Highway 58.  On April 7, at approximately 8:10 a.m., Chattanooga police responded to a robbery at the Family Dollar.  Two masked suspects entered the store and demanded the money from the registers. One of the ... (click for more)

Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day - And Response

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)

Owls' Fugate Fires Two-Hit Shutout In 2-0 Win Over Blue Raiders

Ooltewah was on the verge of a District 5-AAA double-header sweep against Cleveland. But the Blue Raiders’ hot-hitting catcher Hunter Oliver had other ideas. The Owls rode Logan Fugate’s brilliant two-hit shutout and two first-inning runs to a 2-0 win over Cleveland in the first game at A.C. Bud Ball Field on Wednesday. “Logan is an absolute warrior,” Owls coach Brian Hitchcox ... (click for more)

Bucs' Willingham Strikes Out School-Record 17 In 5-A Win

Boyd-Buchanan’s Brandon Willingham threw a three-hit, complete-game gem and set a school record with 17 strikeouts in the Bucs’ 7-1 victory over Copper Basin on Wednesday. Willingham, a sophomore, improved his record to 6-0 on the season while the Bucs went to 14-9 overall and 5-0 in District 5-A. Willingham threw 101 pitches with 73 strikes in dominating the Cougars. Willingham ... (click for more)