The city of Soddy Daisy is planning its roadways for the future. At the commission meeting Thursday night, $400,000 was approved for roadway resurfacing projects that will most likely be done four to six years from now.
City Manager Hardie Stulce explained to the commissioners that resolutions being considered involve requests for funding road work during the next cycle of the Regional Planning Agency (RPA). Money from the agency is provided to a municipality at an 80/20 split. If the city seeks funds from the RPA for future projects, it must be willing to commit the money prior to making the application.
This is a guarantee that money will be available if the grant is approved.
The three projects for which funds are being sought have an estimated cost of over $2 million. Commissioner Gene Shipley commented that spending $400,000 to get $2 million is a pretty good trade. The other commissioners agreed and voted unanimously to approve the expenditure.
A resolution was passed to submit a request to the RPA for funds to resurface Dayton Pike from Highway 27 S. to Pottery Lane and from fire hall #3, south to Highway 153.
A second resolution to request funding involves resurfacing Old Hixson Pike. The city will be responsible for $60,000 of the project if this grant is approved by RPA.
Repaving Dallas Hollow Road from Sequoia Access Road to where it connects with the north end of Hixson Pike is the target of the third resolutions seeking money from RPA. The city’s share of this work would be over $156,000.
On second reading, commissioners voted to establish impound lot regulations and fees for impounded or seized vehicles. A public hearing and first reading of an ordinance to update the city’s building, mechanical, plumbing and gas codes also was approved.
In the city manager’s report, Mr. Stulce updated the commission on a lighting project at the Kids Park North where the public works department is working in conjunction with a contractor to make improvements. The city has committed $200,000 for new lights but the weather has not cooperated since November when the work was begun, he said, and all the ball fields are now standing in water. More work is scheduled there for the fall. Commissioner Jim Adams suggested adding a timer to the lighting system as it is being installed in order to reduce the city’s cost of electricity caused by lights being left on when not in use. Mr. Stulce responded that would require a very expensive switch to be added, and a better solution would be that the people using the fields be mindful of turning out the lights.
Mr. Stulce reported that the police department has had a problem with a drug dog that has physical issues and needs to be retired. He said City Attorney Sam Elliott had negotiated a settlement with the kennel that provided the dog. The city manager was given approval to put the dog up for adoption. Police Chief Phillip Hamrick asked for permission to accept the low bid of $7,000 to replace that dog with another, for which commissioners gave their approval. This cost includes the dog and training it as well as 80 hours of training for the handler and his lodging for two weeks.
Fire Chief Mike Guffey came before the board to ask for approval to purchase a replacement for a 1972 fire truck. A 1992 model has been located with only 15,000 miles registered and which looks immaculate, he told them. The $69,000 asking price is somewhat negotiable, said Chief Guffey. He was given permission to travel with a group to inspect the truck and determine if an offer should be made. Mr. Stulce said a similarly configured 2013 model would cost in the neighborhood of $700,000. Money for this purchase would come from the unbudgeted fund as well as any proceeds obtained if the old truck can be sold. Donating the old vehicle to a smaller community would be an option if it fails to sell.
In his report to the commission, Mr. Shipley said the city was in good fiscal shape. Expenditures for the year should now be at 66 percent of the yearly budget, yet they are at just 42 percent.