Lightning Strike At Collegedale City Hall Will Cost City Tens Of Thousands

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - by Sarah Ruf
The Collegedale courtroom sports a new wood panel behind the bench, thanks to the city's maintenance crew building the wall in-house
The Collegedale courtroom sports a new wood panel behind the bench, thanks to the city's maintenance crew building the wall in-house
- photo by Sarah Ruf

An indirect lightning strike caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damages to Collegedale City Hall during storms last weekend.

City Manager Ted Rogers told commissioners during Monday night’s city commission meeting officials still don’t know the physical nor financial extent of the damage.

Losses include a copier, four computers, the electric door lock system, more than 40 electrical ballasts, three network switches, and parts of a security camera system.

“If it’s got a wire, there’s probable damage,” he said.

“It’s not going to be pretty.”

Commissioners unanimously approved an emergency measure to repair the locks in order to secure city hall as soon as possible.

Replacing the locks will cost more than $20,000, although insurance will cover part of the cost, City Manager Rogers said.

“Is there also some additional surge protection we can add to the front end of the electrical system?” asked Vice Mayor Johnson.

The city manager said surge protection would not protect from network wiring damage.

“It wasn’t just the electrical wiring that got us, it was all of it together,” he said. “We got hit pretty hard.”

In other news, David Barto asked commissioners to consider banning smoking in Collegedale parks.

Mr. Barto said he had nothing against smokers but that some individuals’ smoke breaks were interfering with his family outings at the Imagination Station playground.

“You and your kids end up going home smelling like an ashtray,” he said.

At least one nearby town has banned smoking from its parks. The city of East Ridge passed the ban last year.

City attorney Sam Elliott agreed to draw up an ordinance banning smoking from city playgrounds and certain picnic areas.

“Has smoking on the Greenway been an issue?” asked Mayor John Turner.

“I don’t see many joggers puffing away,” Commissioner Larry Hanson said.

“I think it’s a great ordinance to pass because the city of Collegedale was founded a lot on health and the lifestyle of being healthy,” said Vice Mayor Tim Johnson.

Commissioners unanimously approved on first reading amending city design standards for commercial and multi-family structures. The amendment would clarify the existing design code and tighten up loopholes in the ordinance, said city planner Kelly Martin.

“A lot of times a developer proposes a project and it does not necessarily meet the spirit or the intent of the ordinance, but it does meet the letter of it,” he said.

The amendment would ban building elements such as split face block, vertical rib block and more than 10 percent of stucco on one side of a building, among other changes.

Structures already under construction will not fall under any amended design standards.

Commissioner Hanson wondered why one building wall could not be built with more than 50 percent of any single type of building material, a current standard.

Mr. Martin said structures have the potential to appear monolithic when just one type of material is used in construction.

“We are very much pro-business,” said Andrew Mokert, the building, codes and safety officer for the city. “However, we do want certain standards in our town that are going to draw people in…as a whole, we’ve had a lot of positive feedback saying people want to come here because we do have a certain criteria.”

Official Pickleball courts are coming to Collegedale. The city will shell out $132,898 to build the courts, which will feature concrete sidewalks, lighting and a spectator picnic area. The courts will be built behind the Imagination Station train track.

“We will be the first in this area (to have Pickleball courts),”said Rodney Keeton, director of Public Works.

City road crews are set to pave University Drive this summer. Despite fresh paving just six years ago, a low quality pave job contributed to the current need, Mr. Keeton said.

Crews will start the project in mid-June, which will cost more than $100,000 and take around two weeks to complete.

Commissioner Katie Lamb was absent from Monday’s meeting. The next commission meeting is scheduled for June 3 at 6 p.m.

You can reach Sarah Ruf at sarahruf@yahoo.com or on Twitter @sarah_ruf.

 


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AMEZCUA, NICOLE RENEE WHITWORTH WOMENS FACILITY HARTWELL, 30643 36 Hamilton County THEFT UNDER $500 CRIMINAL TRESPASSING CRIMINAL TRESPASSING AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL TRESSPASS THEFT OF PROPERTY THEFT UNDER 500 THEFT OF PROPERTY OVER 500 ATCHLEY, ORBAN EDWARD 165 ELM STREET SOUTH PITTSBURG, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Falls In State Volleyball Semis

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been a ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Sweeps Loretto To Open Class A State Volleyball

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Playing what coach Alfie Dodd called a sub-par match, Boyd-Buchanan’s Lady Bucs were still good enough to sweep Loretto, 3-0, Wednesday morning in the opening match of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Class A state volleyball tournament at Blackman High School. Set scores were 25-19, 25-14, 25-20. “We advance and we know we can ... (click for more)