More Money Expected To Be Added To City Paving At Request Of Several Council Members

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
City Council members Carol Berz and Russell Gilbert with Mayor's Chief of Staff  Travis McDonough
City Council members Carol Berz and Russell Gilbert with Mayor's Chief of Staff Travis McDonough

More money is expected to be added to the city paving budget after several City Council members said $1.7 million is not enough.

Travis McDonough, the mayor's chief of staff, said the administration will take another look at the paving item and indicated the amount will be upped.

Vice Chairman Chip Henderson said he would like to see $3.5 million. 

Councilman Ken Smith said he wants $5 million.

Chairman Yusuf Hakeem cautioned, "I'm asking myself are we taking it away from the needs and concerns of the people?"

Councilman Smith said, "There is not a day goes by that I don't get half a dozen requests about paving. If I'm out in the public, it's a whole lot more."

He said that "going eight years with less than $2 million a year for paving" has left the city streets in bad shape.

Vice Chairman Henderson said, "I'm getting killed on the paving issue. I can't go to church without being asked about roads."

Chairman Hakeem responded, "If it is going to be between roads and the people, I'm going with the people."

Councilman Jerry Mitchell also urged more money for roads if at all possible. He said, "I would like Mr. (Andrew) Kean to try to find some money for roads."

The council also focused on a request from Independent Auditor Stan Sewell for a 16.5 percent budget increase.

He said the rest of his budget is flat except for adding to the line item for consultants and adding a new auditor who will focus entirely on sewage treatment and stormwater items. He noted the city is under a $250 million consent decree on cleaning up local streams, and he said the Moccasin Bend Treatment Plant has a $70 million annual budget of its own.

Chairman Hakeem wanted to know, "who is going to monitor the monitor?" Mr. Sewell said he is confident that the new auditor would not be bought off by a contractor.

The administration is asking for a vote on the budget next Tuesday and then a second-reading vote the following Tuesday. 

  


Juan Lopez, 19, Seriously Injured In "Car Surfing" Accident

Juan Lopez, 19, was seriously injured in a "car surfing" accident in Whitfield County. The Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office responded on Thursday at approximately 9:34 p.m., to a serious injury incident in a subdivision off Cleveland Highway. Upon arriving on Beulah Drive, the responding officer found Miguel Gomez sitting in the middle of the road holding Mr. Lopez, who ... (click for more)

TBI Hosts Drug Take-Back Day On Saturday

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation joins the Drug Enforcement Administration for a program  this Saturday  that gives Tennesseans a chance to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription pills. From  10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  this Saturday, residents can drop off pills or patches to be disposed of at locations all across ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response (2)

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: County Commissioners Not Getting Bang For Their School Bucks

The Hamilton County School Board passed a balanced budget to present to the County Commission at a Special Called Meeting on Thursday night. They also attached a prioritized list of $24.5 million in critical needs for the County Commission to consider that will never see the light of day. The long and short of it is easy to see -- the County Commissioners have had enough. It ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Prep Tennis: Hixson Girls, Red Bank Boys Win District Titles

Playing for the District 6 A-AA tennis title, it came down to No.2 doubles with the overall match tied at 4 all. Hixson’s Amy Carranza and Sydney Buckner defeated Grace Brown and Cheyenne Cummings, of Red Bank, 8-6, Thursday at the Hixson Rec Center courts to give the host Wildcats the district championship, 5-4, for the second straight year and fourth title in five years. ... (click for more)