The Soddy Daisy Commission plans to put in an emergency notification system on a trial basis.
For the past two years there has been discussion about the city purchasing the services of an emergency notification system. Urgency is now felt because iof the arrival of tornado season. In the past, city commissioners have waited for Hamilton County to establish such a system in order for Soddy Daisy to participate in a larger plan. However this has yet to be done. At the commission meeting Thursday night, it was decided to move forward and purchase a notification system for the city for a trial period of one year. It will come from the company, Everbridge, which made a presentation to the commissioners in the past.
This system has the capacity to send warnings for emergencies such as train spills and power outages in addition to weather issues such as tornado warnings. The emergency notifications can be received over many different devices such as land line phones, cell phones or email among others. The city approved spending $9,000 for the system for one year. Everbridge will automatically hook people up through hard lines wired into a house such as a phone line; however the city will be able to provide a link for citizens to register to participate in the plan on other devices. The system should be in working order around 30 days from when the contracts are signed.
Another amenity the city is considering is air ambulance coverage for all citizens with Erlanger Hospital’s Life Force helicopters. These would transport patients in emergency situations to the trauma center at Erlanger. This service was proposed to the mayor and city manager last year, but at the time, the 2014 budget had already been finalized. City Manager Hardie Stulce is arranging a meeting with the commissioners for a presentation.
Also after the budget had been finalized, the city received two grants for significant amounts and a few employees changed departments and additional employees were hired. In order for all the money to be accounted for in the right departments, commissioners voted to amend the 2013-2014 General Fund Budget.
The classification and pay plan for city employees for fiscal year 2013-2014 was also amended to account for one additional firefighter and one added public works employee who came on board after the budget was adopted.
After a grant application had been submitted for building a new fire hall, officials discovered that the grant request could be for $15,000 more than the original application specified. In order to increase the grant request, the first resolution authorizing the application was revoked and a new one was created.
Two contract amendments for road work at various locations were amended with Wiser Consulting, LLC. Approval was also given to the city manager to spend $80,000 to replace two tractors. This was a budgeted item. The city has now taken over maintenance of the fire hydrants throughout the city, and there is a need to replace 15 with an average cost of $2,500 each. Mr. Stulce was given approval to spend no more than $37,500 from unbudgeted funds for this large-scale purchase.
A concerned citizen started a conversation about the proliferation of signs throughout Soddy Daisy. Mayor Janice Cagle told him that there is an ordinance in place and the city should enforce it or do away with it. That ordinance restricts placement of a sign anywhere except for the location of the business. This includes churches. The only exception is political signs which are viewed as temporary and are allowed.
The public works department does pick up signs that are on city rights of ways. The purpose of the ordinances that limits displays of signs is to reduce clutter.
In the past, Soddy Daisy partnered with certain businesses and churches to attach multiple individual signs to one common sign. Mr. Stulce told the board that under the current ordinance that is also illegal. He said that it needs to be “all or nothing.” City Attorney Sam Elliott told the board that perhaps it should consider what the city has time to enforce. Another suggestion was to write letters to those in violation of the sign ordinance the same way the city sends letters to houses that are in violation of city codes.