34% Drop In East Ridge Budget Includes Shifting Some Funds To Other Pots

Thursday, May 01, 2014
City Treasurer Thad Jablonski
City Treasurer Thad Jablonski

East Ridge Council members were told Thursday night that there will be no tax increase or garbage fee rise and the budget has dropped by 34 percent.

New City Treasurer Thad Jablonski explained that this sleight of hand includes moving some funds out of the general budget into separate funds. That includes $1.5 million in the sewer fund that normally would be a drag to the regular budget. It is included in a solid waste management fund.

There will also be a state street aid fund, a drug enforcement fund and a Department of Justice asset forfeiture fund. Other funds include debt service and capital projects.

The budget for fiscal year 2015 is listed at $10,883,613.

There was no mention of a pay increase for city employees. Councilman Denny Manning brought up the subject, and Mr. Jablonski said a two-percent rise would cost just under $100,000. For each higher percent, he said to add $50,000.

A realignment includes doing away with city services director and office manager. Freida Wheeler and Evelyn Keith have retired.

City Manager Andrew Hyatt said the city expects a property tax revenue decrease of one percent, but he said the local sales tax should rise 2.5 percent and the state sales tax go up 4.1 percent.

He outlined a three-year capital equipment replacement program, including $450,000 in police vehicles, a $185,000 sanitation truck and $600,000 in fire department apparatus.

A public hearing and first reading on the budget is set for May 22 with the final reading on June 12.

In other action, the council took a revote on members of the Industrial Development Board due to questions about the earlier method using a secret ballot. It had the same result - with former interim City Manager and Public Safety Commissioner Eddie Phillips the odd man out. Voting against him were Vice Mayor Jim Bethune and Councilmen Denny Manning and Marc Gravitt.

Five appointees by individual council members are Ruth Braly, James Citty, Estes Cocke, Barton Burns and Kelley Steele. Additional members are Curtis Baker and Mac Pendley.

The panel is being revived as one of the requirements for developers moving forward with Jordan Crossing at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park under the Border Region legislation.  


2 Students Arrested At Bradley County High School After Routine Drug Search

A routine drug search was conducted Friday at Bradley Central High School. The search was coordinated by Lieutenant Julie Quinn of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department. Assistance was provided by the McMinn County Sheriff’s Department and the 10 th  Judicial Drug Task Force. Five canines were used in the search.  “I appreciate the cooperation from Sheriff Watson ... (click for more)

Travis McDonough To Take Federal Judgeship

Travis McDonough, current chief of staff to Mayor Andy Berke, has been nominated by the White House to succeed Federal Judge Curtis Collier of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.  Judge Collier announced recently that he was taking senior status.  Judge Sandy Mattice is slated to move up to senior judge.  Attorney McDonough was ... (click for more)

Don't Allow Us To Be Overrun By People Who Do Not Belong Here - And Response (2)

Thank you, Senator Corker, for your clear, concise evaluation of the president's attempt to bypass Congress and personally and independently establish national policy that violates our current immigration laws.   Our long-standing failure to enforce our laws to control illegal immigration across our southern border has made this country less safe and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Quick! Arm Our Guards

When I learned last Wednesday that Chattanooga’s leading hospital, in a ridiculous attempt to be more “family friendly,” planned to disarm its security guards. I was aghast but decided to wait for the proper “incident” to illustrate how stupid members of our “free thought society” can sometimes be. It took exactly one week. A bit after midnight on Thursday morning a gunman appeared ... (click for more)

Baylor Must Contend With MBA's Chandler In DII-AA Semis

If there is one thing different about Friday’s TSSAA Division II-AA semifinal playoff game between Baylor and Montgomery Bell Academy at Tommy Owen Stadium in Nashville from the teams’ regular-season matchup, Red Raiders coach Phil Massey knows exactly what it is. Or, well, who it is. It’s Ty Chandler. Chandler, a 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore running back, has added ... (click for more)

McCallie's Gordon Connell - a New Wrestling Venture

Saturday morning in Cleveland when five rookie wrestling officials from the Chattanooga area take to the mats to call matches for the season opening middle school tournament at Ocoee Middle School, it will be easy to pick out the one who, at first observation, doesn't belong. Or does he? With lots of gray hair and years of coaching experience, former ... (click for more)