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

Thursday, May 1, 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.  


Man Hurt In Wreck In Front Of Abba's House In Hixson

A Colledgedale man was injured Monday evening in front of Abba's House on Hixson Pike when a tan Chevrolet Blazer turned into the side of the Ford pickup that was traveling west. Witnesses said the Blazer was being driven by a young female. The driver of the truck was transported to Erlanger North, where he was being treated for his injuries. (click for more)

Ooltewah Man Charged With Trying To Obtain Drugs Using Prescription Forms Stolen From Dr. Philip Bannor’s Office

A 38-year-old Ooltewah man, who allegedly used stolen prescription pads to try to obtain drugs such as Percocet, has been charged with prescription drug fraud.   Jackie Eugene Roberts, 38, of 8016 Old Lee Highway, hung around the Walgreens at 2289 Gunbarrel Road for hours, trying to get other customers to fill a prescription for him, police said.   “Police ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Very Silly Apology

It didn’t get a lot of attention, as well it should not have, but when I heard Japanese giant Mitsubishi was offered an apology for heinous war crimes that took place during World War II, I thought it was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. But, no, in a solemn ceremony last month hosted by the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, that is exactly what ... (click for more)

NPSL Championship To Be Played In Chattanooga

It's Chattanooga FC taking on the New York Cosmos B for the National Premier Soccer League’s national championship and the Scenic City's Finley Stadium is the site Saturday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. Thanks to a 9,000 plus crowd at Chattanooga's 3-0 semifinal win against the Indiana Fire, the Tennessee team broke the league’s previous record of 8,878, which was ... (click for more)

Jones Press Conference Kicks Off Vols' Preseason

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Butch Jones held his preseason football press conference on Monday at Neyland Stadium. Jones heads into his third season with visible enthusiasm after the Vols finished off the 2014 season with an impressive win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl, following that up with another nationally ranked recruiting class. "In terms of our football team, we ... (click for more)