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.  


Corker Honors Life Of David Abshire

Senator Bob Corker released the following statement on the passing of David M. Abshire, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and co-founder of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS): "I am saddened to hear of the passing of a great Chattanoogan, Ambassador David Abshire. From his distinguished service in the military to his time as ambassador to NATO and as ... (click for more)

Kelvon Dozier Faces Multiple Charges After Armed Burglary On Sunnyside Avenue

Police were called to a home on Sunnyside Avenue after the owner drove up and saw three men leaving the house and running into an SUV. The owner was also able to get part of the tag number. When he told police, they realized his description matched a vehicle they had pulled over earlier. Because of this, police were able to identify the driver and his address. The owner also ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)