The mayor and commissioners in Collegedale will be getting a raise. Currently the mayor receives $400 and each commissioner gets $333.33 per month. City Attorney Sam Elliott said he has been working with the city for 15 years and does not remember the elected officials ever receiving an increase.
The raises will become effective for those elected in the future. The commissioners have staggered terms with two positions to be voted on in November. The other three seats will be decided in 2016. The next elected mayor will be raised to $500 and the commissioners will receive $450 monthly. The vote was unanimous for the changes.
City Manager Ted Rogers told the commissioners that TDOT has requested the acquisition of two small parcels of land on Apison Pike that are city owned for a roadway expansion. The commission voted to give the mayor authorization to make the sale. One tract will be sold for $1,200 and the other for $2,200.
TDOT will also be adding a traffic light and working on safety enhancements at the intersection of Lee Highway and Edgemon Road. This project is funded 100 percent by the state. Mr. Rogers said that the project has been approved but it has not yet been determined when the work will be done.
A recent ordinance was passed by Collegedale that established a hotel/motel city tax of five percent. It was later discovered that other municipalities in the area receive only four percent for the same tax. Collegedale commissioners were uncomfortable charging a higher rate than all other cities in the vicinity and voted Monday night to lower the tax to 4 percent in order to be in line with the others. This measure was put in place for future development. Now the city does not have a hotel or motel but hopes to attract one. As of now, the tax will only apply to Southern Adventist University, the bed and breakfasts that are scattered around the city and a few rental houses.
Mayor John Turner urged all residents of Collegedale to take advantage of the recycling center that the city provides. Bins are available at the public works department on Sanborn Drive. He volunteered at the center for the first time and said people came non-stop for the two hours the facility was open and the bins were filled. The city saves electric power by using petroleum oil products that it collects to fuel an oil burning heater and sells what it does not use, he said, demonstrating that recycling does work.