The East Ridge Fire Department has received the ISO class two rating, up from the previous rating of three. This was the result of the inspection done in April. East Ridge now ranks in the top two percent of fire departments nationwide and seventh in the state, officials said Thursday night.
Mayor Brent Lambert said this rating will affect insurance rates and will make it more valuable for a business to locate in the city.
The developers of Jordan Crossing have proposed buying property from the city that is located at Camp Jordan Parkway. They plan to use dirt from a man-made berm on the site as fill dirt in their shopping development that will be anchored by Bass Pro Shops. Once the dirt is removed, they offered to build two more soccer fields and a couple of ponds on that land to give to the city.
Councilman Denny Manning said the berm had been built to help control flooding. Commissioner Larry Sewell said the large area is much used as is, and that there may not be a need for another soccer field or pond. Councilman Jim Bethune asked that they meet with a civil engineer to determine if the mound of dirt helps control water. The sale was approved contingent upon getting permits for the work.
In another real estate transaction, the city agreed to pay a six percent commission to Frank Cowden from Regent Properties for brokering the sale of the old pool property on 4159 Monroe St. A new grocery store is slated to be built there. Mr. Cowden told the council that all the parcels needed for the project are under contract and the only thing remaining to do is have it rezoned.
Another real estate matter was given authorization to move forward. The Jordan Crossing development will require Fire Station #2 to relocate. The city manager was given approval to begin looking for suitable property and doing due diligence before making a recommendation to the council. Police Chief Mike Williams told the council that it needed to be located on the opposite side of the interstate from Fire Hall #1 for proper distribution of services.
The city has started a three-year rotation plan for purchasing vehicles used by the police and fire departments. In the plan this year is the replacement of 12 police cars and two SUVs. A low bid of $352,284 was approved for 12 Dodge Chargers with the police equipment installed. Two Chevrolet Tahoes will also be bought for $31,365, one for the fire department and one for the police department. These are needed for inclement winter weather.
Other equipment that was sanctioned by the council is a leaf vacuum. It was decided that an all-purpose flat bed truck capable of pulling a leaf vacuum would be the best choice. The bidding process for this vehicle and equipment will begin.
The winning bid for a large pole tent to be used for city activities was awarded for $15,120. It will be used for events such as The Needy Child Fund, Santa’s Village and other special events in the park.
Comcast is in the process of merging with Time Warner and it should be complete by early 2015, officials said. The cable franchise in East Ridge will be spun off as Midwest Cable. Because of this, the city authorized a change of control for the Comcast cable franchise agreement.
Councilman Marc Gravitt suggested buying camera equipment for the council chambers, saying this was a way to have transparent government. The council voted to allow City Manager Andrew Hyatt to investigate the cost to buy and install it. Mr. Gravitt said people who are unable to attend council meetings could watch and hear them on the Internet or TV.
The bond council that East Ridge used for the Jordan Crossing development suggested for the city to hire an independent financial advisor. The council members voted unanimously to seek requests for proposals and requests for qualifications for this position.