East Ridge is preparing to renovate Camp Jordan Park. Some of the improvements and upgrades include restrooms, concession stands, fencing, bleachers, laser-grading the baseball and softball fields, turfing the soccer field, replacing the roof on the Arena and adding concessions in the lobby and putting in new trash receptacles. Replacement of the water, sewer and power lines at the facility will also be done. Additionally, there will be planning, design and architectural expenses for the project.
The cost for the renovations has been approved by the council to not exceed $2,3 million.
On Thursday night, the city council voted to finance the costs associated with work at the park by issuing bonds. The city will pay for some of the small expenses with funds on hand until it closes on the bond at which time it will reimburse itself. This tactic will provide some time before the city begins paying interest on the loan.
Improvements are also being made at the East Ridge Middle School baseball field. The installation of new electrical service to the field was approved for the amount of $11,834.
Another contract that was approved is for mowing private properties due to maintenance violations and /or clean-up notices. If the city does the work, a lien will be put on the property and the county trustee will put the amount on the annual tax bill for the property.
The lease of three motorcycles for the police department was authorized by the council. The cost of each of the Harley-Davidsons will be $4,500 per year with a lease period of two years.
City Manager Scott Miller was authorized to contract with Henderson, Hutcherson and McCullough for auditing services for East Ridge from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 for a fee not to exceed $27,500.
The city’s court clerk is currently paid $54,200. The city provides health insurance but no pension. A request to raise the salary of this elected position was met with some resistance after comparing salaries of the same position with Collegedale, Red Bank and Soddy Daisy which are all significantly less. A resolution passed that will give a six percent increase to the winner of that position in next November’s election. Then there will be cost-of-living raises to match increases that are given to the city’s other employees.
The East Ridge planning commission approved a rezoning request for property at 1420 and 1422 Boyd St The zoning would change from R-1 Residential to RT-1 Residential Townhouse District, which would allow four units to be built on the two lots. After hearing neighbors who own buildings on that road tell of standing water after a slight rainfall and seeing photos that they brought, council members tabled the motion to rezone the property until more is known about what it will take to fix the drainage problems and the city’s cost to do it.
The council approved issuing a temporary special events beer permit for Tattanooga Tattoo Expo that will take place at Camp Jordan Arena on April 20-22.
Kenny Custer, director of community services, has been given additional responsibilities. He now will also be the East Ridge representative to the management committee of the Hamilton County Water Quality Board. Michael Howell was appointed as the alternate representative to the committee.
Authorization was given for the city to apply for five grants. The Homeland Security SAFER grant, if received, would allow the city to hire additional firefighters at a reduced rate. East Ridge would pay 25 percent of the full cost for the first two years, and 65 percent for the third year. The city would retain those hired by the grant after the third year and assume the full cost of each firefighter.
An application will also be made for the 2018 National Police Dog Foundation K9 health insurance program grant. If awarded, the grant will provide health insurance for K9 Officer Axel of the police department.
The FM Global Fire Prevention Grant will also be applied for in an amount not to exceed $20,000. If received, it will be used to purchase and install smoke alarms and CO alarms for a neighborhood saturation program through the East Ridge Fire Department. The Tennessee Three Star Grant in the amount of $5,000 from the state of Tennessee would also be used for the same purposes.
Application will be made for the TDOT Tennessee Highway Safety Office grant that would require no cash match. This grant for approximately $35,000 would purchase one speed trailer, two E-Citation units and overtime for officer saturation efforts of the police department.
The city manager announced a public input meeting on March 26 at 5:30 p.m. concerning the re-design of Pioneer Frontier Park.