Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd, who represents East Ridge, was at the Thursday night East Ridge city council meeting to assure citizens of the city that a wastewater treatment plant would not be built there.
He said that “it set me on fire,” that a committee headed by Dean Moorhouse suggested it. To begin with, he said the report was titled “Mayor’s search committee.” He said, "That is false and an absurdity.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger had only suggested the citizen group as a courtesy for them to find a better location, after a year- long search by paid professionals had identified the best place to build a new treatment facility."
He said that in December 2018 the same people that comprise the search committee had complained about the Mahan Gap Road site. He said that he "gives no credence at all" to the report that they submitted "since they started with that kind of bias."
Commissioner Boyd said, "They had the audacity to say that the plant would have a more negative impact on their $400,000 homes than it would have on the small houses located in East Ridge. That was an elitist comment. I won’t stand for people looking down on us.”
Commissioner Boyd said he is an engineer and is very familiar with sewer systems. He said the Mahan Gap site is the most efficient because of topography. He said, "It makes engineering sense to build it there."
He said there is not enough developmental land around the location of the old, closed sewage treatment facility behind the hospital on Spring Creek Road. "It’s not going to happen," he said. But there is a possibility of a sewage storage tank nearby, because Hamilton County has to give an answer to the EPA by June 1. There is a long term and a short term plan and concentration is now on the short term plan, he stated.
“We stand united to make sure we don’t have a waste treatment plant in East Ridge,” said Mayor Brian Williams.
The city is making improvements to Camp Jordan Park, and the scope of work to one building has changed leading to a change order for electrical and plumbing work. The building that was originally planned as a restroom will now become both a restroom and concession stand. The added expense that is not to exceed $56,513 was approved by the council.
Another area of the park that has been a RV park and campground for the past 20 years has been causing rising water utility bills that continue to increase because of water leaks that cannot be found. Because it continues to be a nuisance and financial burden, the council approved permanently closing sections two and three, but leaving section one, which has 10 available spots functional. The areas that are closed will continue to be available for parking campers but without electricity and water utilities.
So that the city can begin the process of purchasing right-of-way along Ringgold Road for making multi-modal improvements, a loan from TDOT’s Multimodal Access Grant Program in the amount not to exceed $1,500,000 was authorized by the council. The city will be responsible for five percent of the cost.
Another grant, TDOT’s Tennessee Highway Safety Office Grant, will be applied for. If received, this 100 percent grant would provide $27,500 to pay for overtime for the police department and would buy two radar units and e-readers.
Each council member made one appointment to the city’s zoning appeals board. They will have staggering term lengths. The new board members are Steve Leach, Steve Porter, Mac Bentley, Mickey Spence and Jane Sharp.
Approval was given to waive fees for the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 203 to use the large picnic pavilion for their annual picnic on May 4 and for The Church of God of Union assembly for their free community Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 20, from noon until 4:30 p.m.
The council voted to donate $500 to East Ridge Elementary School for their teacher appreciation luncheon. They voted to accept a donation of assorted ammunition from Cabela’s in Fort Oglethorpe.
March 28, 2019 was proclaimed to be American Legion Day to honor the contributions the organization has made. Representatives from Post 95, which has been in East Ridge since 1952, accepted the honor.