East Ridge is expanding the Camp Jordan soccer complex. The request for qualifications was sent out on Dec. 30, 2019, seeking qualified architects for the site design and construction administration services. The RFQs were received on Jan. 16.
Improvements of the facility will be adding four more soccer fields. The scope of the work includes design, grading, sodding and irrigating the fields, and to run conduit for future lighting.
After reviewing the RFQs, staff recommended awarding the project to ASA Engineering and Consulting. The reviews resulted in the creation of a preferred professional services list for future work at Camp Jordan and other city parks. In addition to ASA, Barge Design Solutions, Chazen Engineering Consultants and Lose Design are on this list.
East Ridge applied for and received a 2018 Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant that will be used to build a splash pad and new playground, both of which will replace the current Pioneer Frontier playground at the same location. The grant will provide $500,000 toward the project and the city will be responsible for another $500,000. The council voted Thursday night to contract with SETDD to provide administrative services for the LPRF grant, for an amount not to exceed $25,000. That expense is allowed to be taken from the grant money.
When the new splash pad and playground are built, the use of the property will available to residents of the city at all times. Private events must be held at night because public use cannot be hindered which is a requirement of the grant. Because money from the grant is being used, the city must commit to never tearing down the structures and the facilities will belong to the city for perpetuity.
Long time local businessman in East Ridge, Emerson Russell, has offered a donation of used office furniture for the East Ridge Police Department. The council unanimously voted to accept the furniture with an estimated value of $10,000, at the Thursday night meeting.
Because money from the federal and state governments will be distributed among municipalities according to population, East Ridge is making a big effort to count all residents. Council Member Andrea Witt, who is leading the effort for the city, asked the council’s permission to explore an Office of Justice Program grant that could be used to contact hard-to-reach residents, such as those who speak a foreign language. The council voted for applying for up to $5,000 from this grant. If received the money is planned for flyers with census information to be put into the backpacks of children who speak a language other than English. A sign-up day with laptops is another way the money could help increase the city’s census.
In November the council conducted a Strategic Planning Report for the city. A mission statement was created and the city’s vision was defined. Strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats were also identified. From this information the council created goals. The next step will be to act on those goals, said the mayor. Each council member will be asked to “lead the charge” for each of those goals. The report will soon be posted to the city’s website.
On Nov. 15 and 16 the Remote Area Medical Clinic was held at Camp Jordan Arena where free medical, dental and vision care and treatment was provided. It was a great success this year, Bob Nevil reported to the council members. He thanked the city for use of the building and city staff for assistance during the event for the third year of the event in East Ridge. In 2019 the value of the services provided was a little over $47,000. Over the three years the clinic has been held at Camp Jordan, the total value of services has been $1.3 million, said Mr. Nevil. “You’re the reason it occurs and we thank you for all you do for the community,” Mayor Brian Williams told Mr. Nevil.
In his report, the mayor said that the event Run for Kids to benefit Ronald McDonald House had been successful despite the cold and rainy day. An update of City Manager Chris Dorsey’s monthly report was put on the city’s website today, said the mayor. On Jan. 24 a free movie night will be held at the library, and he said the library is looking for 12 to 18 year-olds to form an advisory board. It will provide input for movies and books for the library and the work can be used for college applications. On Saturday Meet the Mayor will be held at 10 a.m. at Wally’s. Police Chief Stan Allen will be the speaker.
At this time, there is no business to take care of at a council meeting scheduled for Feb. 13. The council voted to give the mayor authority to cancel that meeting if no other business comes up before that time. It will be announced by that Monday if a meeting will be held on the following Thursday.