The city of East Ridge is planning to build additional soccer fields at Camp Jordan and residents living on Jordan Run Road in the neighborhood that adjoins the new fields came to the city council meeting Thursday night in opposition. A half dozen spoke out telling the council members of their concerns. The fear that having soccer fields as close as 100 feet from their homes, back porches, and yards, is that their property values will decrease.
Problems that are anticipated include the new fields with 100-foot light poles will cause light and noise pollution.
Strangers that will be parking along the streets in their subdivision and finding short cuts to the soccer fields are not welcomed and will make residents feel unsafe, they said. It is also expected that children will be playing in the yards that back up to the park. It was noted that during heavy rains the land where the new fields are being built floods with as much as 10 feet of water and creates a current. A suggestion from one homeowner was for the city to decrease property taxes on the houses due to the loss of value of the homes. Most speakers commented that the council members would not want it in their back yards if they lived there.
The city manager and mayor said they will respond to each of the speakers’ questions and comments, saying that they hope to find a resolution that can make everyone happy.
City Manager Chris Dorsey announced that the East Ridge Christmas Parade has been cancelled because of the low number of participants. There were only 13 applications for the parade versus the usual 60-65.
Approval was given by a large margin to allow package stores selling liquor to operate in East Ridge, said the city manager. The next step will be for the council to draft and approve the conditions in the ordinance that will regulate this business, such as the number allowed and size of stores. That is expected to be done by the end of January. Then the procedure for taking applications will be determined, followed by those applicants getting a certificate of compliance from the city council and being approved for a liquor license by the state of Tennessee. The goal is to be done with the process before July 1.
In his report, Mayor Brian Williams said that Action Church in East Ridge will have a clothes closet and food pantry open on Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. in the parking lot. COVID precautions will be in place. On the following Sunday at 3 p.m., there will be a Community Thanksgiving ceremony, outdoors at the Red Wolves Stadium, and on Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m., the East Ridge Library will have a virtual “story time on the farm.”
Police Chief Stan Allen told the council about the upcoming “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Enforcement will be stepped up to encourage the use of seatbelts. He also said that the policed department has raised $640 from the annual “No Shave November” when officers are allowed to grow a beard for a donation of $25 to the Needy Child Fund.
The council approved a change order from Integrated Properties for stormwater improvements on Boyd Street. When excavating the shoulder of the road to improve drainage, unknown buried storm pipe in bad condition and filled with debris was discovered. The soil around the pipe was saturated as far away as under the road bed, which would have needed to be rebuilt. The project was “value engineered” to find a less expensive solution and keep the work on the shoulder of the road, which reduced the cost from close to $75,000 to about $48,000.
A presentation was made to six-year-old Jeffrey Stubblefield, who is the winner of the state of Tennessee Summer Tristar Reads competition of the elementary school division. To win the award, he read 39,000 minutes during this past summer. For his achievement, he was rewarded with $1,000 for his college fund.
The council proclaimed Veterans Day as Curtis Revels Day for the 94-year-old veteran from WWII and the Korean War.
Authorization was given to advance salary supplemental payments from the state of Tennessee for firefighters and police. The city does this each year so the employees can shop after Thanksgiving. The city will be reimbursed next spring.
Approval was also given for East Ridge to participate in a police risk management scholarship program given by the Public Entity Partners and Law Enforcement Innovation Center. This will provide free two-day training to officers and can count toward their required yearly training hours. The city must pay transportation and lodging.
The bids for T-shirts used as soccer uniforms was awarded to Crown USA based on price and timely deliveries in past years.
On the second and final reading, property at 406 Broughton St. was rezoned from O-1 Office District to R-1 Residential District.
A presentation about a new property fraud alert system was given by Marc Gravitt, Hamilton County Register of Deeds, and past East Ridge councilman. He announced the new program that has been instigated by his office to identify and warn property owners of mortgage fraud. He said this happens with property owners discovering liens being recorded on their deeds. As long as documents meet all Tennessee statutory requirements, he said that his office is required to record them. All the office can do is report fraud to the district attorney’s office. He has developed an in-house program for Hamilton County residents to catch these types of transactions. A person must opt to join the system and sign up for it, after which an email will be sent to confirm when a document comes through the office. The recipient will be responsible for contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency if they see that a transaction is fraudulent. Notification will soon be expanded to text messaging.