East Ridge Getting New $710,538 Fire Engine
Friday, October 15, 2021 - by Gail Perry
The East Ridge Fire Department will be getting a new rescue fire engine. The amount of $710,538 was approved by the city council to purchase the engine that will replace a 2010 model. Once ordered, it will take until the next year to build it so the first payment will be in 2022. The city is currently making payments on another fire engine with the final payment in 2021. During the creation of the 2021 budget, the old payment amount was kept in the budget even after the time it is paid off. That amount will cover the payments on the new rescue fire engine.
After the debt is approved for this purchase, it will take seven years to pay off the new truck.
The city is expecting to receive $3.2 million, its first payment from the American Rescue Plan, to come soon. Opening a new interest-bearing checking account was approved for deposit of that money, to keep it separate. There are specific items that those funds can be used for and East Ridge plans to use the money for stormwater issues.
Two board appointments are needed to fill the vacancies left by Kenny Custer after he resigned from the city of East Ridge and the WWTA and the Hamilton County Water Quality boards. Council members have received many emails from residents after a 9.8 percent rate increase was announced by the WWTA, said Mayor Brian Williams. Faced with the requirement to comply with the federal pollution act, a plan has been created to rehabilitate the sewers, and the taxpayers are the ones who will pay, said the mayor. The city is seeking a volunteer to appoint to this board. The ideal person will be a resident of East Ridge and someone with some knowledge of wastewater. Mayor Williams will act as an interim representative to the WWTA board until a permanent appointment is made.
Michael Howe was appointed to the Hamilton County Water Quality board which deals with stormwater and City Manager Chris Dorsey was named as an alternate.
Council approval was given to correct a border region payment for 6731 and 6725 Ringgold Road, from the years 2019 and 2020.
Property at 4105 Cemetery Road was rezoned from R-3 apartments to R-1 single family residential which previously had a split zone that was created in 2002. This amendment to the zoning ordinance puts both properties in the same R-1 zone with the planning commission also approving.
City Manager Dorsey updated the council about upcoming events in East Ridge. On Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., the East Ridge Animal Services will hold a Bark Party behind city hall. There will be adoptable dogs available as well as other family friendly activities. Council Member Mike Chauncey, who spearheaded building the new dog park, was seen recently stepping off a fence line for the new dog park that will be located behind city hall, said Mr. Dorsey.
Concrete is now being poured for the city’s new splash pad. There is still a delay of receiving some supplies needed, but building is underway. When the splash pad is complete, construction will start on the new playground.
Security upgrades are now being made to the city hall, said Mr. Dorsey.
On Oct. 23 the police department will have its fall drug take-back event at Walgreens. Any expired prescriptions or unused drugs can be disposed of, which is a way to keep them out of the water supply, said Police Chief Stan Allen.
The council passed a resolution recognizing the sponsors for the East Ridge centennial celebration which was considered to be a huge success. These businesses helped the event possible with donations of $27,100, said Mayor Williams.
A temporary permit was approved which will allow True Life Church to conduct church services in the parking lot of the old Salvation Army building while it is being renovated.
City Manager Dorsey told the council that the bids for the city’s multi-modal project have been opened. The estimate for construction was $4.2 million. He said that the lowest bid came in at $6.3 million. At the next council meeting the unexpected cost will be discussed.