The following report was written by East Ridge Mayor Brian Williams. It is a synopsis of the “Meet the Mayor” event on April 13 at Life Care Center of East Ridge.
City Manager Hiring:
I am very excited to have Mr. Dorsey as our City Manager. I am confident that he will be a great asset to our community. Mr. Dorsey has 11 ½ years’ experience as a City Manager and vast knowledge with respect to city management, Tennessee legislation and other related institutions. Mr. Dorsey is a past member of the Board of Directors of TML (Tennessee Municipal League), has certifications from MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service) and is a current member of both the Tennessee City Management Association and International City/County Management Association.
I would like to thank the citizens and council for their time and efforts during this process. Hiring the right City Manager is critical to the success of our city and another positive step forward.
Mr. Dorsey will start May 6th, however he is engaged with our city in a few areas, one being this year’s budget.
We are very excited about the future of East Ridge.
Red Wolves Professional Soccer Club
On Thursday, the Council passed a resolution bringing professional soccer one step closer to becoming a reality in Camp Jordan Park.
Resolution 2927 authorizes the mayor and city manager to undertake a process called “conversion” for five acres of the park that would become a training facility for the Chattanooga Red Wolves soccer club.
The measure allows city officials to apply through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to lift restrictions on the use of the five acres. Those restrictions were placed by the federal government’s Land and Water Conservation Act, an entity from which the city received grant money when it established the park some 40 years ago.
The process of “conversion” could take a few weeks to be reviewed by TDEC before being passed along to the National Park Service for final approval.
The “conversion” is nothing more than the lifting of restrictions that were conditions of accepting the federal grant decades ago. If the “conversion” is approved – and he said there is a 99 percent chance of that happening, then the city would enter into a lease agreement with the Red Wolves
Red Wolves owner Bob Martino wants to invest between $1.2 and $1.5 million to build a world-class practice facility on the five acres where the Weldon Osborne Stadium now sits. Those facilities would include a 2,000-seat stadium, an updated field, locker rooms and coaches’ offices for the team, and a retail area.
Martino would foot the bill ($10,000) for the “conversion” application. In addition, the city is working to identify five acres adjacent to Camp Jordan Park that would become part of the park.
I want to emphasize that if the city entered into a public/private agreement with the Red Wolves, the property will be leased to the organization and for an annual fee and the five acres would still be owned by the City of East Ridge.
We have had some significant delays due to weather/rain with the $2.3 million upgrades to the park. We have the fencing in, new scoreboards, several bathrooms are underway, and the completed construction looks great. However, the ball fields are not playable and are unsafe. Not to mention the bleachers and pathways are not finished and the area is very muddy. With that being said, the City has decided to not use the fields for recreational ball. This is unfortunate and not what we wanted to do but we have no choice. Parks and Rec have worked very hard to reschedule all games at other locations. I believe there are plans to provide discounts to the kids returning next year to play ball in our newly renovated fields.
Update: City Vision/Mission Statement
MTAS is currently involved in policy reviews within our city
departments so once some time and resources begin freeing up we will schedule
the Strategic Planning session with MTAS and Council. In addition, we want to wait and get our new
City Manager involved with the Vision & Mission Statement
Update: High School Fields & Potential New Field House
Eagerly awaiting the possible NFL facility grant to help in covering the potential cost of a field house. Also, waiting for the county commission budget to see if our county commissioner Tim Boyd is able to secure the requested $150,000 toward the Field House and $300,000 toward a new track.
Council has approved $15,500 to refurbish 2 tennis courts and approved up to $25,000 to refurbish all 4 Tennis courts however we will have to clean, and pressure wash the other 2.
Presentation from Fire Chief Williams
Chief Williams has been an East Ridge resident for 31 years. He joined the Fire Department in 1988 when it was privately owned and operated by volunteers. In 1993 the city took over the Fire Department. Williams was hired in as an Engineer and worked his way up to the Battalion Chief for 18 years and now Fire Chief for the past 5 ½ years. He loves and is dedicated to our city. Below are some bullets points of Chief Williams discussion.
- The city has two fire stations. Station 1 is located on Ringgold Rd. and station 2 is St. Thomas (recently opened 1 ½ ago year). If you have not visited the station, please go by and see a new fire station. It is a beautiful station and is your fire station.
- Chief Williams has created the City of East Ridge Fire Rescue Facebook group where he regularly posts happenings to keep us up-to-date. Items posted on the page are fires, accidents, severe weather alerts, training, etc.
- The East Ridge Fire Department is the second busiest fire department in Hamilton County. In 1993 about 500 calls per year; now approximately 4,000 calls per year.
- East Ridge has three private ambulance services regulated by the Fire Department. At times we have had more than three medical calls and we have gotten ambulance service out of our district.
- Our fire department personnel can do everything the ambulance service can do but transport to hospital.
- We have a full-service fire department providing fire, EMS, hazmat confined space, high angle rescue and swift water rescue.
- Monthly the number of calls are reported to administration and posted on the Facebook page.
- We have three miles of creeks in our city. We have recently purchased kayaks and have performed water rescues.
- Recently received a Homeland Security grand ($17,750) to purchase an ATV. Will use the money to buy the ATV, trailer and a slide for the back. The ATV will give us the ability to get to a person quickly and with limited space and provide attention and even transport to an ambulance. The ATV can and will be used for the Christmas parade to reduce the use of bicycles (which is dangerous).
- More medical calls than fire calls 90% vs. 10%.
- Continually updating manpower and equipment!
East Ridge Fire Department total calls for February 2019– 341
|Structure Fires||1||Rescue & EMS Calls||203|
|Brush/Grass Fires||2||Citizen Assist/Other||80|
|Fire Alarms/Investigations||24||Mutual Aid Received||1|
|Mutual Aid Given||1|
_ Brian Williams