East Ridge fire and police officers will provide public safety to the residence of Ridgeside for the next three years.
During Thursday night’s East Ridge City Council meeting, the board agreed to continue with the longstanding agreement (less than $100,000 a year) between the two geographically non-contiguous cities after a compromise was struck on an increase.
Ridgeside officials proposed a three-year agreement with no increase in the contract for the first year, with three percent increases to follow in the next two years.
Councilman Jacky Cagle didn’t like that idea. He referred to the salary of fire and police officers and the number of trips made per day as not jibing with the dollars and cents.
Councilman Brian Williams did his own numbers crunching and came up with a $60,000 price tag for police salaries for four trips a day (per the contract) and an additional 21 calls for fire last year at a cost of $1,400 per trip.
Williams noted that the price of the contract ($95,841) had not increased in nine years.
Ridgeside Commissioner Blane Hayward put it all in perspective saying that from a budget standpoint the sticking point was only a couple thousand dollars a year. He proposed no increase the first year with a four percent increase in each of the next two fiscal years.
The Council bought that idea, and the vote to enter into the contract was unanimous.
The council adopted a new ordinance permitting the city to accept credit card and debit card payments from people doing business with the city.
On first reading, the council passed a budget ordinance, changing both the revenue and expenditures of the General Fund, State Street Aid Fund and the Grant Fund. The city took $122,500 from its Fund Balance to pay for paving in Camp Jordan Park ($87,500), a piece of workout equipment at Pioneer Frontier playground ($15,000) and to pay for legal and professional fees for the new Housing and Redevelopment Authority ($20,000).
The council passed a resolution to have the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) revise the city’s ordinances. City Manager Scott Miller said the $13,000 price would be broken up over two years. It was noted that the last complete re-codification was done in September 2000.
The East Ridge Municipal Code of Ordinances contains 2,751 resolutions and more than 1,050 ordinances.
The council passed a resolution allowing staff to apply for a Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The application would be for two rescue boats and a trailer. If the city receives the grant it would require 10 percent in matching funds.
In a memo to the mayor and council, Amanda Bowers wrote that the deadline for applying for the grant was Feb. 2. She had already submitted the application and was asking for approval after the fact. Bowers noted in the memo that the same grant application was submitted last year.
The council approved a grant application for a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety Grant. If awarded, the grant money would be used to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in homes in East Ridge. It is anticipated that the grant would be in the amount of $20,000 with the city picking up $1,000 of the tab.
During the Agenda Workshop Session, which preceded the meeting, City Manager Miller briefed the council on his proposal of acquiring $2.3 million from the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund to be used for upgrades in Camp Jordan Park. Miller said he would submit the loan documents in the summer.
Miller explained that the initial work would be to upgrade utilities in the park, including water, sewer and power, followed by construction of new restrooms and other upgrades to existing fields. He anticipated construction of new buildings and fields to begin in the fall of this year.”