Mayor Brent Lambert declared by proclamation that the first Saturday in October shall be Larry Clark Day, Thursday night during the East Ridge City Council Meeting.
Lambert said that 10 years ago his predecessor, Mike Steele, honored Clark, who has spearheaded the River Rescue along Spring Creek for the past 30 years. Lambert said that Clark is a “special citizen” and that Lambert wanted to “reiterate” the proclamation.
“Larry Clark has led a grass roots effort,” Lambert said. “And 2018 is the 30th anniversary of the River Rescue.”
Clark said that he really appreciated the gesture by the city. He thanked the city for the support it has given in terms of equipment and resources.
“You’ve always come through for us,” Clark told the council after accepting the proclamation. “You’ve all come out at one time or another to help.”
Clark noted that this year’s effort to pull trash from the urban creek was cut short due to “flood water mosquitoes.” However, in just more than an hour-and-a-half, the 76 volunteers removed 450 pounds of trash and eight tires from Spring Creek.
Lambert said that his favorite story from the local River Rescue event happened in 2010 when volunteers pulled a wooden cut out of Santa Claus from the creek.
“If not for you, we wouldn’t have been so successful,” Lambert said of Clark’s efforts.
In other business, the council approved a resolution involving an incentive package with Southern Honda Powersports. The incentives would be a percentage of Border Region sales tax dollars to the motorcycle and ATV dealership over a 22-year period. According to a proforma, that amount could exceed $7 million.
The council approved a budget amendment that in part provides for $210,000 from the “rainy day fund” be used to purchase property on Oakdale Avenue to be used for a dog park.
The council passed an ordinance on second reading that pertains to the definition of “beer.” The new ordinance will mirror Tennessee state law on what is beer. The issue arose last month when a private group rented Camp Jordan Arena and was selling “high gravity beer” at the event. The beer had an alcohol level slightly above the definition under the city ordinance.
The city’s coordinated effort with the East Ridge Alumni and Supporters effort to build a field house at Raymond James Stadium remained tabled. City Manager Scott Miller told the council that he had recently met with ERHS football coach Tim James about reducing the cost of the field house, but he was not yet ready to move forward with definite costs associated with the construction.
The council passed a resolution that would allow the mayor to enter into an agreement with ASA Engineering for its services relative to obtaining right-of-way and construction easements for the multi-modal grant project on Ringgold Road. ASA Engineering will receive about $730,000 for its services.
The city would be responsible for 20 percent of the cost, about $150,000, which would be submitted to the state for reimbursement through the Border Region Act, officials said.
The project will include sidewalks and other amenities for pedestrians and cyclists stretching along Ringgold Road from McBrien Road to the site of the former Kingwood Pharmacy. City Manager Miller said the construction project, which involves 74 parcels of property, could take as much as three or four years to complete.