East Ridge is moving forward with sewer repairs associated with the Exit 1 reconfiguration.
On Thursday in its regularly scheduled meeting, the East Ridge City Council adopted a resolution entering into an interlocal agreement with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) for gravity sewer repairs. The engineering firm S&ME will provide engineering services, permitting, design services, and construction management for the gravity sewer repairs associated with the I-75 & Exit 1 Interchange Reconfiguration Project.
Although the sewer lines are currently owned and operated by WWTA, the financial responsibility for the sewer repairs falls on the City of East Ridge – even though WWTA plans to abandon the section of sewer in a few years when they construct a new interceptor line along on the west side of the I-75 corridor.
The cost of the engineering project to the city is not to exceed $60,530. The city also agreed to maintain the improvements and insurance on the facilities. TDOT will pay for the cost of sealing off the unused portion of sewer with dirt after it is abandoned to prevent the possibility of creating a sinkhole when the pipes deteriorate.
On first reading the council agreed to a continuation budget for FY 2016-2017 until the FY 2017-2018 budget is finalized and adopted. It also passed on first reading a budget amendment to the current budget.
Chief Building Official Kenny Custer presented new fee schedules for several ordinances dealing with code enforcement. The measures passed on first reading include:
- Inspection charges for services related to the construction and maintenance of buildings within the city limits.
- Fire Code Permits and Inspections
- Gas Fuel Code Permits and Inspections
- Electrical Code Permits and Inspections
- Plumbing Code Permits and Inspections
- Mechanical Code Permits and Inspections
The Council adopted a four-page ordinance regulating the use of recreational motorized vehicles within the city limits of East Ridge. In recent months the council had heard complaints from neighbors living adjacent to a piece of property on John Ross Road where the owner had been riding ATVs with his family.
Councilman Brian Williams and Councilwoman Esther Helton suggested that residents be allowed to ride ATVs on holidays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The council agreed. Councilman Jacky Cagle noted that the property in question is now on the market, as a “For Sale” sign has been posted.
The City Manager has contract bids out for the concessions at the city parks, for sports photography, and the street department.
The council discussed a new Tennessee gun law that required the city to make an immediate decision. According to an Associated Press article, the new state law gives cities an ultimatum: buy metal detectors, hire security guards and check bags at public buildings and parks or let people with handgun permits carry their weapons.
Due to the excessive costs of implementation, the city will be removing the “No Guns” warning off all government buildings and properties. There are two exceptions – the City of East Ridge Council Meetings and East Ridge City Court on Tuesday nights will continue screenings as usual. Councilman Williams asked City Manager Scott Miller if this includes schools? Miller said that it does not.
City Manager Miller told the council that TDOT intends to replace aging Interstate 75 overpasses at Spring Creek Road, Belvoir Avenue and South Moore Road in coming years.
The City Manager also discussed the issue of rising costs of providing health insurance to city employees. Miller said there will be a 38% increase if the city stays with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Miller is seeking proposals from several other health care providers because he does not feel the city can afford the huge increase.
The city is requesting residents and business owners to complete an online survey to help provide them with feedback on contracting services with CARTA. The survey will be available until July 9, and a workshop will be held on July 13 at 5:30 p.m., which is before the regularly scheduled City Council meeting. CARTA will review the gathered information and discuss pricing and funding options for the additional services. Councilman Cagle requested that City Manager Miller provide CARTA CARE-A-VAN services for the July 13th meeting.
Attorney Harry Cash filled in for City Attorney Mark Litchfield, and Councilman Larry Sewell was not present.