The East Ridge City Council approved the rezoning of property on Fountain Avenue clearing the way for the continued renovation of an apartment complex, Thursday evening during its regularly scheduled meeting.
On second reading, the council rezoned the Sweetbay Apartments property at 3623 Fountain Avenue from R-1 to R-3 Residential Apartment District. The council had been reviewing the issue for months, as the rezoning was originally opposed by numerous area residents on grounds that additional apartment units would increase traffic and crime.
Officials with Lexington Assets Management, the owners of Sweetbay and several other apartment complexes in East Ridge, had meetings with citizens and agreed to additional provisions relating to the rezoning, including additional security, fencing, lighting and a “crime free” lease addendum to its leases.
The council passed on second reading the rezoning of property at 1509 Waterhouse Street, allowing the owner of a business next door to use the property as a parking facility for the business.
A resolution concerning the construction of a field house at Raymond James Stadium remained tabled. Originally the East Ridge Alumni and Supporters organization was going to spearhead the building of the facility on city property. The organization had raised more than $100,000 for the project. State officials advised there was no precedent for that kind of action.
The city would have to be responsible for the construction of a field house. City Manager Scott Miller stated previously that the project could cost as much as $350,000. City officials, architects and alumni organization officials are trying to “value engineer” the project to reduce the cost.
An ordinance to amend the city code relative to the definition of alcoholic beverages passed on first reading. The amendment to the city ordinance would mirror state law in that regard. The issue arose during the last meeting when a private organization wanted to sell “high gravity” beer inside Camp Jordan Arena during a private party. High gravity beer has a higher alcohol content than mass market beer.
The council passed a resolution authorizing the city to buy a van to transport prisoners from Hamilton County Jail and Silverdale who appear in East Ridge Municipal Court. Cost of the van, which includes a prisoner transport insert, is $40,500.
The council passed a resolution amending two resolutions dealing with a development agreement the city has with Exit 1 LLC at Jordan Crossing. The resolution would allow Exit 1 LLC to retain the Border Region state increment tax money generated at the project regardless of who owns the property.
The council passed a resolution approving the city extending a $600,000 incentive package to Jack’s Family Restaurant. The new restaurant is planned to be built on a parcel on Ringgold Road across from the Fire and Police Services Center.
The council gave approval to pursue a TDOT Transportation Alternatives Program grant to build sidewalks and multi-use paths along Ringgold Road. The 80/20 grant is requesting up to $1,000,000 with East Ridge being responsible for contributing $200,000.
The mayor reminded everyone that the Tennessee River Rescue will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Also, on Oct. 6 a “meet and greet” for candidates running for office in East Ridge will be held at Local Coffee, 5330 Ringgold Road, from noon until 3 p.m.
Earl Wilson reminded everyone that PioneerFest benefiting the The Needy Child Fund will be held on Oct. 13.