On Thursday during its final meeting in May, the East Ridge City Council began by honoring an employee and ended by honoring taxpayers.
Carol Courtney, was honored by the East Ridge Police Department on her retiring after 29 years of service as a crossing guard. The ERPD’s Lt. Daniel Stephenson, presented “Captain” Courtney with a plaque, stating, “You’re one of a kind.”
The meeting concluded as City Manager Chris Dorsey presented the 2019-20 budget, which shows a 12 percent decrease in the General Fund Operating Budget. When Dorsey said there would be no tax increase, that statement was met with applause by those in attendance.
The proposed General Fund budget is $13.88 million, down from $15.87 in the previous year. The budget includes a three percent cost of living raise for the city’s 139 full-time employees. It was also noted that the cost of health insurance for employees rose six percent.
Dorsey read from a budget summary document that 2020 revenues show a slight decrease from last year. Local and state sales taxes are projected to be lower next year.
“While the economy in East Ridge is definitely on the upswing, some of the developments have not been completed yet as earlier predicted due to unforeseen delays due to factors such as weather,” Dorsey said. “Because of this, the current year receipts have been lower than predicted.”
The city will spend $646,000 of its fund balance for one-time projects, Dorsey said. The city will use $500,000 for the Frontier splash park, and $146,000 will be used as the city’s part of funding the Ringgold Road Multi-Modal project.
The budget does not include money for either a dog park/animal services building, or a fieldhouse for Raymond James Stadium.
Mayor Brian Williams received a consensus from the council that it would hold a budget workshop, perhaps in the first week of June, to scrutinize the figures in the proposed budget. The budget ordinance must pass two readings before the council. Dorsey said it could be amended between the first and second readings.
Click on the link below to view the entire budget document: http://eastridgetn.gov/getattachment/Home/Proposed-FY-2020-Budget.pdf.aspx
The council approved a change order for work being done in the $2.3 million renovation of Camp Jordan Park. Adam Wilson, the Director of Parks and Recreation, explained that additional plumbing and electrical work is required on a concession stand/restroom. The work deals with installing a new grinder pump to connect to the sewer system. The amount of the change order is not to exceed $30,000.
Wilson said that a regional college showcase tournament is scheduled to be held in the park June 6-8.
The council approved a request from the developers of Jordan Crossing for “use on review” for property associated with a new project. The resolution states the use as an indoor/outdoor recreation area that may include an outdoor theater, golf driving range or mini-golf, and outdoor seating/dining area.
The council approved an agreement with the City of Collegedale that would allow ERPD officers to use its firing range.
The council approved the purchase of a $16,000 all-terrain vehicle for fire department use. Chief Mike Williams said the funding for the vehicle came through a Homeland Security Grant.
The council authorized the city to enter into an agreement with numerous law enforcement agencies in the area to participate in a child protective investigative team. Assistant Chief Stan Allen told the council that being part of the team would streamline investigations of child abuse cases.
Click on the link below for video of the entire meeting: