The Meet the Mayor meetings have been very informative with guest speakers providing a deeper insight into their areas as they pertain to our city. We began with our Assistant City Manager then our newly hired City Manager, our Hamilton County School Board District 8 Board Member, plus various City Directors. Check the website www.eastridgetn.gov for future and past events.
Update: Suggestions were provided to get more publicity and involvement with the meetings (sharing with PTA, home owners’ associations, Veterans Associations etc..).
City Council Meetings – Times for our City Council meeting and work session will be rearranged to streamline the meetings. Starting October 24th, the regular City Council meeting will begin at 6 PM and the tentative agenda for the next council meeting will be the last item on the regular agenda.
As one of my campaign pledges as Mayor, I stated that I wanted to continue the improvements of East Ridge, not only from an economic development standpoint but also from a quality of life standpoint for EVERYONE. We all are impacted in some way by difficult situations, whether personally or by others we know and love. Just this year alone, we have witnessed residents of this City being displaced by fire and children being evacuated from dilapidated housing conditions. As the Fall time of year approaches and gives way to the season of giving, I would like to announce a new initiative for the City of East Ridge and perhaps the surrounding areas.
Effective at the City Council meeting on October 10th, I implemented the East Ridge City Council Community Food Pantry Food Drive which offers all attendees at City Council meetings an opportunity to bring non‐perishable food items or monetary donation for the East Ridge Community Food Pantry. To be clear, admission into a City Council meeting is not predicated on a donation.
Through the end of the year, I intend to bring a food item to be placed at the base of the City Council dais. Following the Council meeting, items donated will be delivered to the East Ridge Community Food Pantry. I am requesting that other Council meeting attendees follow suit and bring food donations as well. Think of the immediate impact this will have for our underprivileged families. My vision is to see a donation program become a staple tradition at every City Council meeting moving forward. Starting in 2020 I will rotate quarterly between multiple East Ridge charitable organizations. Let’s join hands to start this new tradition.
Started in March 2015, the Food Pantry is located at the East Ridge Methodist Church on Prater Road. According to Director Danny McDowell, the Pantry service over 300 families a month, which includes approximately 550 children. McDowell stated, “Our mission is to provide help in a time of need. Our vision is to expand our services.”
For more information about the East Ridge Community Food Pantry, contact McDowell at Jones Memorial by calling 423‐624‐6073.
Camp Jordan Renovations – Our $2.3 million renovations in Camp Jordan Park have been completed. We are in the final review of any open items/punch list.
Sanitation Trucks ‐ Two new sanitation trucks have been purchased and our schedules are back to normal.
Update: Question was asked if a route analysis has been completed of our sanitation department. Currently the route analysis has not started due to the backlog that had occurred and the new equipment getting on board. This is planned to start after the first of the year due to the upcoming high volumes during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. The analysis needs to be performed during periods of normal sanitation pickups.
Update: Concerns with the walking track at Camp Jordan concerning bikers and walkers. Question if the bikers and walkers could travel in different directions to provide more visibility. After discussion with the City Manager this could be hard to implement and very unlikely that it would be adhered to by either party.
I‐24/I‐75 Interchange – Completion June 2021
The most current development is the foundation for a dedicated lane for the Exit 1 on ramp for I‐75 North to travel in a single lane that connects to I‐24 westbound ramp and a dedicated lane to I‐75 northbound. Spring Creek bridge reconstruction has started this past weekend which will include pedestrian walk paths and bike lanes. The scope of this project includes 13 bridges, 22 retaining walls, grading, drainage, paving and lighting. Construction should be complete by the summer of 2021.
Census 2020 –
We have created a complete count committee to lead the count for our city. The CCC will have a float in our Christmas Parade. Why It Matters! Hospitals. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of our community. The results help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities. East Ridge has formed a Complete Count Committee which utilizes local knowledge, influence, and resources to educate communities and promote the census throughout our city.
East Ridge Citizens Police Academy Program ‐
The Inaugural Citizen’s Police Academy began on Sept. 16th and will take place for 10 weeks. The citizen’s academy is aimed at familiarizing our citizens with the various aspects of the law enforcement profession. During these training sessions representatives from various divisions within the police department will conduct presentations and demonstrations on a variety of topics to include: Uniform Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Traffic Enforcement, K‐9 Unit, Court Observation and discussion with our DA and Judge, plus much more.
Update: Researching the potential for our East Ridge Fire Department creating a Fire Academy for citizens.
Top Golf recent press release – this is exciting, and their planned opening is April 2020.
Champy’s – they have already completed the demo and will start their construction soon. Planned opening April 2020.
Buddy‐b‐b‐q – ribbon cutting October 16th.
Black Hawk development – a mixed use development with retail and apartments.
Also don’t forget our hometown businesses. Please patronize them often.
Guest Speaker Patty Weaver – East Ridge City Library Director
Several program available at our Library
Preschool story time –
Every Tuesday at 11:00 am. The program lasts about 30 minutes and usually includes a felt board activity or song and craft relate to the story. No registration is required. Any age preschooler is welcome, including babies. Occasionally we will have a special story‐time, such as this past week the East Ridge Fire Department brought a fire truck, read fireman stories and talked about fire prevention and safety.
Halloween story time – special story time and watch the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown movie. The children dressed in their Halloween costumes. Book character pumpkin decoration contest – this activity occurred throughout the month of October. There were 3 age divisions: ages (5‐8), (9‐12) and (13 and up). The entries were displayed on the table by the front door. Each age group won a prize.
Adult Coloring Program – every Thursday at 2 PM. The library provides the coloring books and colored pencils.
Homeschool Book Clubs – the groups meet every other Tuesday at 2:30 PM. A group for 2nd – 4th grade and 5th – 7th. They discuss their books and do a project or activity for each book.
Movie Night – at least once a month we have a movie night (sometimes two). It may be a family movie, or it may be for adults only. Movies are always free.
Craft Programs – we offer several craft programs for adults during the year. Recently made fall Mason Jars. The program on December 5th at 2:00 PM will make Christmas door hangers. This program requires registration and fill up quickly.
Future events: February ‐ Dinner and a Movie
March – Dr. Seuss Easter Bunny pics.
Summer Reading Program – age 1 through 12th grade can keep up with the number of books read and earn prizes.
Offer special summer programs. Creative Discovery Museum brought their mobile StarLab which tied in with this year space theme.
Special Events – Garden Club camp, escape rooms, open mic night, puppet shows, Princess parties, Astronaut camp.
Future Event ‐ Sensory Story‐Time – for Autistic children.
Zoo Pass – a donated Chattanooga Zoo pass that can be checked out. Good for admission for 2 adults and 4 children. This can be checked out once per year per family and used for regular admission days (not special events).
We have books!! – besides programming we have books, along with audiobooks, e‐books and videos on DVD. Do people still use libraries? YES!!! There were 39,605 (avg. 3,300) items checked out last year!! There is no charge to get a library card for residents of East Ridge. Nonresidents are welcome to get a card for a one‐time fee of $20 which is a great bargain compare to other libraries in the area.
6 computers with internet access with printing services. Free WIFI during library hours.
Faxing service for $1 per page. Can scan document at no charge.
Free notary service
Don’t have a library card, we would love to sign you up. Like us on Facebook or check out the library link on the city’s website to keep up with events. Tell your East Ridge friends and neighbor who might be interested. New books are listed on the city’s website (www.eastridgetn.gov)