The city of Soddy Daisy is losing $65,000 a year because of garbage collection at seven trailer parks, said City Manager Hardie Stulce at the Soddy Daisy Commission meeting Thursday night. Commissioners and concerned citizens had a lengthy discussion about how to collect garbage fees at these locations. In lieu of billing for garbage service, the monthly fee of $7.64 per residence is included in city property taxes.
City policy excludes garbage service for commercial businesses; however, trailer parks have been serviced in the past even though they are a considered a business.
A loss to the city occurs because the owner of the park is billed for only one piece of property when there are many individual residences that require garbage collection within it.
It was the consensus of the commissioners, multiple citizens that were present, and Mr. Stulce, that it should not be the responsibility of citizens of Soddy Daisy to pay for the service so that the owner of a business can make money. Two solutions were discussed to resolve the problem. For continuing service, the owner of the business could pay $7.64 monthly per available lot within the trailer park whether or not it is occupied. The alternative, favored by the city manager, is to treat all private businesses equally and discontinue garbage service to the trailer parks, allowing them to shop for prices themselves, and giving them a 60-day notice.
One concern voiced was if the owners are required to individually contract the garbage service how the city would enforce that it be done. “The nuclear bomb action” could be taken, commissioners were told. If garbage is not collected, it would become a code enforcement issue and the business could be closed down as a nuisance.
This concern was prompted by a complaint that had been brought to the attention of the commission earlier in the meeting. Property at 9713 Barbee Road is now zoned for R-5 single lot mobile home district. A rezoning request has been made to convert it to an MH mobile home district. The landowner that adjoins the property in question told the commissioners that trash at the existing trailer park has been a problem for years. He said mattress springs, barrels, refrigerators and old food was dumped and left. He petitioned the city in the past for help and had been given assurances that the land would be cleaned up; however, nothing had been done. He spoke in opposition to the zoning request fearing it would become an even worse problem.
On the recommendation of City Attorney Sam Elliott, it was decided that the matter about garbage service for all seven trailer parks will be heard at the next commission meeting in August. That will give the business owners the opportunity to be present at the discussion. The rezoning request for the Barbee Road property will also be deferred to this meeting and included in the garbage debate.
Sometime in the past, 20 feet of right-of-way along the east and west sides of Copeland Cemetery had been deeded to the city. However, it had never become a dedicated road. The land adjacent to this 20-foot driveway has been sold and the new owners have asked the city to abandon ownership of the strip of land so they can have use of it. There were no objections from the commissioners so the ordinance to abandon the property was approved.
The authorization of the yearly pay plan for the fiscal year 2012-2013 for employees of Soddy Daisy was approved. Commissioners also passed a resolution that authorizes payment of supplemental "bridge" benefits for law enforcement employees. This will allow contributions of five percent of their income into a retirement account and will enable them to retire at age 55 after 25 years of service. They will be required to retire at age 60 unless in a supervisory position, which has a maximum age of 62.
The city is in the process of obtaining military vehicles to display at Veterans Park. The donation of a tank and an armored personnel carrier has been requested by Soddy Daisy. The city must issue an official resolution for the federal government to provide such equipment to the city; therefore the commission passed a resolution that applies for “an Army asset for city-owned land.”
A concerned citizen came before the commissioners to voice a worry about gang graffiti that he observed around the fire hall and on the walls of an old pool hall within the city limits. He told the commissioners that the problem should be dealt with before it gets out of control. Mayor Jim Adams said that it has been noticed all over town and that the police department is aware of it and is already in the process of addressing it.
In the city manager's report, Mr. Stulce gave the commissioners an update on four highway projects that the city has been involved with. Three have passed all the hurdles and are waiting for action from TDOT, he said. The Montlake Road work should be done in September or the first of October. Signals for Sequoyah Road are in the pipeline. Surveys are complete and aerial photos have been done for the Dayton Pike project. It will require four-six weeks for the design phase and construction should begin after the first of the year. The Harrison Lane/Daisy Dallas Road overpass project remains the same as it was three years ago, said Mr. Stulce. There is a meeting this coming week to make another attempt for support.
A piece of Soddy Daisy history was presented to the city by lifetime resident June Allison. Her husband’s family owned the old Soddy Hosiery Mill, which was located where Chickamauga Lake is now. Framed photographs dated 1927 of the owners and employees at the mill were given for the city archives.
The city commissioners recognized the Soddy Daisy eight and under all-stars for outstanding performance in tournaments for the year. Mayor Adams told the players and coaches “job well done.” He thanked the coaches for the time they devote and time they use the baseball fields.