At the Soddy Daisy commission meeting Thursday night, City Manager Hardie Stulce gave updates on two transportation projects that he described as having “been discussed to death.” He has been notified by TDOT that all requirements have been met and the city can now accept the low bid for traffic signals for Sequoyah Road. The low bid came in at $230,931. The commission unanimously approved the acceptance of this proposal.
The status of a project on Montlake Road was also given to the commissioners.
Mr. Stulce said that the Federal Highway Administration must move a boundary 1,100 feet in order for the work to qualify for federal funding. It was noted that the road is already designed, funded, engineered and is ready to go to bid pending the boundary change.
Commissioners were also told that a funding source has been found for building a blacksmith shop. The patron would love to see it built near Poe’s Tavern, but has an alternate location if Soddy Daisy does not want it. Mayor Janice Cagle said that issue needs to pass through the Parks and Recreation Board. It meets next week and so the matter will be discussed at that time.
Steve Grant, director of public works, reported on his study concerning re-grading Nelson Road to alleviate water problems for one resident who came to the commissioners for help. In reality, all the houses on the east side of the street are affected. Because the driveway sits below the road, Mr. Grant estimated that one side of Nelson Road would need to be elevated with the addition of six inches of asphalt, to create a slope great enough to divert the water. The cost to re-pave the whole road in this fashion would be between $14,000 and $16,000.
If that is done, the driveways will have to be re-paved 10-12 feet from the street to raise them enough to meet the new higher level of the street. This still would not stop water from running downhill in torrential downpours, he said. It is working against the natural slope of the land. Mayor Cagle said it should not be the city’s responsibility to re-pave privately owned driveways.
It was decided to seek alternative plans that would be less expensive to handle the problem, such as a catch basin.
Commissioner Jim Adams brought up the matter of a job that the city is creating. The city manager reminded the commission that Soddy Daisy is not hiring a whole paid fire department. The city presently has a large volunteer fire department and only a few full time people will be hired to supplement this volunteer network.
The position of fire department chief will have stringent requirements, said Mr. Adams. The original salary discussed by the commission of $45,968 seems a little low, it was stated. He equated the position to one of being a department head since responsibilities will be to manage 55 people, and to be in charge of the daily routines and daily upkeep of equipment. Mr. Stulce said the job descriptions are almost completed for the new positions, including the one of chief. Before the jobs are advertised, he said he would like to get it right. At this point, the budget could be amended to accommodate whatever the commissioners decide.
In his report, Commissioner Gene Shipley said that property tax relief is available for the elderly or disabled homeowner. This is not an exemption, but will reimburse owners that meet legal requirements on their primary residence. To get detailed information or ask questions about this, a resident should contact the county trustee’s office, phone (615) 747-8871, or on the web at www.tn.gov/comptroller/pa/patxr.htm. Mr. Shipley also said if someone does not understand or still needs help, the city will be sure to assist the person. Phone (423) 332-5323 to ask for help from the city.
Commissioner Rick Nunley, in his report, said the recreation department should begin to look at proposals for building a covered bandstand/stage at North Park. There is the possibility that grants could be obtained to cover the cost of building this facility. Next week, a preliminary meeting will be held between the city, regional planner and an architect to hear recommendations.
The Public Works Department was praised for its excellent response to damage from the extreme rain events over the last couple of weeks. Soddy Daisy had 27 trees that fell onto roadways. The public works employees came out between 3:30 -4:30 a.m. to help clear the streets. They worked all weekend and stayed late into the night. Commissioner Patti Skates wanted the department to know that a lot of people are very thankful for the work that they did.
Mayor Cagle reminded everyone that next Thursday is Soddy Daisy night at the Lookouts game. The mayor will throw out the first pitch. She asked for residents to come and support the city and the Lookouts.