East Ridge Council Approves Funding For $2.3 Million Camp Jordan Upgrade; Christopher Harris Chosen As Administrative Hearing Officer

Friday, February 23, 2018 - by Gail Perry

The city of East Ridge is continuing to make improvements and upgrades in the city’s appearance and facilities. At the Jan. 11 city council meeting, approval was given for moving forward to make improvements at Camp Jordan Park. This overhaul for the 40-year-old park includes upgrades to restrooms, concessions, fencing, bleachers, grading baseball and softball fields, turfing the soccer stadium, concessions in the Arena lobby as well as a new roof for that building, trash receptacles and the replacement of water, sewer and power systems throughout the park.

 

At the council meeting Thursday night authorization was given to fund the project through a loan with the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund. The cost was limited to a maximum of $2.3 million. The annual debt service over a period of 20 years will be paid from hotel/motel taxes. The work will be done this fall.

 

In April 2017 the city adopted architectural design standards and guidelines in order to assure high quality designs and building materials. Am amendment was made and approved regarding infill development. This change will make sure that vacant property within an established neighborhood, meets zoning requirements and that the style will be compatible and consistent architecturally, such as size and height with existing buildings.

 

A sign ordinance has also been established in East Ridge. An amendment was approved Thursday night that will allow an appeal and for the city council to grant a variance from the on-premise sign standards after the chief building official provides the council with a review and written recommendation on the variance request. Codes Enforcement Officer Kenny Custer also told the council that a survey of all abandoned signs in the city has been made and, if no longer in compliance with city regulations, signs can be removed.

 

City Manager Scott Miller told the council that a new street sweeper has arrived and in now in service.  It is being paid for with a capital outlay note in the amount of $221,973 through the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund.

 

Mayor Brent Lambert requested that banners with the message “Take pride in East Ridge – Don’t Litter” be made and hung across roadways. City Manager Miller also suggested that people doing community service be used to pick up trash on the roads.

 

Christopher Harris was approved to replace Kyle Hedrick to serve as administrative hearing officer. He will have the jurisdiction to hear violations of local codes including building, property maintenance and zoning codes and to levy fines for violations in excess of $50. The pay rate for this position was set at $200 per hour.

 

The city manager said that another design error in regard to the reconfiguration project at the I-75 Interchange with Ringgold Road at Exit One will require a change order. The council agreed to pay C.W. Matthews Contracting Company an additional $3,987 to bore under the eastbound off ramp in order to connect street lights on the east and west sides of the road.

 

A public meeting was held with no one present to speak for or against rezoning 104 Kingwood Dr. from C-2 General Commercial to R-1 Residential. The planning commission unanimously approved the change and sent it to the council, which also gave approval.

 

Police Chief J.R. Reed was authorized to apply for the Walmart Foundation Community Grant. If awarded the grant, the East Ridge Police Department will use the $2,500 for updating computer technology for the Criminal Investigation division.

 

Rick Bonner, a volunteer with the East Ridge Food Pantry, announced a fundraising event to the council. It will benefit the food pantry which serves low income, the extended stay population and homeless in the community. The facility at East Ridge United Methodist Church, 1601 Prater Road, was established May 1, 2017, and has grown significantly during the past year. Food is provided on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Last week, said Mr. Bonner, food was given to 271 individuals. The facility is run by all volunteers with 100 percent of donations going straight to the food pantry, he said. Strawberries from Plant City, Fla., are being sold by the flat, each containing eight cups for $20. Orders must be in by March 12. They will be delivered from March 19-24.



Man Shot By Chattanooga Police Faces Attempted First-Degree Murder Charge

A man who was shot by Chattanooga Police on Saturday has been released from the hospital and is facing several criminal charges, including attempted first-degree murder.   Joel Deon Harris, 50, is also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, theft under $500, resisting arrested and aggravated assault on a police officer.   The incident happened ... (click for more)

Hixson Woman Charged In Connection With Severe Burn To Child That Police Say Has Pattern Of An Iron

A Hixson woman has been charged in connection with a severe burn to her child that police said has the shape of a clothes iron. Tihonie Barnett, of 4664 Cary Lane, was charged with aggravated child abuse. Police were summoned to Children's Hospital where the child was being treated for a large burn on the back of her right arm, which was severe enough to cause the flesh ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please ‘Connect The Dots’

Get your crayons out and let’s play “connect the dots.” Next Thursday (June 28 th ) the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, in partnership with Chattanooga’s publicly-flawed non-profit educational foundation, UnifiEd, will hold its regional meeting at Chattanooga’s Bessie Smith Hall. The coalition was formed to advocate for “students of color” in Tennessee, and among those on ... (click for more)

Fairyland Swimmers Upset Country Club

The Fairyland Flash had their best swim meet of the season at home Tuesday night when they beat the Country Club Wavemakers by a single point, handing the visitors their first loss of the season after four straight wins. Country Club had prevailed by a lopsided 466-322 margin just last Thursday, but the Flash was more than ready for the competition the second time around. ... (click for more)

The Ups-And-Downs Of Life In The Minor Leagues

Life as a minor league player can be tough. Few players ever get to live out their dream as a regular player at the big league level. For every player who realizes their dream, another player is forced to be released or find another organization to keep his dream alive. Recently the Lookouts have lost T.J.White, one of the most popular players in recent years. Word has come ... (click for more)