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Council approves TVA electric rate increase at called meeting

In a called meeting, Elizabethton’s City Council approved a Tennessee Valley Authority-mandated electric rate increase of 1.5 percent effective Oct. 1.
City Manager Jerome Kitchens said there was only one reading because the city often doesn’t receive notice of the increases in time to have two readings before the effective date without having a called meeting.
Now, all TVA-required increases will only need one reading to be approved.
The increase will amount to about $1.70 a month on residential bills.
In other action, Council approved a budget amendment that clears the way for the city to buy the Ritchie’s Furniture warehouse, with plans for it to become the future home of the Elizabethton Police Department.
The budget amendment allows $102,000 to be allocated from the unassigned fund balance and the debt service fund balance to provide the $204,000 purchase price for the building.
Kitchens said the project, which is not scheduled to start until 2017, would increase the functional space for the EPD.
Council also heard a brief update on the Elizabethton High School stadium and band room project from Councilman Richard Tester, who is the council’s school board liaison. Tester said the stadium would be rotated 90 degrees and shifted 250 feet to the west to address the parking concerns the Elizabethton Planning Commission previously had with the project.
Councilman Bob Cable questioned if the band room would still be a part of the first portion of the project.
Tester said the band room would “absolutely” still be part of the project. He said that after ground was broken, both the stadium and the classrooms and band room would be completed in 10 months.
Councilwoman Nancy Alsup asked if the T.A. Dugger Junior High School portion of the plan still had “priority.”
Tester said that TAD had not been forgotten, but that the school system was working within the $5 million budget that it has.