Elk Avenue Bridge repair to be discussed Thursday

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2017

With an agenda chalked full of budget amendments and special events coming up, the Elizabethton City Council will look at the possibility of OK’ing repair to one local bridge on Elk Avenue.
According to documents provided by the city, the Elk Avenue Bridge was constructed in 1926 as part of the Elizabethton Historic District. While the Tennessee Department of Transportation completed rehabilitation worth $2 million in 2005, the status of the rehab has not held up due to weathers and is continually showing signs of deterioration.
The Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization identified the bridge requiring reap due to falling concrete from the previous rehab. Elizabethton does qualify for federal funding due to the situation.
Elizabethton officials stated that a reserve had amassed $125,000, but the city needs an additional $12,000 to meet the local match required by TDOT. With the City finding identifying a source for the balance, a request to TDOT has been made to begin the repair.
City Council members will vote to ratify signature on the endeavor which will see the state accept management responsibility pending the local match.
The property purchase near Harold McCormick Elementary will be presented to City Council once again for a first reading.
Elizabethton City Schools requested a transfer from school sales tax account to purchase property near Harold McCormick. The school board approved the purchase of the property at  a third of the price due to the owner being an alumnus from the education system.
The motion was put through Council once before but failed during the second reading with concerns on how the property would benefit the system, and that money could be used toward the T.A. Dugger expansion project
Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour addressed council during a budget workshop to tell council members that the property would be used for additional parking and help with safety concerns on the premise. Various council members were also able to see the property last week thanks in part to a three-school tour offered by the ECS.
Council will also look at approving a lease agreement by Elizabethton Police Department and Corporal Sarah Ellison-Dingus for the use of a canine named Liam for law enforcement duties.
With the current K9 Kero nearing retirement, the department is looking at using the services and Cpl. Ellison – a certified K9 trainer who handles Kero and purchased Liam at the age of five weeks old last April. Liam is already certified in tracking by the North American Police Work Dog Association, according to a report prepared by Police Chief Jason Shaw.
The move would be a cost-savings to the county with the lease costing $1 per year compared to some funds it would take to purchase a police dog.
In other business, City Council will look at approving a variety of special events coming up over the next couple of months, which include:
• Moving the Carter County Car Club’s weekly Cruise-In events from 5 to 9 p.m. to 5 to 9:30 p.m. while the annual Car Show, scheduled for July 8, would also end at 9:30 p.m.
• The schedule for the 51st annual Covered Bridge Celebration. The event is expected to take place June 8-10.
• The county’s Relay For Life’s utilities request for Relay night.
• The route for the annual Roan Groan Bicycle Race.
• Jiggy Ray’s Monday Biker Nights and the four outdoor music festivals offered from the establishment.

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