City shifts funds from animal shelter to rescue squad Discuss personnel bonuses, future of Twins

Published 9:53 pm Monday, May 1, 2017

Line items were discussed and changes were made Monday afternoon as the Elizabethton City Council worked to prepare a first reading 2017-18 fiscal year budget for May’s Council meeting.

Throughout the four-plus hour discussion, the biggest switch-up to line items was brought up after lunch as Council members elected to move their animal shelter funding down from approximately $127,000 down to $100,000 and move that money into Carter County Rescue Squad funding.

Both topics were brought hand-in-hand Monday with City Attorney Roger Day addressing Council. The attorney stated he’s spoken with County Attorney Josh Hardin to begin looking at a potential new agreement between both entities for funding purposes of the facility.

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A new agreement was decided following the city’s decision to negotiate their contract which was slated to last a five-year period and began in February 13, 2012.

More deliberation would be needed before going through the agreement, Day added, with the county budget still to be decided.

Talks then focused to the Rescue Squad. The city had $50,000 moved for the department until Council member Sam Shipley said that his motion to have the rescue squad funded by $120,000 on a “recurring” basis last year was per minutes of the meeting and wanted to see it continued.

Mayor Curt Alexander seconded the opinion, adding the city could move $27,000 from the animal shelter, along with money unallocated and by other means, to come up with a way to fund the rescue squad at its recommended funding. The mayor added that if the city were to provide funding per capita, even with the $400,000plus price tag, that the city’s share would be $100,000.

The move is a rejection of Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey’s request during the previous workshop to fund a significant portion of the shelter operations. A 50-50 split for the shelter operations would have put the city in the ballpark paying more than $200,000.


Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains provided an updated to possible renovations and improvements at Joe O’Brien Field.

Mains and Richard Barker, with the Elizabethton Twins Task Force, both addressed City Council Monday and stated there hasn’t been any word back from Minnesota but asked to utilize the services of  an architect Thomas Weems  to construct a gameplan to  have proper guidelines in place to have a stadium in line with Appalachian League standards and for the TSSAA.

One frustrating issue, both men brought up, was that there hasn’t been any updates from Minnesota. Parks & Rec and the Task Force are hoping to hear back by July 1 but are looking at the possibility of having a rookie league take over the facility if possible.


City Council will also decide on a $1,000 bonus for employees or a $500 bonus with a one-percent increase in salary during May’s meeting. Council members added the city wants to make sure the employees stay competitive with other municipalities.


The first reading for the 17-18 budget is set for Thursday, May 11, during the Council’s meeting. If the budget goes accordingly, Council could approve the measure at June’s regularly scheduled meeting. Council would go throughout the year and make amendments were needed for possible capital improvements, which included possible renovation at Joe O’Brien Field or the possibility of the Elizabethton Police Department using the first floor of the old Ritches building downtown.