City acquires Watauga River access point

Published 6:35 pm Friday, March 9, 2018

(Editor’s Note: This is the continuation of events that took place during Thursday’s City Council meeting.)

A new boat ramp is coming soon for aficionados of the Watauga River.

City leaders voted to enter into a licensing agreement with the State of Tennessee and Department of Transportation to create a boat ramp for the river at property adjacent to Lovers Lane at the Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis Memorial Bridge.

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Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, the IDEAS group and Carter County government representatives have identified the property can be utilized as a recreational opportunity and added that “this boat ramp would greatly benefit local tourism opportunities including benefits for fishermen, whitewater sporting participants and would assist local emergency first responders,” according to a report issued by Parks & Rec Director Mike Mains.

IDEAS representative Chris Little attended Thursday’s meeting and stated that Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has already committed to building the ramp and handling the engineering of the point. Tennessee Valley Authority will pave the area to be used for parking.

With the passage, the goal is to have the property go through annexation. Once it passes through the Regional Planning Commission the annexation would have to come in front of the Council at a future meeting.


City leaders voted to enter into a lease agreement with popular downtown restaurant Red Chili to move their location from East Elk Avenue to the dining/cafe area of the Bonnie Kate. The lease agreement goes into effect in April.

According to the RFP provided by city officials, Red Chili would be able to utilize 2,100 square feet of space inside the facility with a bevy of inventory items. Various tools, including grills, stoves, seating and other items, could be used to help the restaurant make a seamless transition.


Action was deferred on an item to approve a resolution in regards to work at T.A. Dugger Junior High. Elizabethton City Schools and Council agree that work should be done at T.A. Dugger, but not until the bond market is stable enough for the half-cent sales tax to be fully utilized for renovations. The resolution is being sent back to BOE to include a “vote of confidence” from Council instead of current wording in the resolution.


In the Friday print edition of the Elizabethton Star, it was reported that:

Council voted to name Jon Hartman as interim city manager. Hartman was voted in by a 5-2 margin.

Hampton Golf will now serve as the management company for the Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course. The new management firm, based out of Jacksonville, Fla., and the city agreed to a three-year contract for $90,000 annually.

City officials will defer the purchase of property near the Hampton Spring. Even though the city is looking to acquire the property, they will seek an independent surveyor to find out the exact price for the property and then pass it through the proper budget channels. The price tag for the property prior to the outcome was $130,000.