Elizabethton City Council holds public hearings and second readings in special-called session

Published 6:00 am Saturday, June 29, 2019




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The Elizabethton City Council met in a special-called session Thursday afternoon at the Elizabethton City Hall to hold public hearings and approve four ordinances as well as adopting a facility lease agreement to handle equipment needs of the Elizabethton Parks and Rec Department.

With no one taking the podium regarding any of the public hearings on the docket, the council was able to address questions around each item and move efficiently through the day’s business.

After a 7-0 unanimous vote to accept the fiscal year 2018/19 yearend budget ordinance amendment as its first item, the council quickly moved to take action on the second reading of the Elizabethton Budget and Property Tax Rate ordinance.

The board adopted the ordinance on second reading that included a six-cent tax rate increase needed as a result of lost revenue from the Hall Income Tax, which generated close to $400,000 annually for the city’s budget.

Two cents of the six cents will also go to make sure pavement projects around the city doesn’t lose any ground.

“I think it’s great that we let people know where this is going,” said Councilman Wes Frazier. “I have had probably five people come up today and say they appreciated what we were doing with the money so I think letting them know what we are doing is great.”

The ordinance carried in a 7-0 vote.

Two other ordinances that passed in unanimous 7-0 votes after second readings included the increase in the solid waste user fee from $10 per month to $13 per month with the bulk container fees increasing from $21.85 per container per collection to $25.

Also, eight-yard dumpster rental fees were set at a rate of $40 per month. City Manager Daniel Estes told the council that two people have already called to rent dumpsters.

The fourth item of business was the public hearing and second reading of the fiscal year 2019/20 Elizabethton City Schools budget ordinance that once again passed in a 7-0 vote.

The one item that drew the most conversation was around the approval of a facility lease agreement with Summers Rentals to house equipment used by the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.

City Attorney Roger Day informed the council that the lease was a month to month lease at a rate of $1500 per month.

Currently, the equipment is housed on Summers-Taylor property that cannot adequately support the trucks and trailers utilized by the department.

Parks and Rec director Mike Mains and staff have been trying to locate an acre of land where a building could be built to meet the needs of storing the equipment as well as performing maintenance service to the trucks and mowers in an interior setting.

“We are moving along in the process,” said Mains. “It’s taking a little time. We have identified some property around the Cherokee Drive area at the end of that location that we are looking at.

“We have done a lot of research also in the cost associated with other types of buildings that we need. I will also say this that once baseball season is over with around September 10 if we go to playoffs, we can move all our equipment back to the baseball area offsite of the Summers-Taylor property.”

The council voted unanimously once again 7-0 in approval of the lease. With all business concluded the session was brought to a dismissal.