• 54°

Elizabethton City Council meets in regular May session via teleconference

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
With many city offices still following social distancing protocol, the Elizabethton City Council met in the regular-scheduled May meeting via teleconference addressing both old and new business.
Many of the new business items passed with little fanfare as Council approved a contract with the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency, Inc. to provide police services with a unanimous vote.
Also, the city will also continue using the First Tennessee Development District for planning services for the new 2020/21 fiscal year. Residential units will be allowed in the B-3 (Central) business district after the Council voted 7-0 on the first reading to approve an amendment to the Municipal Code.
One area of discussion arose when the Council addressed an ordinance to amend the Municipal Code surrounding the regulation of temporary storage containers such as POD’s.
“The problem comes when residential properties get POD’s and set them in their yard and continue to allow them to sit there turning them into storage buildings,” said Jon Hartman, Director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development.
“It’s hard to get an enforcement mechanism in place the way it currently is. We would like an opportunity to address if they sit there for a long period. We would like to be able to allow them to access these POD’s with an active building permit and they could remain one week past the expiration date of the permit,” Hartman responded in regard to those who are doing remodeling or add-on work to their homes.”
Council voted unanimously to approve the amendment.
Hartman was also asked by Mayor Pro Tem Bill Carter about the status of a hotel project located close to Wal-Mart.
Due to the recent pandemic, Hartman advised that the investment group had decided to put the project on hold for six to 12 months. The group was wanting to see what the need might be once that time has passed with many hospitality businesses experiencing trouble times during the pandemic.
Also, Hartman informed the Council that two restaurants that had planned on occupying space in the new shopping center adjacent to the Sycamore Springs Senior Living Community had pulled out and elected not to do so.
Johann Coetzee, Director of the Department of Water Resources, informed Council that the sewer system operation had reported two infractions to the state on inquiry from Councilman Jeff Treadway.
Coetzee said there had been a lot of problems with the sewer system due to a heavy rainfall pattern being above normal and that it was a problem at the regional level.
He also informed the board that the Water Resource Department is having problems getting certain supplies and parts because the parts needed are not just a shelf part that can be pulled from a vendor.
Most vendors are still shut down to the pandemic countrywide so that makes it much more difficult.
The city of Elizabethton also picked up about 10 customers from the Southside Water District due to the new Southside bridge being built. The city already has existing lines present at the location and it was more cost-effective for the city to provide water services to the customers who are already on sewer services with the city.
Council also re-appointed Kathy Campbell to the Bonnie Kate Theater Boards and Charles LaPorte to the Wastewater Regulations Board.
The City of Elizabethton will also enter into a capital lease agreement with De Lage Landen Public Finance to acquire a rotary large area mower for the Elizabethton Golf Course for 60 months.
If anything happens in the relation between the City of Elizabethton and Hampton Golf, the asset will remain with the City of Elizabethton.
The Beverage Board approved a blanket license to Boyd Sports and the Elizabethton Twins to sell beer at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark.