More treats than tricks… Elizabethton City Council gives approval for annual downtown events

Published 4:21 pm Friday, October 9, 2020

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The question had been asked by many and during the regularly-scheduled October meeting of the Elizabethton City Council, the Council agreed to allow three downtown events to proceed as planned as the events were voted on in one roll call with everyone but Councilman Richard Barker voting in favor.

The events — Downtown Trick or Treat and Elizabethton Christmas Parade presented by Main Street along with Carter County Bank’s Tree Lighting Ceremony — are popular events that the community looks forward to each year.

Even though many things will be different this year, Main Street’s Courtney Washburn was on the Zoom call during the meeting and advised Council of some of the changes for the Downtown Trick or Treat event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We are taking precautions following the Tennessee Pledge,” Washburn advised. “Merchants will be required to wear masks and we highly recommend all participants to wear masks as well.

“There will be tape on the sidewalks eight feet apart to encourage groups trick or treating together to social distance. There will be sanitizing stations on each block and we have encouraged merchants to have hand sanitizer as well.

“There will be only five individuals allowed at the table in front of the merchant’s business and each are encouraged to have one designated person to hand out candy wearing gloves,” Washburn continued.

Washburn also advised precautions would be taken during the Christmas parade as well in accordance with the Tennessee Pledge.

Barker’s concern was that the events would welcome a super spread of the COVID-19 as that many people just couldn’t follow social distancing guidelines.

The Christmas Parade has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m.

Carter County Bank has assumed the Fraser Fir Tree Lighting Ceremony previously presented by the Chamber of Commerce. The ceremony is slated for Saturday, Nov. 21, with live music beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by the tree lighting at 6 p.m.

The Council expressed their thanks to Carter County Bank for assuming the tree lighting.

Mayor Pro Tem Bill Carter also advised the Council that there will be no formal Veterans Day Ceremony this year.

In other new business, the Council approved a resolution to approve a contract with Honeywell for an AMI System contract for remote electrical power service management by the Elizabethton Electric System.

During a recent workshop, representatives of Honeywell and West Co. were present to answer questions about the AMI System which will allow the electric system to read meters remotely, turn power on and off for its customers remotely, look at the power quality, and blend with the system’s outage management seamlessly.

The Electric System had received four bids with Honeywell being the least expensive. The cost of the project will be $4,157,997 with the money to cover the project coming from the Fund Balance and will not require any type of rate increase.

City Council also approved a lease agreement with Doe River Gorge Ministries, Inc. for 52.753 acres of property to expand the Hampton Watershed Bike and Hiking Trail.

The current biking trail at the Hampton Watershed provides 3.5 miles of hiking and biking trails for citizens and those in the region while partnering with SORBA of the Tri-Cities and the County Parks and Recreation Board.

A master plan was developed which would expand the current 3.5-mile trail system to close to 11 miles of new trails as Doe River Gorge Ministries come on board.

The plan calls for the building of a new pump track and skills park for local youth along with improvements needed for facility parking and trailhead landscaping and signage upgrades.

There will be no cost to the City of Elizabethton to lease the property owned by Doe River Gorge Ministries.

Other business included Council approving $22,627 for the emergency purchase of sewer manhole risers and lids for the water department.

Also, approval of expenses in the amount of $67,455 for general liability insurance for the electric department, $77,249 for worker’s compensation insurance for the electric department, and $455,000 for asphalt pavement resurfacing for street and sanitation were given totaling $622,331.

Streets included in the asphalt pavement resurfacing include the following:
-Central Avenue from Riverview to Short Street (approx. 5,172 feet).
-Burgie Street #1 from Parkway Blvd. to Dakota Street (approx. 1,025 feet).
-Parkway Blvd. from W. Elk Avenue to Jordan Road (approx. 3,380 feet).
-Pearl Street from Siam Road to Charity Hill (approx. 910 feet).
-Nave Street from Siam Road to Charity Hill (approx. 1,046 feet).
-Sunset Avenue from Riverview Drive to Dejarnette Street (approx. 693 feet).
-Riverview Drive from Siam Road to Charity Hill (approx. 2,442 feet).
-Walker Street from Siam Road to Charity Hill (approx. 2,180 feet).
-Southside Road from Gap Creek Road (approx. 330 feet).

During the Elizabethton Beverage Board meeting which followed the regular Council meeting, approval was given to Saucy’s Pizza Barn for an on-premise restaurant beer permit.

The restaurant was the former Pizza Inn.