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Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem to be selected Thursday

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
The Elizabethton City Council is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, December 10, 2020, at 6 pm via Zoom with one of the first items on the agenda is the nomination and election of a Mayor as well as the nomination and election of a Mayor Pro-Tem.

Curt Alexander has been serving as Mayor and was recently re-elected back to the Council along with Kim Birchfield and Jeff Treadway. Bill Carter has been serving in the position of Mayor Pro Tem.

Once a new Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem have been selected, the Council will dive into the business at hand as there will be eight appointments to boards and committees.

Those include one regular term to the Bonnie Kate Theater Board, one unexpired term to the Library Board, one city representative term to the Main Street Board, one student representative term to the Parks and Rec Board, one Council representative term and one Mayor’s Designee Term to the Planning Commission and Zoning Appeals Board, one Council representative term to the School board, and one Council representative term to the Watauga River Water Authority Board.

Currently, there is no old business to address on the agenda lending itself to new business at hand.

The board will take into consideration and action on a resolution to approve In Lieu of Taxes for the Elizabethton Electric Department for the fiscal year 2021 in the amount of $1,270,076.23 payable to the city.

This amount has already been approved by TVA on 11/25/2020.

The Elizabethton Electric Department will pay $635,038.12 of this allocation to the City of Elizabethton on or before January 31, 2021, with the remaining balance paid in quarterly installments on or before March 31, 2021, and June 20, 2021, respectively.

Also, the Council will be looking at an amendment to the Drug Fund FY 20/21 budget due to an oversight of budgeting for the 1st Judicial District Drug Task Force.

Per the finance director, an amendment is needed to take the funds of $4,000 from the drug fund budget along with $3,000 for shelving units needed for the evidence room at the police department to enhance the storage capabilities in the evidence room after the current renovation.

The Council will look to approve the renaming of Rogosin Drive which runs from West E Street to West G Street to the rear of Elizabethton High School to Dave Rider Street to honor long-time retired Elizabethton Cyclones head football coach Dave Rider with this honor.

Elizabethton’s Regional Planning Commission recommended this street name change to the City Council at their regularly scheduled meeting on December 3, 2020.

City Council will also be taking into consideration and acting on a resolution to approve a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Commander 844th Engineer Battalion.

The MOA could allow for a mutually beneficial situation from a joint effort between the City and the 844th Engineers who were in need of a local training project.

Elizabethton’s police department has been operating a shooting range on a parcel of City-owned property off Sugar Hollow Road since the 1970s.

The range has proved vital for firearms training and allows the police department to train its officers as prescribed by state law when needed. Although the range does provide for a safe area of training, the noise from the training does bother some nearby residents.

With the resources and talents of the 844th Engineers, plans could be made for improvements to the police firing range and to develop the portion of the property for a park and recreation project that would greatly benefit the community.

If the agreement is reached, the cost of personnel, equipment, and the fuel used by the 844th Engineers will be funded by the 844th Engineers as part of their monthly and annual training drills.

A hopeful start date would be in January of 2021 in regards to surveying the property, developing the concepts, and planning the project. Costs during this phase of the project would be minimal.

After plans are developed, the costs of materials and supplies necessary for any actual construction will be identified to allow for the budget process to occur.

Finally, the Council will consider bids and take action on police utility vehicles in the amount of $100,593 and a Kenworth T370 (Knuckle Boom) and Loader for the Sanitation department in the amount of $209,229.