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Have you ever wondered…

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
As citizens of both Elizabethton and Carter County, often there is talk about budgets and taxes during Commission and City Council meetings and many often wonder exactly how those budgets pan out and where tax dollars that are paid go.

For residents of Elizabethton, this information is not a secret as during each Elizabethton City Council meeting every department issues a monthly report laying out expenditures and how each department has functioned.

It is interesting to take a deeper dive into these reports just to see what has occurred with citizen’s tax dollars for each prior month.

The following is some information pulled from the January reports of department heads within the City of Elizabethton made available to the City Council for their February meeting.

Elizabethton Police Department
In the month of January, the Elizabethton Police Department had 689 calls for service. There were 256 offense reports issued with 45 arrests.

City police issued 107 warrants, 105 summons, 245 citations, 124 warnings, and had 52 escorts. There were a total of 44 accident responses, six of those with injuries.

There were five DUI’s and 21 responses to domestic calls.

Officers put 21,056 miles on city-owned police cruisers.

The Criminal Investigations Division had nine cases closed by arrest, two cases inactive pending arrest, 19 cases closed as inactive, 14 cases unfounded, 11 cases cleared exceptionally, and 44 cases assigned.

Elizabethton Fire Department
For January, the Elizabethton Fire Department reported responses to the following calls.

-One call for outside rubbish, trash, or waste fire.
-One call for excessive heat, scorch burns with no ignition.
-Four motor vehicle accidents with injuries.
-One motor vehicle accident with no injuries.
-One call for gasoline or other flammable liquid spills.
-One gas leak (natural gas or LPG).
-Three calls for heat from short circuit in wiring.
-One call for an overheated motor.
-Three calls for general cleanup of vehicle accidents.
-One call for smoke or odor removal.
-One hazmat investigation.
-Three false alarm calls.
-One system malfunction.
-Two alarm system sounded due to malfunction.
-Four smoke detector activations.
-Two detector activations, no fire.
-One alarm system activation, no fire.
* Total of 31 district incidents.

Elizabethton Street and Sanitation Department
The Elizabethton Street and Sanitation Department had 43 requests for the month of January. Of the 43 requests, 11 were for containers, one was for the removal of a dead animal, three were for drainage problems, one was for a dumpster rental, one for a dumpster repair, and seven for garbage collection requests.

There were eight recorded as miscellaneous, three calls to salt the city streets due to snow, three sign maintenance requests, four requests for street/curb/alley maintenance, and one for a tree that was down that needed to be cut.

Elizabethton Electric System
The Elizabethton Electric System responded to 65 outages in January which might include a number of customers. 28 of those outages had contributing circumstances as two were due to fallen trees, one for the weather, four overhead equipment failure, 15 for animals, and six unknown.

In January, there were 410 calls for service to the Electric System.

The greatest number of those service calls came from 19 calls for meters to be set, 160 electric trouble orders, 55 residential street lights repaired, 102 city street lights repaired, and 16 line fuses replaced.

This total represented a reduction of 49 from the month of December.

Water/Sewer
The Water Resources Department had a busy January in which 1,689 linear feet of galvanized was replaced or taken out of service. There were 20 leaks repaired while six reports of leaks turned out to be false.

There are 19 leaks left to repair and 10 meters have been replaced. The department also received 10 customer complaints. A total of 49 job tickets were written and 57.5 hours of overtime was incurred.

On the sewer side, there were 20 sewer lines washed and six lines filmed. Three residential pump repairs were recorded.

A total of 25 stop ups was reported for the month. In all, 69 job tickets were written resulting in 55.25 hours of overtime.

With just these five reports from departments within the city, it doesn’t take long to see where tax dollars go, and often the difficulty that department heads have in making sure to meet the needs of the citizens and balancing the budget that has been given for the physically year.

As mentioned earlier, these reports are available to review during monthly City Council meetings, and should there ever be any questions, that is why an opportunity is given during each meeting to address the council.

Citizens need to become actively involved with matters surrounding what occurs and have that opportunity. It is one thing to complain about a problem but another to become engaged and involved.

Just in case you may have wondered.