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Elizabethton City Council readies for a busy March agenda

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com 
The Elizabethton City Council is slated to meet for their regularly-scheduled March meeting on Thursday, March 11, 2021, as the Council will address a fairly lengthy agenda of old and new business.

In old business, there are seven items that are second readings and public hearings with four of those being on budget ordinances amendments.

Also, the Council will have the second reading and public hearing to update the City of Elizabethton Occupation Safety and Health Program Plan.

A second reading and public hearing on revising Title 12 entitled “Building, Utility, Etc. Codes” in order to update the Elizabethton Municipal Building Codes will be conducting.

Although the city has one year before the state will require codes to be updated to a more recent edition, Building Departments across Upper East Tennessee have been working together through their partner professional organization (UETBOA) to build cohesion between jurisdictions for the purpose of greater ease of understanding of code requirements for developers and contractors.

The final item under old business will address the second reading and public hearing on an ordinance to revise Title 7 entitled “Fire Protection and Fireworks Chapter 2, Section 7- 201, 7-202, and 7-203, in order to Update the Elizabethton Municipal Fire Code.

Staff is proposing to update the International Fire Code to the 2018 edition. Although there is still one year before the state will require updates to codes to a more recent edition, updating the fire code at the same time as the building code has been common practice.

Doing so also provides a continuity of service between the services of the Building Department and the Fire Marshal, who works closely with the City’s Development Services Department to provide continued prompt customer service to developers, design professionals, and contractors.

In new business, the Carter County Car Club will be seeking approval to continue their yearly events beginning on April 3, 2021, and running through October 30, 2021, from 5 pm to 9 pm.

The Annual Car Show Saturday which is a day-long event will be held on July 2021. The financial impact to have the events is projected to be $9,000 to $12,000 with increased overtime costs in the police, street, and sanitation.

Another event seeking approval is the Omnium Races – Fat Tire Criterium which held its first successful event in downtown Elizabethton in 2020 after being hosted in Johnson City in years prior.

Reneau Dubberly, Race Director, has requested that the Fat Tire Criterium be hosted again this year in Downtown Elizabethton from 8 am to 6 pm on Sunday, June 6, 2021, using the same road closures as last year.

The Elizabethton Police Department estimates $2232 in staffing and overtime for the event while the Street Department’s financial impact is minimal.

Yet another new event seeking approval for the first time is the Music and Miles Half Marathon to take place on Saturday, May 8, 2021, from 6 am to 1 pm.

The event will be brought to the City of Elizabethton by the Goose Chase which hosts several marathons throughout the Tri-Cities each year including races such as the Glow Run, the Haunted Half Marathon, and the Turkey Trot with all the races promoting healthy, safe, and fun ways to get the community involved in an outdoor event to promote wellness and exercise.

The financial impact on the City would be an estimate of $1980 in staffing and overtime with the Street Department’s financial impact being $237.96.

Main Street Elizabethton will be asking for approval to partnering with Elizabethton Parks and Recreation and the Elizabethton Arts and Cultural Alliance to bring a First Fridays Celebration to the downtown on May 7, June 4, July 2, and August 6, 2021.

The celebration will be focused on community engagement through the arts and downtown businesses with most activities contained inside businesses as they host various engagement activities in the arts.

Food trucks will also be located throughout downtown to bring additional engagement and dining opportunities. Live music will also be played at Covered Bridge Park which will be hosted by the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.

The financial impact for the events will be $1226.88 from the Street Department OT and staffing.

Council will be asked to discuss and approve a resolution for the Elizabethton Electric Department which has been approved to receive a grant of $2,500 if they choose to accept the public Entity Partners grant for Driver Safety with the matching portion to come from funds already budgeted for the partnership with JTS Safety.

EED has already been approved by Public Entity Partners and has met all the requirements to be eligible to receive the grant.

Also, the EED is requesting City Council to act on and approve a resolution authorizing participation in the PEP “Property Conversation” Matching Grant in the amount of up to $5,000.

The grant money will be used toward the purchase of new cameras for the substations. This is a fifty (50%) reimbursement match up to a maximum of $5,000.00. The cameras will be purchased, and the Electric Department will be partially reimbursed by the grant.

A proposed resolution will be before the board to allow the City to open a Local Government Pool (LGIP) account for deposit of funds so the design firm, Mattern & Craig, can begin design work for the Transportation Alternatives Program Grant project to rehabilitate the Historic Covered Bridge

TDOT requires the City’s local match for the grant to be on deposit and available to be drawn upon as needed.

Council will also consider a Contract Amendment for the rehab and repair of the Elk Avenue Bridge over the Doe River during the March meeting which will be second reading.

The accompanying budget amendment indicates an additional Elizabethton Regular Session Agenda Item Summary $105,000 be obligated by the City for the completion of the bridge rehab and repair.

Other items in new business include the extension of mowing services for Elizabethton Electric and the Water Resources Department and fire alarm monitoring contract for the police building.