City Council closes out busy 2023 in December meeting

The Elizabethton City Council wrapped up a very busy year during their regularly scheduled December Council meeting held inside Council Chambers at Elizabethton City Hall on December 14, 2023.
There were 22 items of business listed on the regular agenda as well as a beverage board meeting that immediately followed.
The meeting was opened by Mayor Pro-Tem Bill Carter who provided the invocation while Mayor Curt Alexander led those in attendance with the Pledge of Allegiance.
After approving the minutes from the November 2023 meeting, there were two recognitions by the Mayor.
Daniel French was recognized for his years of service with the Keep Carter County Beautiful organization and the Elizabethton High School band was recognized for their 2023-2024 competitive season which culminated with the Division II State Marching Band Championship and the Governor’s Cup by two points with a score of 94.5 for the sixth time since 2010, and for the second consecutive year.
The band finished the season with a 89-13 record.
Several members of various boards were re-appointed to another term on the boards that they serve as well.
In old business, the Council on second reading and public hearing approved an ordinance for the General Fund FY 2023-2024, amendment #5 regarding the infield playing surface at Joe O'Brien Field.
During the September regular session meeting, the City Council approved a resolution for the City of Elizabethton to install a new infield playing surface at Joe O'Brien Field along with the construction of a knee wall, seating behind home plate, and new safety netting within the area.
The total estimated amount of the project is $458,714. However, this is to be shared in equal parts by the City of Elizabethton, Boyd Sports, and the Elizabethton City Schools. Each partner's cost for this project is $152,905 but the improvements are for the benefit of the City-owned baseball park.
With Council's approval, amendment will provide an increase to the Parks and Recreation Capital Outlay Expenditures by $152,905 that will be taken from the Unassigned Fund Balance.
Approval also was given on an ordinance to consider on second reading and public hearing City of Elizabethton 2023/2024 Budget Ordinance Amendment #6 for the General Fund regarding the Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative Grant.
On January 26, 2023 the City of Elizabethton was notified that the Police Department was awarded a grant through the U.S. Department of Justice Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative. The Elizabethton City Council voted and approved the acceptance of this grant during the February 9, 2023 regular session meeting.
This grant requires no local funds and will be used for the following: ten Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) for a period of two years; upgrade the video recording system in the interview rooms to the same system used for body-worn and in-car cameras; purchase a q-nap brand storage server for additional video evidence storage; and purchase a 3D crime scene laser scanner system. The grant award was $150,000; however only $63,125 had been spent as of June 30, 2023.
The outcome of the approval will increase grant revenue and grant expenditures by $86,875 with no change to fund balance.
Finally in old business, the Council unanimously gave approval on an ordinance to consider on second reading and public hearing a City of Elizabethton 2023/2024 Budget Ordinance Amendment #7 for the General Fund regarding the TOP Grant, TECH Grant, and Archives Grant for the Public Library.
The Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library has received the TOP Grant, which was approved at the September 2023 City Council meeting, the TECH Grant, and the THRAB Grant. Each grant is being used to progress the library's operations while limiting the burden to taxpayers and the Maintenance of Effort requirements for the City.
The City regularly budgets for grant activity for the Library Department. However, the library has received higher grant amounts than normal and as a result, a budget amendment was needed to account for the revenue and expenditures for each grant project. The ordinance will increase grant revenue and grant expenditures by $17,691, with no change to Fund Balance.
In new business, City Council approved a gift agreement with the Tetrick Family Foundation.
After discussions between City Officials and the Tetrick Family, Richard Tetrick has offered a financial donation of $250,000 to the City of Elizabethton that could be used to help with the purchase of the Franklin Fitness Center or provide the funding needed for minor facility improvements.
Therefore, in return for this wonderful donation, the City of Elizabethton would provide exclusive naming rights of this new Community Center to the Tetrick Family as a recognition of their gracious gift.
The Council also gave a vote of approval to an agreement between Elizabethton Electric and TVA for the Electric Vehicle Fast Charger Program with EOS Linx.
Newer electric vehicles have the ability to have their batteries charged to 80 percent in as little as thirty minutes. This is only possible by using an EV fast charger. Drivers use apps that find charging stations and show if the station is available or being used.
Currently, Elizabethton is not an option for these drivers, but it needs to be. By partnering with TVA, the infrastructure and equipment needed to put Elizabethton on the EV fast charger map would be achieved. Elizabethton
The financial impact for the City would be $430,455.00 with an 80% or $344,364.00 reimbursement from TVA.
In other business, the following resolutions and ordinances were approved unanimously:
  • A resolution to consider amendment #3 of Task Order No. 2 for miscellaneous hourly engineering services under the 2020 Master Services Agreement with Mattern and Craig, Inc.
  • A resolution to approve Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board Grant Contract.
  • A resolution to approve Task Order #6 Amendment #4 of the Professional Services Agreement with Mattern & Craig Engineering.
  • A resolution accepting an agreement from a Local Firearms Dealer to trade used police department handguns for quantity of 9mm training ammunition.
  • A resolution to change the Electric Department Risk Manager position to the Safety, Environmental, and Facilities Coordinator position and job description.
  • A resolution to consider modifications to the GIS and Engineering Programs Manager, GIS Technician and Field Data Collection Technician job descriptions.
  • A resolution to consider a change order to amend a contract between Cain, Rash, West Architects and the City of Elizabethton regarding Architectural Services and Construction Management for work performed at the Bonnie Kate Theater under the ARC Grant.
  • A resolution to award Contract 02 of the Doe River Water Line Crossing project to Haren Construction Company, Inc.
  • An ordinance to consider on first reading Water Capital Projects Fund FY 2023-2024 Amendment #1 regarding the Doe River Water Line Crossing project.
  • An ordinance to consider on first reading American Rescue Plan Act Fund FY 2023-2024 Amendment #1 regarding the Doe River Water Line Crossing project.
  • A resolution to consider In Lieu of Taxes - Elizabethton Electric Department for Fiscal Year 2024. The financial impact was $1,120,971.62 funding from Elizabethton Electric to the General Fund. This amount is $227,664 less than the budgeted amount for FY 2024.
  • An ordinance to consider on first reading City of Elizabethton 2023/2024 Budget Ordinance Amendment #8 for the General Fund regarding the Shop with a Cop Event. The financial impact was an increase in donated revenue and shop with a cop expenditures by $1,300 with no change to the Fund Balance.
  • A resolution to approve an agreement for Covered Bridge Park Engineering Services with McGill & Assoc. for Covered Bridge Park Improvements.
The Council deferred three items to January in regards to grant funding and accepting a state contract for infrastructure improvements, radios, repeaters, microphones, unit chargers for the Elizabethton Police Department, Elizabethton Fire Department, and the Elizabethton Street/Sanitation Department.
Approval was given for expenses, purchases, and bids for the month of November 2023 which include:
1. Bid #601 - Transmission Gang Switch--Elizabethton Electric Department ($24,926.90)
2. State Contract - Two (2) King Cab Nissan Frontier's--Water Resources Department ($76,626.00)
3. State Contract - One (1) Crew Cab Nissan Frontier--Water Resources Department ($39,530.00) 4. State Contract - Two (2) Ford F450's with service body-- Water Resources Department ($178,614.00)
5. Sourcewell Contract - Seven (7) Watchguard (Motorola Solutions) in car video cameras--Police Department ($45,711.40).
The financial impact for the five items totaled $365,408.30.
During the beverage board meeting, approval was given to the minutes from the previous beverage board meeting.
A beer permit application was approved for Jiggy Ray's Downtown. The restaurant has now reopened under new management. Savannah Markham, BAM Hospitality LLC, d/b/a Jiggy Ray's Downtown, that applied for the On-Premise, Restaurant beer permit.
Also, the Council approved four month coverage for a temporary beer permit request made by Joy McCray, Director of the Elizabethton Chamber of Commerce which had requested approval for all 12 months in 2024.
Currently, that isn't allowed under the standing permit request but the Council agreed that a review of some of the policies needed to be discussed and possibly changed.

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