City Council approves relocation of water line, master services agreement for AMI meters

The first Elizabethton City Council meeting of 2024 took place on Thursday, Jan. 11 inside the Council Chambers at the Elizabethton City Hall.
After the invocation by Michael Klaus with First Christian Church and the Pledge of Allegiance, the Council approved the minutes from the December 2023 meeting.
Mayor Curt Alexander made a proclamation recognizing School Board Appreciation Week for the Elizabethton City Schools system as he presented the proclamation to board members present.
The Council gave approval to First Baptist Church of Elizabethton who began a monthly food distribution program to help those in Elizabethton and Carter County to help combat food scarcity in the Fall of 2020 to continue to do so through 2024.
Each third Thursday of the month, First Baptist Church requested S. Lynn Ave. be closed from W. F St. to W. G St. in order to safely move vehicles through their parking lot, and into the back drive-thru area of the church where boxes are distribute.
In old business, the Council voted 5-0 on FY 2023-2024 Amendment #1 regarding the Doe River Water Line Crossing project.
In 2019 staff began a major infrastructure project to relocate two main water transmission lines out of the bed of Doe River in the Valley Forge Community. These lines serve as the primary means of transporting water from both the Hampton and Valley Forge water treatment plants, making them critical infrastructure. With flooding and continuous erosion of the original concrete shielding, the pipes have become steadily more exposed in the open riverbed.
While costs have continued to increase, the project has experienced an increase in cost beyond external funding sources. With Council's vote of approval on the amendment, revenues will be adjusted for the ARC Grant, State Revolving Loan Fund, and ARPA Transfers in the amount of $1,672,305 and increasing the Doe River Water Line expenditures by $2,200,875 with $528,570 to come from Retained Earnings.
In regard to the same project, the Council approved a second reading on the American Rescue Plan Act Fund.
The City operates a separate fund that houses the proceeds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This helps with complete transparency and clearly accounts for the uses of the proceeds. Currently, the only active budgeted project with the ARPA funds is the Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project (AMI) for the Water Department.
With a 5-0 vote, a line item move will be performed in the amount of $683,678 from the General Fund transfers out, to the Water Capital Projects Fund transfer out, with no change to fund balance.
In the final piece of old business, the Council voted to increase donated revenue for the Shop With a Cop expenditures by $1,300 with no change to Fund Balance. This was needed because the donated revenues for the event came in higher than expected. To benefit the event, a budget amendment was needed to be made to account for the additional revenue and the expenditures for the event.
New business saw the Council City approve a resolution to initiate a contract and ratify the mayor's signature with Summers Taylor Inc. for storm drain modifications behind West Town Shopping Center.
On August 1, 2023, the Street & Sanitation Department was notified that a large hole in the ground had developed behind the West Town Shopping Center off of Hudson Drive. Upon investigation, along with Water Resources and Elizabethton Electric, three holes were found that had fallen in. Further investigation revealed that a 48” corrugated metal pipe had rusted through and caused the storm drain to fail.
Summers Taylor Inc. submitted a bid of $296,350.00, which was the lowest bid. Their ability to be able to mobilize and begin the repair works within the first or second week of January 2024 aided in the consideration.
Also, Council approved a resolution to select and enter into a master services agreement with Consolidated Pipe & Supply Company to install a systemwide AMI project to replace all current meters and upgrade metering infrastructure with Masters Meter equipment and technology.
The costs for the full AMI system is $5,797,387 with an additional $2,413,132 of infrastructure improvements that will funded by a combination of City & County American Recovery Act water infrastructure grants, local ARPA funds, and Water Retained Earnings.
Other items of new business receiving approval are as follows:
  • A resolution to adopt the Carter County Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • A resolution to consider the ratification of the Mayor's signature on the TNECO Downtown Improvement Grant (DIG) Contract
  • A resolution to consider a Grant Administration Agreement with the First Tennessee Development District for the 2024 Downtown Improvement Grant
  • A resolution to consider agreements between Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program (HIDTA) for the Upper East Tennessee DEA Task Force and the Elizabethton Police Department.
  • Approved ratifying the Mayor's signature on a grant contract with the State of Tennessee's Law Enforcement Training Academy.
  • A resolution to approve task Order #8 of the professional services agreement with Mattern & Craig Engineering concerning waterline replacement on Smalling Road Bridge.
  • A resolution to approve task order #9 of the professional services agreement with Mattern & Craig Engineering regarding the Paty Hill Water Tank rehabilitation project
  • A resolution to authorize submission of a grant application for the Tennessee Arts Commission Rural Arts Project Grant
  • An ordinance to consider on first reading City of Elizabethton 2023/2024 Budget Ordinance Amendment #9 for the General Fund regarding unplanned sponsorships for the Independence Day Celebration and the Covered Bridge Days Jams events.
  • An ordinance to consider on First Reading City of Elizabethton 2023/2024 Budget Ordinance Amendment #1 for the Water/Sewer Fund regarding current year vehicle purchases.
Council also approved purchases, expenses, and bids for December 2023. Those included the three phase reclosures and reclosure controls for the Elizabethton Electric Department ($135,691.00) and a bid for the replacement of a bucket truck that was involved in a motor vehicle accident for the Elizabethton Electric ($178,989.25).
Beverage Board
After approving the minutes from the previous beverage board meeting, the board gave approval for a beer permit for an off-premise convenience store permit by Enrique F. Hernandez for El Tule Mexican Store, located at 851 West Elk Avenue, Elizabethton. The location is in the small strip mall located next to Reed Pharmacy and on the property adjacent to the Elizabethton Post Office.