The East Ridge City Council extended a moratorium on outdoor advertising signs that was first put in place in May. At that time the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) suspended their rules and regulations for enforcing outdoor advertising signs and billboards along state routes which includes both Ringgold Road and the Interstate in East Ridge. They are in the process of creating new regulations but are not finished yet partially because of push-back from the billboard industry, said City Manager Chris Dorsey.
East Ridge is reluctant to adopt its own rules prior to knowing TDOT’s new regulations because state law trumps East Ridge’s. The council voted to extend the moratorium on accepting applications and issuing permits for outdoor advertising signs for another 180 days. Installation and construction of the signs will also be stopped until the new TDOT rules are finalized.
As leaf season is approaching, City Manager Dorsey said that a strategy has been developed for picking up leaves. Some part-time help has been hired to handle the city’s two leaf machines while city employees drive the trucks. The work is planned to begin when most of the leaves have fallen, and will begin on the west end of town and work toward the east. There is no need to bag leaves because bags cannot be picked up by the leaf vacuums. Leaves should not be piled in drainage ditches because that causes drains to clog which results in flooding. The city will keep track of where the leaf trucks have worked and progress will be put on the city’s website. There will be a second pass, but Mr. Dorsey said that it will take a couple of months before the first round is finished.
The council approved applying for and the acceptance of a grant from Public Entity Partners, the city’s insurer. The $8,000 grant, which the city receives each year, is for protecting city property and to maintain property values. This year it will be used for the installation of some security cameras at Camp Jordan. To receive the grant East Ridge will be required to put in a 50 percent match of $4,000 for the cameras.
The two liquor stores that won the lottery to be located in East Ridge have been delayed because contractors and building materials have been difficult to find, said Mayor Brian Williams. But they both have submitted plans to the city for review and are moving forward despite the delays, said Mr. Dorsey.
Construction of the new playground at Pioneer Frontier and the new splash pad that will be located there have also been delayed. The completion date is fluid, said the mayor, because of labor shortage.
On Saturday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., East Ridge Animal Services will sponsor a “Bark Party” behind city hall on Tombras Avenue. There will be adoptable dogs available, music and a yard sale. Proceeds will go toward the new East Ridge Animal Services building.
There will be a blood drive on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Police and Fire building on Ringgold Road. Appointments can be made, but walk-ins are welcome.
This year the East Ridge Christmas parade will be held again after it was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID concerns. It is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 6:30, the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Mayor Williams praised the RAM Clinic (Remote Area Medical) that was held last weekend at Camp Jordan. It provided free health care from volunteers, including dental, vision and medical.
At the Thursday night council meeting property located at 4105 Cemetery Road was rezoned from R-3 Apartment District to R-1 Residential District on the final reading. At the next council meeting another rezoning request will be discussed for 1410 N. Mack Smith Road. The rezoning would allow the motel at that location to be rezoned from C-1 Commercial to Residential for conversion of the property into apartments. The planning commission has recommended denial because it would remove the location from the border region district where the city benefits from taxes.