• 45°

Elizabethton City Council meets in January session

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
The Elizabethton City Council held its regularly-scheduled January meeting on Thursday virtually through Zoom as the Council addressed both old and new business.

During communications with the City Manager Daniel Estes, Councilman Richard Barker brought up some concerns he had received from residents along West F Street, West G Street, H Street, and Holly Street in regards to tree trimming along where the electrical lines run.

Councilman Barker said some of the residents that had called him felt like the trimming was excessive as trees on their property were pretty much given a buzz cut with one resident’s tree trimmed so bad it will have to be cut down.

Estes shared that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent to kept the trees trimmed on a six-year cycle and the trimming was necessary to keep the reliability of electricity up and to help keep people with power especially during times of snowy weather.

Estes further said, “If we don’t trim the trees adequately the power will be out more.” He went on to add that he and the electric company would bring the concern to the company that does the trimming work.

Also, during this portion of the meeting, Councilman Michael Simerly asked the Director of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Mike Mains if it was possible to get an update on the Doe River Trashing Trap as well as Surf Betsy.

Simerly said that the trash traps would be at a minimum cost for the city while looking to see where the City currently stood for gaining funding for the project.

Mains advised the Council that ETSU had just gotten back in session and are looking to be putting information together to share with the group around the last of April to early May.

He also advised that more information was needed from engineering firms in regard to the flow of the water.

In regard to the trash trap, Mains said that he hasn’t had a chance to meet with the representative from the trash trap company. Work currently is underway to identify sites along the Doe River

There was only one appointment to make to a committee and that was the Planning Commission and Zoning Appeals Board for one regular term.

Mr. Paul Bellamy who is currently on the board notified Mayor Curt Alexander that he would be willing to remain on the board and was voted unanimously by the Council to do so.

In old business, there was no one to speak during the public hearing portion of two agenda items and the Council voted unanimously on the fiscal year 2020/21 budget ordinance amendment #3 for the water/sewer fund as well as approved a budget ordinance amendment #1 for the Drug Fund.

New business was quickly addressed with all items passing unanimously including the Council agreeing to a 10-year licensing agreement with TDOT for the construction and maintenance of the Watauga River Boat Ramp located adjacent to the Highway 400 boat ramp.

Mike Mains said that the project was huge in benefiting outdoor recreation and thanked several people who helped the project come about including Chris Little, the TWRA, and TDOT.

After dismissing the City Council meeting, the Beer and Beverage Board meeting took place as Councilmen approved an application by Mohamed “Moe” Farrouki for the Black Olive Restaurant located at 173 Hudson Drive in the former Beef O’Brady location for an on-premise restaurant beer permit.