Wastewater treatment plant tops list of 2001 major accomplishments

By Mayor Sam LaPorte

   With regard to major accomplishments in 2001, the new Wastewater Treatment Plant was brought on line. It was the largest public works project ever completed in the City of Elizabethton.
   The northern connector to the Wastewater Treatment Plant was also constructed. This project not only improved service to current and future residents in expansion areas but eliminated an access problem to the existing line.
   Also during the year, more than 11,600 feet of new water lines were added and more than eight percent of the city's 105 miles of streets were resurfaced.
   Several drainage issues were also addressed as a result of storm drain overflow problems caused by torrential rains that fell upon the city in July and August.
   In addition, plans were set into motion to address the issue of water quality problems at the city's Big Spring water source.
   All of these projects were initiated or completed during a period of time in which several of the city's major taxpayers either went out of business or were drastically reduced in size.
   With regard to challenges facing the City of Elizabethton in the coming year and beyond, maintaining a clean and adequate water supply source for the city and its businesses and citizens is a critical issue.
   This must be taken into account during a period of time in which unemployment is up; tax revenue is down; and a new accounting standard (GASB34), which is requiring unprecedented reserves, has been mandated by the State of Tennessee to be adopted by all city and county governments.
   Another critical issue with regard to the welfare of the city is the continued financial support of existing industries and businesses and the pursuit of new ones.
   Although the pursuit of new industry and business is very competitive, I feel that the City of Elizabethton is in a very unique position to attract industry and business due to its existing infrastructure.
   Elizabethton's strong school system, superior fire and police services, an educated work force, and adequate supplies of clean water are all very appealing to attract new business and industry.