Council OK's bid for Covered Bridge repair

By Thomas Wilson
Elizabethton City Council members voted unanimously to accept a bid to complete structural repairs to the historic Covered Bridge at Thursday night's council meeting.
With the delayed restoration of the Elk Avenue bridge causing grumbling among some citizens, council members were told Intech Contracting expected to have the structural restoration completed before the city's most popular seasonal event in June.
"The structural work will be completed and in time for the Covered Bridge Celebration," city Director of Planning David Ornduff told the council.
Intech Contracting submitted the long bid of $162,000 with deductions on painting and lighting totaling $48,700. The resolution asks a bid of $113,300 with a contingency of $9,200. Longer than anticipated work on the Elk Avenue Bridge has pushed the project's target completion date up several months and kept motorists using Broad and Sycamore streets to get around the downtown area.
City Council members also voted to pass two ordinances expected to expedite the development of a Walgreens drug store on Broad Street later this year.
Council members voted 7-0 to pass one ordinance approving the rezoning of property at 213 East C Street owned by Sid Smithdeal from residential to business use. The second ordinance approved the closure of an alleyway between Broad Street and C Street extending from Lynn Avenue to the back portion of the Elizabethton Church of Christ.
The council also approved a revised version of a resolution issuing $1.25 million of capital outlay bonds on Thursday night at the request of the State of Tennessee Comptroller's office. Council members approved the use of capital outlay bonds totaling $1.25 million at its December meeting to fund a series of public works projects in the city during 2004.
The capital outlay did not include a $100,000 appropriation to the Carter County Rescue Squad as initially reported this week. City Director of Finance Brad Moffitt said $100,000 appropriation for the Rescue Squad would instead be acquired from the city's general fund.
In other business, council members voted unanimously to accept a portion of vacated railroad right-of-way located between Broad Street and East Mill Street. The Elizabethton Herb and Metal Company donated the land to the city.
Mayor Pro Tem Sam Shipley also noted that the Veterans War Memorial Committee was winding down its sale of commemorative bricks to be used in the memorial's planned walkway exhibit.
Today is the last day bricks bearing the names of Carter County veterans can be purchased for use in the walkway plan. The bricks can be purchased at Elizabethton City Hall.